Q - We have a small drip in our kitchen faucet and have your years actually. My wife says to fix it, but I say it's so small it's not hurting anything.
Dan in Hampton
A - I say listen to your wife. Fix it.
Your little leak could be as simple a fix as a new washer or gasket, but it could be the sign of something larger such as a faulty faucet.
Small leaks and constant drips add up. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average home loses thousands of gallons of water to leaks each year. The EPA estimates repairing water leaks can save as much as 10 percent on utility bills.
(Incidentally, March 16 – 22, 2020 is recognized by the EPA as Fix-A-Leak-Week.)
Your water leak is easy to identify. Other leaks are not so easy to spot, but you should check for leaks on a regular basis. Here are some easy ways to see if you have water leaks in your home:
- Examine your faucets for drips and inspect the pipes under your sinks to ensure there are no leaks around the connections.
- Drop food coloring in your toilet's tank. If after 30 minutes the water in the bowl starts to change colors, then you have a leak. This can usually be corrected by replacing the toilet's flapper. Probably best not to use yellow.
- Inspect your floors, ceilings and walls for discoloration or warping. These obvious signs can be the first indication of a damaging leak, and the source should be immediately identified and addressed.
- Review your previous water bills. If there are large fluctuations between bills, you may have a leak.
- Check your water meter. If you have turned off all water in the house, and the meter still moves, then there is likely a leak in the system.
So at least in this case, listen to your wife. She will actually be saving you money.