Water Conservation

The annoying drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet can be costly for you and the environment.

A Leaky Faucet is Like Flushing Money Down the Toilet

Leaky faucets waste thousands of gallons of water per household each year, a costly mistake for your wallet and the environment.   Similar to our article on toilet leaks, we will help you uncover the facts about how much water is actually wasted and how to keep that hard earned cash in the bank.  While we focus on the average household, these tips can also apply to small business owners and retailers looking to cut costs and go green.

Leaky Faucets Waste Water and Costs Money

Leaky faucets waste waterAs you lie in bed and hear the annoying drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet, you are literally listening to money going down the drain.  We should also not forget that only 1% of the water on the earth’s surface is usable to human consumption, therefore water conservation is critical to your survival. So how bad can a leaky faucet really be?  Well, a slow drip can waste about 7-10 gallons of water per day, adding up to more than 3,600 gallons of water per year.  This simple small leak can cost you about $20 per year.  A more significant faucet leak can produce 30 to hundreds of gallons of wastewater per day.  The average costs of these fast dripping faucets will end up costing you $60 to $200 per year.  If every American household had a leaky faucet dripping at just one drop per second, we would waste 928,000,000 gallons of water per day.

Leaky faucets can be hard to find.

It’s a good practice to check for leaking faucets both in the kitchen and bathroom around your home or office on a regular basis.  A leaky faucet can normally be seen visually and if you detect one, fix it immediately.  However, sometimes some dripping faucets can be overlooked.  While looking for a puddle of water around a faucet that has been turned off is the simple way to identify leaks, there are some other tactics to try.  Wrapping a towel around the faucet or hanging a plastic bag under the faucet and check to see if any water collects throughout the day.  I accidentally detected a small leaky faucet in my shower when I hung my shower cap on the faucet and noticed that it collected water in the evening.

Fix leaky faucets fast!

The good news is that repairing a leaky faucet is not a difficult task.  Once you detect a leaky faucet, repairing it yourself can save hundreds on a plumber.  Worn rubber washers are usually the cause of leaky faucets.  In most cases, to repair a leaky faucet, you just need to replace the worn washer, o-rings or valves.  You can purchase the faucet repair parts or faucet repair kits at any home improvement stores or online at stores like Amazon.com.  A faucet repair kit is the best way to go because it contains instruction on how to repair the faucet and also comes with tools that you may need.  The washer on a faucet is usually located under the handle.  You will need to shut off the water under the sink or at the water shutoff valve, remove the handle and follow the instructions to restore the faucet.

Fixing a leaky faucet is a simple and inexpensive action that you can take to save money and conserve water.  With 85% of our water coming from ground water pumped from aquifers, reducing water consumption will also save money on pumping equipments, and in turn will lower the cost of providing water, potentially further reducing your water bill.

Image: twobee

Comments (8)
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    Tim Nov 3 2016 - 12:02 AM Reply

    Post the actual math. Most places a slow leak is only a few dollars a year. A more steady one will not take it to hundreds. For it to be hundreds you would have to use 25000 gallons of water for it to be near 100 dollars. Also the waste puts the water back into our river.

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      Tony Oct 17 2019 - 11:08 AM Reply

      Waste water does not go back to our rivers. It goes to a treatment plant, because it is waste water. Now if you had a dripping hose bib the water would go back to the earth. We must also remember that not only are you paying for clean water, but also waste water. So if a gallon of clean water cost you 15 cents the they most likely will charge you 30 cents for the waste water for a total of 45 cents.
      Now how many people out there have a leaking faucet, leaking toilet, leaking shower valve etc…. It adds up quickly.

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    Kairi Gainsborough Dec 26 2018 - 9:38 PM Reply

    Wow, I never realized that a single dripping faucet can cause 7-10 gallons of water to go down the drain. That is so much water wasted! There are at least 3 faucets in my house with this issue, so I can only imagine how much water that is wasting. I’ll be sure to get it fixed right away.

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    Bree Ward Apr 10 2019 - 9:27 PM Reply

    It’s true that as your leaking faucet is dripping so is your money. It’s a good thing that you discussed the important things to do when there is a leak in your faucet. As you’ve said repairing it immediately is the best solution to stop the waste of water and money. If ever that I will notice any faucet least in my house, I will definitely have it checked and repaired right away

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    Barrett Jun 20 2019 - 9:44 AM Reply

    It is hard to locate some leakage on your faucet. I have done some fixing a month ago and it gets worse rather than being fix. So, what I have done is to let professional do the fixing.

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    Oscar Morrison Dec 27 2019 - 12:26 PM Reply

    I appreciate your idea of putting something under the faucet to see if it’s leaking. I’ve noticed in the mornings when I get up for work the bathroom sink seems damp, but I haven’t noticed whether it’s actually been leaking. Maybe I should put an empty glass under it before I go to bed to see if it catches anything. We don’t want to waste resources, so if we find anything then maybe we should have someone come fix the problem.

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    Ron Booker Feb 26 2020 - 9:15 AM Reply

    Thanks for the idea of placing a plastic bag or a dry towel to test if you have a leaking faucet. My neighbor was telling me that the water district is charging him more than usual. I will let him know to try some of this method to find out if he has a leak, and to address it to a professional for repair.

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    Cpt. Phillip Nob VS Apr 27 2020 - 6:46 PM Reply

    Hmm, Some people cannot fix it themselves or afford to have a plumber come out just to save $5 a year because of a leaking faucet. How about a real life suggestion for those people? If you put a glass under it and drink it in the morning, you have reduced your waste to nearly ZERO all you lose is evaporation. I appreciate those of you that do the math! keep up the good work!

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