The long term costs of minor plumbing leaks


Conserving water in the desert is a no-brainer. In the desert, water really is life. Most homeowners would agree that doing their part to conserve water is good for the community as well as a money-saver. Lessening water consumption can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your utility bills.

But what if you’re truly trying to conserve water, yet your bill keeps increasing? In these situations, the homeowner probably has a plumbing leak somewhere that’s running up their water meter. It’s easy to spot dripping faucets or leaking water heaters. But it’s the leaks you can’t see that can cost city utility companies and homeowner’s big money.

Visible Leaks – The Water Drips You Can See

Some of the more typical leaks we see are slow drips from a kitchen sink or bathroom faucet. The Alliance for Water Efficiency says one faucet drip every two seconds will waste more than 1,000 gallons each year. If you have a slow leak, you can estimate the number of gallons of water you’re wasting. Count the number of drops in one minute. Each drop equals 35 gallons of water lost per year. So, if your faucet drips 45 times in a minute, you’re throwing away 1,575 gallons each year. That’s a lot of money right down the drain.

Then there’s that running toilet. If you notice your “porcelain throne” is gurgling or making a sloshy sound when no one is using it, you’ve possibly got a good size leak. A plumber will first inspect the flush mechanism in the toilet tank to see if the float is damaged and not sealing or the refill valve is worn. These are all easy fixes that will save you money in the long run.

Hidden Leaks – Hard to Pinpoint and Costly

The Alliance for Water Efficiency says that all that leaking water can add up to big problems for homeowners. If your water bill is rising and you’ve fixed all the obvious small drips, then you might have a more difficult problem to fix.

We recommend checking your water meter when no one is using the water. Note the meter reading. Then return in four or five hours and see if the meter has moved. If no one has used the water, and the meter is still tracking water usage, Houston, we have a problem.

A trained plumber can spot the telltale clues to hidden water loss. We typically check under all the sinks and vanities, looking for water droplets on the pipes. Condensation on pipes can signal pinpoint leaks that can cause big problems later. Checking water supply valves and following the path of the pipes under your home will help you ferret out the source of the problem. Pipes can corrode, especially the ones that carry pressurized water. Mildew around the wallboard can signal a leak inside the wall.

Did you know Plumbing By Jake provides plumbing services to Kingman Arizona and the surrounding regions? We’ve been offering residents our expert services for the past decade. If you’re faced with a plumbing issue, contact us!