Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How To Find Hidden Water Waste in Your Home

Water waste is often the cause of a change in the water bill, and you may not realize the problem until you find yourself faced with charges that are much higher than what you normally pay. While meter error is sometimes to blame, hidden water waste, such as leaks and poor drainage, may also be an issue. Targeting this problem does not have to be difficult, and there are several strategies you can use to find and resolve it.

Perform a Dye Test on Your Toilet

A toilet with a faulty flapper may be a hidden leak that is raising your water bill. However, there is a simple test you can perform to gauge whether your toilet is malfunctioning. To begin, add a teaspoon of blue or green food dye to the water in your toilet tank. Replace the lid, then wait about 20 minutes. Once the time is up, check the bowl water for any signs of the dye. If the water there has any color to it, this means you have a tank water leak.

This type of leak can usually be fixed by replacing your toilet’s flapper. Fortunately, it is a simple repair that you may be able to perform on your own. Ask your local plumbing supply or hardware store about the tools and parts you will need. 

Inspect Outdoor Water Lines

Outdoor irrigation or sprinkler systems can malfunction and cause leaks that you may not detect right away. This can be especially troublesome if the lines are not visible or have been installed underground. Leaks can be caused by aging lines, freezing temperatures, or backyard pests interfering with the system.

If you suspect an outdoor water leak, walk your yard carefully and look for damp spots or grass that seems to be growing faster than the rest of your lawn. While this can lead you to the source of the leak, you may need to call in a professional plumbing contractor to have the lines exposed and repaired.

Check Under Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Not all leaks are fast or instantly noticeable. In fact, some can occur so slowly that you might never become aware of them until they get large enough to cause a change in your water bill. Leaks that are hidden by cabinetry fall into this category, especially when the cabinets were installed specifically to hide the plumbing and are not used for storage.

The presence of mold can clue you in to a slow water leak because many types of fungi do not require sunlight in order to grow and spread. Many species can be found in dark, damp environments and may produce a musty odor once patches start to thrive. This odor may guide you to leaks under your kitchen or bathroom sink, although it is wise to have mold removal specialists come in to remove any fungi before you call a plumber.

Change Your Laundering Habits

Not all water waste is caused by leaks. You and your family could be wasting a great deal of water without realizing it, especially when it comes to doing your laundry. Top-load washers tend to waste more water than front-load models, and washing small or incomplete loads can also contribute to water waste. If you live in California and want to learn about how to conserve water, the Cadiz Water Project twitter page can be an informative and educational resource for you and your family.

Water waste can lead to skyrocketing water bills and costly home repair bills. Knowing where to look for hidden leaks in your home can help you control what you spend on water services and prevent the needless waste of this precious resource. 


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