THE HIDDEN COSTS OF A LEAKY FAUCET
Leaky faucets are one of the most common problems for homeowners across the country. For example, let’s say you’re dealing with a dripping kitchen sink. If the drip is steady, it’s going to cost you — even if it’s just ten drops per minute or so. The question is: how much of a hit is your water bill going to take? Read on to find out!
Doing the Math
According to the USGS, the average faucet drip is 0.25 milliliter (ml) for every faucet or showerhead in your home. This means that 4,000 drips will add up to a liter of water, and 15,140 drips will make up a gallon. With a single faucet leaking at 10 drips per minute, you’re wasting three liters per day. Over a year, that comes out to 347 gallons of water.
Now let’s say you have one leaky faucet and two leaky showerheads. That means you’re wasting 10 liters per day and 1,041 gallons per year. If you’re dealing with a fast drip (such as a faucet that leaks 60 times a minute), you’re wasting over 2,000 gallons per year.
Though they aren’t as obvious as leaking faucets, pipe leaks tend to be more dangerous. Even at low water pressure, a pipe leak the size of a pencil will waste close to 1,000 gallons of water in a single day.
Other than a notable increase in water bills, the easiest way to spot a pipe leak is to watch for water stains on walls or ceilings and running water in your yard. You should also keep track of musty smells under your sinks, as they’re a common indicator of pipe leaks, a cracked hose, or leaks at the junction of the hose and the pipe.
Contrary to popular opinion, a running toilet isn’t something you should ignore. The average running toilet may waste 200 gallons of water a day, which is a lot of water to flush into the sewer system. Plus, fixing a running toilet is usually an easy task. Most of the time, all you’ll need is to do is replace your toilet flapper or adjust the chain that’s attached to it.
Calculating the Costs
How do these leaks translate to your water bill costs? Well, a leaky faucet or showerhead will set you back $20 a month, but this does add up over time. Cracks and pinhole-sized holes in pipes may cost anywhere from $100 to $600 a month. The average leaky toilet will set you back approximately $75-$150. It’s recommended to fix any of these issues as soon as possible.