Water is a precious resource. Here in West Texas we understand that. Especially after years of drought. No pun intended, leaks mean this precious resource goes down the drain. And it costs us money.
A dripping faucet probably isn’t high on the priority list when it comes to home repairs. Yet it doesn’t take much for a lot of water to disappear. Just one faucet leaking a mere 5 drips per minute equals 173 gallons of water gone in a year. You can water a lot of plants with that.
So how to track down the leaks in your plumbing?
Start with the obvious suspects. Bathroom and kitchen sink faucets. If they are dripping, even a little, make sure the spigot is turned completely off. If you find yourself having to put a lot of pressure on the faucet handle to stop the leak, there could be a problem with the seal or washers. If that’s the case, more pressure will likely make the problem worse. Replace the necessary parts.
The same goes for shower heads in your bathroom. Make sure the connections are tight. Sometimes the leak doesn’t come from the shower head, but rather connection between the head and the water supply pipe. If you notice a leak in that spot, remove the shower head, scrub the threads with a wire brush, then wrap silicon tape around the threads. (Silicon tape is cheap and effective. It can be found at any hardware store.) Twist the showerhead back on snugly. The tape should provide an improved seal.
An interior water supply that we don’t think about is the connection to our washing machine. You will have to pull your machine out a bit to check this one. Be sure there isn’t a slow leak happening. If your hose connection isn’t over a drain pipe, a slow leak in this spot can go into your drywall and insulation. If that happens, you’ve got a potentially dangerous and expensive problem. Black mold thrives in dark moist environments. Make sure everything behind your washer and dryer are completely dry.
Toilets can be big water wasters. If you hear the toilet running intermittently during the day, you could have a leak. Here’s an easy way to test:
Put food coloring in your toilet tank. Wait an hour. Then check it. If the water in the bowl has food coloring in it, you have a leak.
The first thing to check on a toilet leak is the flapper. It’s that rubber seal at the bottom of the tank that gets lifted by the chain when you press the handle down. If it’s not sealing completely, you can buy a kit that is an easy replacement.
Outdoor faucets are easy to check. The ground will be wet if there is a leak. Again, if tightening the valve doesn’t stop the leak, you need to replace it.
While you are outside, check your water meter. Make sure no one is using water inside the house. If your dial is spinning then it’s likely there is a leak somewhere.
If after all your visual checks and searching you still can’t locate the leak, please call us. Here at Sinclair we’re pros at pinpointing the cause of your problems and we have the solutions to make your plumbing system operate at peak efficiency.
Give us a call today. We are always happy to serve you! 806-749-2665.