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2 Legit 2 Drip

January 12, 2016

Parachute pants aside, fixing those drips and leaks in your home can really make a huge difference in your water consumption. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10% of our homes waste 90 gallons or more per day in leaks alone! Nationwide, that equals more than 1 trillion gallons annually… that’s close the size of Lake Erie!

But don’t fear! There are many easy ways you can check for and fix those leaks. The most common places are right in your bathroom. Worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves under the cabinets can be easily corrected and most don’t require a major investment. (Bonus: Fixing these can save you around 10% on your next water bill!)

Start with your toilet. It consumes about 27% of your indoor water and is easy to detect. Simply place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. (Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.)

The usual culprit for toilet leaks is often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. Replacing this part is a relatively easy, inexpensive DIY project.

However, you might discover that fixing this leak doesn’t help. Other causes might be old gaskets, washers, etc. Ask what the age of the house and toilet is before you replace other parts. You might need to upgrade your toilet! If you do decide to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model like Niagara’s 0.8 GPF Stealth toilet. If the average family replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save 13,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family nearly $2,400 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets! This small investment will pay for itself in no time. Plus, feel better knowing you’re saving more of our most precious natural resource. 

Need another reason to say goodbye to those parachute pants? The productions of their synthetic fibers actually leave a much larger carbon footprint than your standard cotton blue jeans.