HOW TO IDENTIFY AND FIX COMMON LEAKS THAT CAN COST YOU HUNDREDS EVERY YEAR
When we think of plumbing leaks, we think of pipes bursting and causing water damage and massive water loss. While this is true, there are other less noticeable leaks when ignored over time can cause you hundreds of dollars every year. Below are a few common water wasting culprits and how to identify and fix on your own.
Leaking faucets are generally a result of a worn rubber washer. The washer on a sink is usually located under the handle. These are relatively easy to replace, if you have the right tools. It does require shutting off the water under the sink or at the main shutoff valve and removing the handle. (Note: faucet handles are not shutoff valves.)
Toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons and often times are silent. Even a small toilet leak can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over time. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair. To help determine if you have a leaking toilet, simply remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring or dye tabs in the back of the toilet tank. Wait about 30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl to see if any color has come through. If the water is clear, water is not leaking. If you see food coloring in the bowl you have a leak. In most cases, you will simply just need to replace the toilet flapper and/or filling mechanism.
Flapper Valve Leaks
The most common reason for a leaking toilet is one that has an improperly working or sealing flapper. The flapper is the rubber valve in the bottom of the tank that lifts up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper is worn or cracked, it allows water to continuously flow from the tank into the toilet bowl without flushing.
Flush Handle Problems
If the handle needs to be jiggled to keep the toilet from running, the flush level bar and chain (or the handle itself) may be sticking. Adjust the nut that secures it in the toilet tank. If that does not work, the handle may have to be replaced.
Overflow Tube Leaks
Ideally the water level should be set so that it is about even with the fill line on the back of the toilet tank (approximately ½” below the overflow tube). If the water is too high in the toilet tank and is spilling into the overflow tube, the water level can be adjusted by turning the adjustment screw or by very gently bending the float arm down so that the water shuts off at a level below the overflow tube.
If you find that the steps above don’t resolve your minor leak or suspect you have a bigger issue contact Option One Plumbing to perform a more in depth leak detection and analysis of your plumbing system.