According to EPA data, the average household leaks about 10,000 gallons per year. Often completely inaudible and invisible in starting stages, the average leak can go undetected for anywhere from months to years, and add up to waste about 10 gallons of water per day. Particularly depending on leak location, significant property damage may result.
9 Ways to Prevent Leaks Before They Start
Taking a few steps to avoid leaks in the first place can help you conserve water, save time, and prevent any costly repairs down the road.
1. Change your washing machine hose
Changing the hose on your washing machine every five years will go a long way to preventing costly leaks and water damage. In fact, washing machines are one of the biggest sources of expensive home-related insurance claims. If you can, use steel-braided hoses in place of rubber. If you have plans to leave your Portland home for vacation or travels, consider turning off the water supply to your machine.
2. Shortly after flushing, make sure your toilet actually stops running
If you have a toilet tank that does not stop refilling for quite some time, you could be inadvertently wasting a massive amount of water. In fact, slow-running toilets are often barely audible, and can waste as much as 50 gallons per day. One preventive step is to ensure that cut-off valves and assemblies are functioning well. A tutorial on how to fix a leaky cut-off valve is available here.
Check your cabinets
At least once a year, look in the cabinets under your sinks to check for drips and leaks. You also should inspect under your dishwasher and refrigerator, as these can be the source of costly leaks.
4. Consider disconnecting your icemaker
Though the icemaker attached to your fridge is convenient, it can also greatly increase your water bill. If you can leave it unconnected, you’ll save money and prevent leaks from starting. If not, inspect the hose that connects to the water line every once in awhile. If the hose is cracked or discolored, it’s time for a replacement.
5. Install a water-detection alarm
These alarms warn of leaks in areas such as basements or bathrooms. Pricier alarms can even let you know of leaks when you aren’t home, through your home’s security system or programmed phone numbers.
6. Check your pipes
Condensation can occur around pipes so inspections can help detect it before you have a major leak. Also be on the lookout for warped or cracked flooring.
7. Inspect your water heater
Once-a-year inspections are your best bet. Check for leaks, bulging tanks or corrosion. Also check the long metal rods in the tank to make sure they aren’t corroded.
8. Beware of your heating/cooling system
A routine professional inspection of your HVAC unit can help spot leaks that could one day damage your floor, wall or ceiling.
9. Replace old fixtures
Water leakages will happen more in homes with older plumbing installations. In fact, current government research shows that 5-10% of homes in the US have water leaks that lose up to 90 gallons a day or more.(1) According to the EPA,
“Water lost by [these] leaky residences could be reduced by more than 30,000 gallons if new, efficient fixtures were installed.”
It has been calculated that if the 5% of American homes with the most leaks were to correct those leaks, it could save the nation over 177 billion gallons of water annually.(2)
Plumbing Inspections & Improvements in Portland, OR
While it may seem odd for the Pacific Northwest, the state of Oregon is indeed facing a drought.
Not only can leaks run up your utilities bill and cause expensive damage; they waste a precious resource that is now facing shortage.
Some of the above steps require professional inspections, yet they literally pay for themselves in terms of reduced monthly bills and preventing damage to your home.
Apollo Drain offers plumbing inspections at affordable prices, and can replace or upgrade any faulty fixtures sometimes even same day.
Take care of your home. Give us a call today