How Much Is That Water Leak Costing You?

For many Americans, a constantly leaking tap is not much of a deal. A source of little annoyance maybe, but that’s all. Or is it? What if you come to know that this constant dribbling of tiny water droplets is also draining your wallet? And that it’s also one of the major reasons for the ongoing water shortage in many big cities. 

Yes, you read that right!

To take an example, the drought-hit state of California has been dealing with a similar sort of water dilemma for decades now. On top of it, its complex infrastructure is old, and mostly damaged by frequent earthquakes, making it extremely challenging for authorities to figure out the faults, let alone fixing them. 

But that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to understand its impact on you. To know how much is that water leak costing you? And also, to help you save it. 

Well, let’s get started, shall we?

How much water does a tap leak?

Although there is no specific device to measure it, there’s certainly a way to come to an estimate. For instance, the United States Geological Survey suggests that,

15140 drips = 1 Gallon

4000 drips = 1 Liter

There’s also a drip calculator by USGS that you can use to calculate nearly how much water does a leaking tap waste. Just count the drips of a leaking faucet and you can calculate approximately how much water gets wasted from it every day and every year. Rest assured, the results will surprise you. 

To give you an idea, here are a few water stats and facts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Stats and Facts on Water Leak

An average American family wastes about 1800 gallons per week or 9400 gallons of water annually.  

It spends more than $1000 per year as water costs but can save around $380 by using WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR certified appliances.

The total volume of household leaks can reach and cross a staggering 900 billion gallons of water annually, which can be used otherwise for nearly 11 million homes. 

But a water leak can cause more damage than you can imagine. Apart from water wastage and extra charges, it can also harm your property and result in unnecessary repair costs. We’ll do the math in a while, but first, let’s take a closer look at all the possible sources of a water leak.

Sources of a Water Leak

The sources of water leakage are not just limited to leaking taps, showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, pipes, hoses, or fittings. Instead, there are other places as well that you might want to watch out for, such as:Electrical appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and water heaters/geysers.

Lawn sprinklers.

Plumbing that’s not visible, for instance, under the kitchen, sink, or wall, etc.

Roof, ceiling, walls, windows, doors, and floor, etc.

The point is that if you’re considering conserving water plus save money, you must take all these factors into account. An undetected leak can turn into a major problem in no time and can cost you fortunes. So, make sure that no leaks are left undetected or ignored for too long. 

Moreover, water prices are already on a rise in the state of California.  Therefore, it’s important to detect and fix any leaks and use water carefully to avoid paying extra. Let’s know more about it. 

Drip by drip, the water decreases, and the bills increase! 

A normal tap leak can increase our utility bills by more than $30 annually.

A small hole or crack in a pipe can cost you about $70 every month.

Leaking/running a toilet can cause you anywhere between a $80-600 rise in your monthly water charges. 

A leaking garden hose can cost you more than $300 per month.

Hiring a plumber can cost you somewhere between $250-325 per visit.

Repair of appliances damaged by water leaks is always an expensive task. For e.g. repairing a water heater or pipelines can easily cost you more than $500 in a blink. 

Replacing old plumbing lines with new ones can be quite pricey too and may charge you hundreds and thousands of dollars. 

The bottom-line is ignoring even the smallest leak can turn into a major defect and seriously disturb your budget.

Now obviously, you might not be able to detect and fix all the leaks on your own and may require assistance from expert plumbers for the same. 

At the same time, there are certain steps and measures that you can take to detect hidden leaks or to be certain that there are hidden leaks somewhere on your property. Here’s what you can do.

Last but not the least…

How to detect a water leak?

1. The first thing you should do is to turn off all the faucets, appliances, and water valves. Then check your water meter when you aren’t using water. If the reading changes, then there is a leak.

2. A routine check-up into plumbing pipes and water lines can also bring out many hidden leaks that need a fix. 

3. Be mindful of any odd sounds from water tanks or pipelines.

4. Check for any water spots, stains, or green patches in your property to see if it’s due to a leak.

5. Don’t ignore the dribbling; turn off the leaking taps.

The TakeAway

Whether it’s about saving yourself from paying high bills or protecting our natural resources, stopping water leaks quickly is worthwhile. So, the next time you suspect leakage in your faucets or any pipes, rush to a professional for a quick fix. 

Author Bio

For the past 30 years, twin brothers Dave and Jim Schuelke have run their company Twin Home Experts. Twin Home Experts can be found throughout California, Arizona and Utah for home services including plumbing, mold repair, bathroom remodeling, and rodent control. Twin Home Experts is also one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels online for valuable content to both homeowners and plumbers showcasing DIY and frequently asked questions. 

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