Plumber fixing a leak
March 03, 2015

According to the EPA, more than 1 TRILLION gallons of water are wasted each year due to household leaks. These leaks can increase a water bill by as much as 10 percent! That’s why Loudoun Water is encouraging you to celebrate Fix A Leak Week by finding and fixing water leaks in your home. Easy leaks to check for include:

Leaky sinks can be a major source of water waste, and cost you money. The trick to fixing a leaky faucet is to know what kind you have. There are several different types of faucets including a compression faucet, a ceramic disk faucet, a ball-type faucet and a cartridge faucet. The compression faucets are usually of the two-handled variety. The ball-type and cartridge faucets are the single lever faucets commonly found in the kitchen. Faucet leaks are usually caused by worn-out seals. Since each type of faucet requires different materials to fix the leak, it is best to consult your local hardware store for the most accurate information or parts you'll need to fix it.

The toilet flapper is located at the bottom of the tank and seals the tank drain until the handle is pushed. If the seal is not tight, leakage can occur, resulting in the toilet unexpectedly refilling or making running water sounds. To check if the toilet flapper is working properly, there are two tests you can do:

Shred some toilet paper and toss it into the bowl. Flush the toilet and see if all the paper is gone. If it is not, then the flapper setting needs to be adjusted.

Add a few drops of food coloring to the tank behind the bowl. Wait one hour before flushing. If the color appears in the bowl, the flapper is likely defective or leaking. Loudoun Water has free dye tablets available for customers to use upon request.

For further information regarding how to replace the toilet flapper, consult your local hardware store. If you need to replace the toilet, visit EPA's WaterSense for a list of water efficient brands.