While a few drops from dripping faucets don’t seem like much more than an annoyance, a faucet leaking even a single drop per second can add up to a loss of more than 3,000 gallons of wasted water a year. Not only does this increase your utility costs, but over time, that water can make its way into your home and lead to extensive water damage. So what can you do to stop leaking faucets? This article will be covering the areas that are most susceptible to water leaks and what you could be doing to stop it.
The most common area in the home where people will have to deal with dripping faucets is in the kitchen plumbing. Because there are so many different areas that can lead to leaks, it can be difficult to find the exact one that is problematic.
However, there are a few more common places for homeowners to start:
- Leaks from the faucet spout: Possibly the source of dripping faucets that causes the most lost water and financial cost is the spout itself. Check the washers (with compression faucets) or the faucet cartridge (with more modern faucets).
- Leaks from the base of the faucet: Usually the cause of excess water around the sink, leaks from the base of the faucet are usually related to an internal O-ring that has cracked.
- Leaks from under the sink: This is often one of the tougher ones to find, as most homeowners don’t look under their sinks regularly. Leaks under the sink are usually caused by one of two issues – loose sink drain connections or loose water supply connections.
If the source of dripping faucets isn’t obvious or directly affected by your working sink, contact a plumber for help.
The bathroom is another common area of the plumbing system in which homeowners deal with dripping faucets. Most often, those leaks are coming from the bathtub and/or shower.
The good news is that, in many cases, fixing dripping faucets in the bathroom can be a quick, cheap, and easy fix. Generally, the problem can be stopped by just changing out the washer on the bathtub faucet. Because the washers are usually made out of either rubber or plastic, they eventually can dry, crack, and wear out.
Homeowners who feel comfortable doing this repair on their own should start by turning off the water, then turn the handles to the “on” position to drain excess water from the line. Remove the handle covers, then use a screwdriver to remove the entire handle. In most cases, only a screwdriver is required to remove the seat washer screws so that the washer can be replaced. Just reassemble the handles and test to make sure the issue of dripping faucets in the tub is fixed.
The Financial Cost of Dripping Faucets
In addition to the potential home damages that can be caused by dripping faucets, there is also an increased financial cost. Even though the loss of water may seem superficial, it ultimately adds up to significant increases in the home’s water bill.
Over time, people have reported noticing an increase of as little as $20 a year to up to $200. And this is only for a very small leak! Although not just a financial cost specifically, water loss is also an environmental factor.
In fact, water loss has even been linked to climate change. Water shortages affect a significant amount of the globe, so stopping even a small portion of it by fixing the home’s dripping faucets might help save the planet!