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Unseen or unfixed, water leaks can drip hundreds, even thousands of gallons of water wastefully down the drain.  A little “detective” work several times a year can catch these water thieves in the act and put them out of circulation

Faucets

Most leaks result from worn washers in household faucets and shower-heads.  These faucets, as well as seldom-used taps in the basement or storage rooms should be checked periodically.  Faucet leaks are usually caused by worn washers or “O” rings (for washerless faucets).  Repairing faucet leaks is easy.  Turn off the water supply line to the faucet, replace the washer, and turn on the line again.

Outside

Check the outside taps for the leaking water, particularly during the summer sprinkling season.  A hose left dribbling away in the grass or garden can waste thousands of gallons of water over the course of a summer.  Remember to close the outside faucets tightly every time you shut off the water!

Toilets

The toilet is one of the most common water wasters, but its leaks tend to be less noticeable than faucet leaks.  Most toilet leaks occur at the overflow pipe or at the plunger ball inside the tank.  To locate the toilet leak, take the tank lidd off and flush.  The water level should come up to about one half inch or so below the overflow pipe.  Adjust the float level control screw, if necessary, so the valve shuts off the water at that level.  If the valve itself is leaking, you may need a plumber to fix it.

Although water may not be seen or heard running, your toilet may have a silent leak.  To test for a silent leak, drop a little food coloring into the tank.  DO NOT FLUSH!  Wait for about ten minutes.  If the food coloring appears in the toilet bowl, you toilet has a silent leak.  It is probably located in or around the plunger ball or flapper valve at the bottom of the tank.  These leaks are easy to fix with parts from your hardware or home store.