Fix a Leak Week, March 16-20

Ladies and gentlemen, grab your wrenches …

The EPA has announced “Fix a Leak Week” in mid-March. It’s the perfect time to save water by fixing those household leaks. You’ll also prevent home damage, avoid cleaning those nasty hard-water stains, and feel good about the environment — and maybe save a few pennies.

The EPA site says:

Did you know that an American home can waste, on average, 11,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks? Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year.

Does it matter?

Yes!

When I wrote about hiring a plumber to fix a leak a couple of years ago, I noted that one leak in my laundry sink dripped out 8 gallons of water a day.

Since that time, I’ve fixed a j-bend pipe under a bathroom sink (would have been easy as pie except that it was a pedestal sink whose pedestal was in the way) and fixed a leaky toilet. Then I replaced my other bathroom sink myself. All in all, I figure I’ve saved $700 in labor — and countless drip, drip, drips.

My “fix a leak” projects

I don’t feel too bad about my current leaks, because they are fixable manually. That is to say, I hear the “drip, drip” and run in and tighten the faucets or wiggle the valve to make it stop. But the projects I’ve been postponing include:

  • Replacing a washer in the hot-water faucet in the upstairs shower.
  • Replacing a washer in the hot-water faucet in the downstairs shower.
  • Replacing the ballcock assembly in the downstairs toilet.

These should be a snap, because I’ve even already bought the parts (now if I can find them …). Famous last words.

Do you have a leak you can fix?

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5 thoughts on “Fix a Leak Week, March 16-20

  1. Condo Blues says:

    Does turning the water off of a leaking toilet count as fixing a leak? :)

    Actually I fixed that toilet a couple of days ago. Although I had to admit that I shut it down last summer once I found out it was leaking. Good thing we have more than one bathroom!

  2. erin says:

    Ugh…this is a sensitive subject for our family. My husband tried to fix a leak in 2003 and ended up strippping the 1920 fixture. This cascaded into having to open the wall to replace the entire fixture. Since we had to do some work in there anyway, why not get rid of the pink tile? $11K later, we had a new bathroom from the studs up. To fix a part that would have cost less than one dollar. Sigh.

    So yes, I there is a very, very slow drip in our bathroom faucet and I am terrified to fix it. I will keep you posted.

  3. SavvyChristine says:

    No leaks that I know of. I would, however, like to put a water displacement something-or-other in the toilet tanks to use less water. I don’t suppose the EPA has a designated week for that.

  4. John says:

    I have replaced a dripping bathroom faucet, am putting in all new 1/4 turn valves in the house, ordered a permeate pump for the reverse osmosis system to save 80% of reject water, and am on the way to HD for a leaky toilet repair kit.

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