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Inspect Your Home for Water-Wasting Leaks

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Dripping faucets and leaking pipes can have an adverse effect on your water bill. Steady drips and small leaks can waste as much as 50 to 100 gallons of water per day. Conducting periodic leak inspections can help you save money and water, and in some cases avoid possible water damage to your home. Inspecting for leaks is not difficult and takes very little time.


1.  Locate and check your water meter. Write down the meter reading, wait as long as possible (at least a few hours) before using any water. Look at the meter reading again and see if there is a difference in the readings. Any change in the readings indicates unwanted water usage.

2.  Check your toilets. Place about 10 drops of food coloring into your toilet tank. Wait 15-20 minutes without flushing the toilet. Look into the toilet bowl. Any color in your bowl indicates that your toilet is leaking.

3.  Inspect valves and other plumbing fixtures. Verify that none of the numerous valves that exist in your system leak or drip. Check for leaks and drips in any fixture or device in your home that uses water.

4.  With spring right around the corner, plan to inspect irrigation systems, swimming pools and other areas on the exterior of your home as temperatures warm and outdoor activities increase.

Visit DurhamSavesWater.org for detailed information on leak detection and information on how to read and to better understand your water meter.