Because minor water leaks account for more than one trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association is promoting “Fix a Leak Week,” March 15-21, 2010. Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program as an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.
“Leaks can add up to more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted at home every year - that’s enough to fill a backyard swimming pool,” said PHCC President Skip Pfeffer. “As trained professionals, PHCC is participating in Fix a Leak Week to advise homeowners on how to save money on their utility bills and to help conserve water in our community and for future generations.”
Prior to and during the observance, PHCC and WaterSense are promoting ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets and leaky showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves quickly. Following are a few water-saving tips:
- Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if replacement is needed, hire a professional to install a WaterSense-labeled model.
- Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Getting the rubber flapper replaced is a quick fix that could save a home with a constantly running toilet up to 200 gallons of water per day.
- For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
- Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they are not damaged by frost or freezing.
If homeowners have to replace a plumbing fixture, PHCC reminds them to hire a professional and look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense-labeled toilets, faucets, and (soon) showerheads have been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense to find a WaterSense-labeled product.
For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.