Repair A Leak
Some leaks are a simple fix. Others, not so much. Before calling the District or contacting a certified plumber, try to locate the leak to determine if you can repair it on your own. Oftentimes customers who visit their local hardware store are able to replace broken or outdated plumbing fixtures. But before you visit, be sure to collect the defected parts and bring them with you so you can match them with the correct replacement. When replacing items be sure to look for products bearing the WaterSense label, which are backed by independent, third–party certification and meet EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance.
Toilets are the most common source of indoor leaks that can often be recovered through simple repairs. Aging and deteriorated flapper valves as well as worn and broken ballocks, refill valves, lift chains and handle rods are the most common reasons behind toilet leaks.
To check a toilet, place a dye tablet or food coloring into the toilet tank. Wait 15 minutes without flushing. If colored water appears in the bowl, you have a leak.
✔ Check to see if the toilet flapper falls down and seals completely. Rubber flappers degrade over time. The flapper may be in need of replacement or a simple cleaning.
✔ If you notice that water is flowing into the overflow tube, you have an overflow leak. Adjust/lower the fill valve (or float) in order to lower the water line within the tank. The water line should always sit below the top entrance of the overflow tube.
✔ Make any necessary adjustments/repairs to the flapper or fill valve.
If a toilet replacement is needed, be sure to check our Rebates, Vouchers, and Programs page to learn more information.
Simple leaks from faucets are often ignored, despite the fact that they can waste thousands of gallons of water a year! According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers! Old and worn faucet washers and gaskets frequently cause leaks in faucets. Many tutorials are available online for how to fix a wide variety of faucets. Here are a few examples:
According to the EPA, A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. Pipe tape, also called Teflon tape, is available at most hardware stores, is easy to apply, and can help control leaks. For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip when not in use, contact an experienced handyperson or licensed plumber.
If you have an in–ground irrigation system and come across unexplained puddles in your yard or if a sudden loss of water pressure occurs, you most likely have a water leak. Extreme temperatures, tree roots, sharp rocks, incorrect installation practices and older pipes can contribute to outdoor leaks.
If you believe that you have an outdoor leak, hire a certified plumber or irrigation specialist to inspect and repair the leak for you. Before calling a specialist, be sure to check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
Leaks at the Workplace
Leaks don’t only occur at home. If you come across a leak at your workplace be sure to report it to your maintenance staff and alert others to avoid dangerous slips.
To learn more workplace leaks, review the Best Management Practices for Commercial Facilities