It’s just a dripping faucet, right? Nothing a couple of turns of the screw couldn’t fix—or maybe a new washer at worst. Leaking faucets often make it onto our “honey-do” lists—something we’ll fix when we get around to it.
But how much is that dripping faucet actually costing you? You might be surprised.
For a bit of context…experts agree that America is currently suffering from a crumbling infrastructure, with much of our plumbing, water delivery and sewage systems now over 100 years old. According to a report from NPR, nationwide we’re losing about 2 trillion gallons of clean drinking water each year to leaking pipes and faucets—approximately one-sixthof our water supply, quite literally “down the drain” each year!
That statistic is quite sobering for anyone concerned about our environment and natural resources—but where it really hits home for most people is in their wallet. Let’s talk some numbers with your home itself.
A Little Drip Adds Up
Obviously, the amount of water wasted from bad plumbing will depend largely on how big the leak is, and how fast the water flows. The U.S. Geological Society (USGS) has posted an easy-to-use drip calculator to demonstrate how water drips add up over time. It takes just over 15,000 drips to equal one gallon, which doesn’t sound like much—but if you have just one faucet leaking just 20 drips an hour, that single faucet will waste nearly 700 gallons in one year! A faucet dripping at a rate of once per second loses 5 gallons every day. If you have multiple dripping faucets or leaky toilets, you can see how it can add up—and that doesn’t even address the old pipes in your walls and under your floors that might be leaking gallons a day without you even knowing.
How does it add up in dollars and cents? Again, the answer depends on the speed of the leak (and how much your water utility charges per unit of water), but some suggest a single leaky faucet or shower head costs the homeowner an average of $20 per month on their water bills. If you have multiple leaks—including unseen pipes—you could easily be losing $100 a month or more in wasted water.
Bottom line: Taking a few minutes to tighten the screw or replace the washer in that leaking faucet could save you hundreds of dollars a year on your water bill. Additionally, if your home’s plumbing is old and possibly leaking, you might save thousands in water costs just by having a plumber inspect for leaks and replace your pipes as needed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Palady, RMP is the President and co-owner of Budget Rooter Plumbing & Drain Cleaning. This family owned plumbing company has been serving their customers for more than 25 years, and makes customer service and quality of work their priority.
Jeff started working in the field at the age of fifteen under the tutelage of his father, who owned a Philadelphia-based plumbing and drain cleaning company. At the age of eighteen, Jeff and his mother decided to open their own shop in their home state of Delaware. For the first few years, Jeff was Budget Rooter’s only field technician, and was often out on calls until late at night while going to school to earn his Master’s License. As Budget Rooter grew, Jeff trained new technicians, researched and purchased the best equipment, and today he manages the operations of the company.
Known for being dedicated to Budget Rooter, Jeff is one of the first to arrive in the morning and is usually the last to leave. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys fishing, modifying his truck, and spending time with his wife and two sons.