Fix a Leak: 10 Minutes to a Greener, More Efficient Home

March 17-23 was Fix a Leak Week and yesterday was World Water Day. Even if you missed out on the official celebrations, (complete with a Pint Sized Plumber contest for NJ), it’s not too late to make a big difference. In just 10 minutes, you can pull the plug on a leaky faucet, shower or toilet.

Ready to get started? We’ve come up with a few simple steps to help you stop the drips that slowly drain the earth’s resources (and your wallet):

Step 1: Detect the Leaks

  • Review Your Bill: According to the US EPA, if a family of four uses more than 12,000 gallons of water per month during the winter, they probably have a leak problem. That’s why it’s a good idea to check your bills each spring. 
  • Monitor Your Meter: You can also check the numbers on your water meter to detect leak issues in a few easy steps:
1. Record your meter number.
2. After two hours of no water usage, check back. If the numbers aren’t the same, you have a leak. If you do, proceed to steps 3-5. If not, way to go, you.
3. To seal the deal (and all your leaks) pinpoint the drip sources and fix them (more on that in a moment).
4. Repeat the monitoring process to see if you’ve successfully stopped all the leaks.
5. Pat yourself on the back, for a job well-done.

  • Test Your Toilet: To find out if you’re flushing money down the toilet, try this quick and easy test. Put a drop of food coloring in your tank, and don’t flush for 15 minutes. If there is color in the bowl, you have a leak. 
  • Call in the Pros: In addition to inspecting your heating and air systems, windows and more during your Home Energy Audit, our experienced energy professionals will also check your pipes for leakage.
Step 2: Fix the Leaks
  • Faucets: Leaky faucets can often be linked back to aging washers and gaskets. Replace the worn down parts to save as much as 3,000 gallons a year! 
  • Shower Heads: Stop shower head leaks with a wrench and some pipe tape to get the tightest connection possible. Your 10 minute effort will preserve roughly 500 gallons of water in 2014. 
  • Toilets: The rubber flapper in your tank is often the issue behind a persistent toilet leak. Changing out this inexpensive piece can stop a staggering 13,000 gallons of water waste. 
  • Outdoor: With the coming of spring, it’s time to check your outdoor irrigation system for water efficiency. Take a look at your old garden hose and make sure that no leaking occurs where it connects with the spigot. 

Step 3: Go Green with WaterSense
If any of your leaks are beyond your quick DIY skills and your hardware actually needs to be replaced, make sure to switch out your old hardware with WaterSense products. WaterSense products must follow the water efficiency standards set out by the EPA.

You can fix a leak for good by ensuring that it never occurs again with one of these faucets, toilets or shower heads. You can also get a WaterSense-approved partner to ensure that your irrigation system is as efficient as possible.

Customers enjoy complementary access to the Ciel Power Energy Center
For even more DIY leak-fixing tips, check out the EPA’s page on how to fix a leak or Ciel Power customers can visit their Ciel Power Energy Center accounts.  Our Energy Center accounts provide detailed information about reducing water consumption, including recommendations on dishwashers and washing machines that lower both water and energy consumption!

In 2013, Ciel Power began offering customers personalized energy management profiles through the Ciel Power Energy Center.  Available to all of our Home Energy Audit customers, this unique online platform provides Ciel Power customers with the tools they need to live a sustainable life, at a pace that fits their lifestyle.  If you are a current or former Ciel Power Home Energy Audit customer, email us at info@cielpower.com to gain access to this wealth of sustainable lifestyle guidance.