How much does a leaky faucet cost?

Let’s say your Tampa home has a leaky faucet in it. It’s just ten drips per minute, right? How much is that leaky faucet (or leaking shower head) costing you in water bills each month? Tampa leak detection experts weigh in on this question using a simple water drip calculation (found here).

Doing the math of the cost of a dripping faucet

The volume suggested by the USGS water drip calculator: .25 milliliter (ml) for every faucet or shower head. By these measures, the following is true:

One gallon = 15,140 drips makes up 1 gallon of water
One liter = 4,000 drips makes up 1 liter of water

If your Tampa home has one faucet leaking at a rate of ten drips per minute (very typical), that one faucet is wasting three liters of water per day. That’s 90 liters per month and 347 gallons of water per year.

Let’s say you have a leaky faucet and two leaky shower heads. If that’s the case, you’re wasting (on average) 10 liters of water per day and 1,041 gallons of water per year.

Got a fast drip going? A faucet or shower head that drips 60 drips per minute wastes 21 liters per day, or 5 gallons of water a day. That’s 2,082 gallons per year.

What About Pipe Leaks?

Pipe leaks, although less annoying or obvious, are much more serious and expensive than leaking faucets. On average, a pipe leak the size of the tip of a pencil will waste approximately 970 gallons in 24 hours at even low water pressure (this calculation is made using 40psi in water pressure; that water pressure level is low for homes in the Tampa Bay area).

You may not even notice a pipe leak if it’s located underground or in a space you can’t see. Make sure you keep an eye out for the following:

  • A musty smell under sinks in cabinets (often an indication of a cracked hose, a small pipe leak, or a leak at the junction of a hose and pipe)
  • Water in your yard or running down the street from near your yard
  • High water bills
  • Water stains in walls or ceilings

Water stains in ceilings are sometimes pipe leaks and sometimes problems with either the roof or the AC unit (if it’s in your attic). You may need to go up into the attic and use a flashlight to check around your AC unit, around your water heater, and around vents in the roof around fans and vents. If you’ve recently had your roof replaced or recently experienced high winds that could have affected your roof, it may be a problem with the flashing around vents and not a pipe leak at all.

What About Running Toilets?

While we’re addressing plumbing leaks, we also have to address running toilets. While many jokes have been made about running toilets, the water bill is no joke. The typical running toilet wastes 200 gallons of water a day. That’s an incredible amount of water that just gets flushed into your sewer system. It’s also usually an easy project to complete, requiring nothing more than a simple replacement of a toilet flapper or adjustment to the chain attached to the toilet flapper.

How Much Does that Translate to in Water Bill Costs?

A leaky shower head or faucet will cost you about $20 a month, which doesn’t seem like much (unless you have several leaky faucets or you let it go for a long time). However, cracks in pipes and pinhole-sized holes in pipes typically cost a household between $100-$600 a month and a leaky toilet will cost you between $75-$150 on an average month.
Tampa Bay Plumbing Leak Experts to the Rescue!

Has your water bill spiked and you don’t know why? Have you tried to replace that toilet flap or to tighten your leaky faucet to no avail? We’ll help you figure out if you’ve got a leak and what the most cost effective way to resolve it. Call us today at 813-265-9200. We’ll send one of our Tampa Bay plumbing experts out to your home to fix your plumbing leak concerns.