According to the 2016 Residential End Uses of Water study, an estimated 12 percent of the water that supplies the Greater Tampa Bay region homes and businesses is wasted on leaks. Nationally, there are more than 775 billion gallons of water each year that are wasted on plumbing leaks. March 20-26 is Fix a Leak Week—an EPA-WaterSense awareness initiative. Cass Plumbing, Tampa Bay’s plumbing leak expert, urges residents in the Tampa region to take pragmatic and technological steps toward fighting the resource waste and financial burden of plumbing leaks.
Water’s relative low cost creates a common misconception. Too often, people think that leaking fixtures are harmless. In fact, among the more than 23,000 houses that participated in the recent water use study, 10 percent (2,300 home) were found to waste at least 90 gallons of water each day with leaks. In most cases, leaks either visibly or stealthily go down the drain, or are absorbed into the ground, without damage to property. These so-perceived benign leaks are most commonly found in plumbing fixtures. But even the smallest leaks add up. A slow, two-drip-per-second leak will produce 77 gallons of water in just one week.
Most homeowners don’t have the awareness or mechanisms to detect plumbing leaks. There are common places where leaks often present themselves, where inspections will reveal opportunities to save water. Tampa homeowners who care to catch every leak in real time, and prevent potentially catastrophic damage, there are innovative detection devices that flag leaks to automatically stop them.
Plumbing leaks that don’t go directly into the drain or ground are more troublesome and also very common. Leaks from ruptured plumbing supply lines or damaged pipes and fittings effect, on average, 8% of homes each year, according to a U.S. Housing Study. While these leaks typically get fixed upon discovery to prevent costly damage, when they go undetected, due to out-of-sight location or the resident being off premises, they can immediately ruin property, and create a long-term environment for mold.
The Insurance Information Institute data confirms more than $10 billion in water loss claims are paid out in the U.S. each year, and suggests the real cost is much higher, without even factoring in excessive water utility bills. “Water is a powerful force and even small drips onto home infrastructures can cause many thousands in damage within a short period of time. While leaks are the second leading contributor of home insurance payouts, our studies indicate more than half of damage-inducing leaks are never reported to insurance.”
For Fix a Leak Week, Cass Plumbing urges everyone to consider practical tips to find and stop water leaks:
Check the water bill: A family of four in Tampa will typically use 12,000 gallons (16 centum cubic feet) per month. Usage in excess of this amount indicates a likely leak.
- Check toilets: Warn-out flappers are a primary water waster. Listen for toilets that refill between flushes. Find slow leaks by dropping food coloring in tanks; if the bowl takes color without a flush, there’s a leak.
Check interior faucets: Drips from sink and tub faucets, and showerheads, are easy to spot, but often ignored. Repair or replace warn parts to curb water-wasting drips.
- Look outside: Outside hose or irrigation system leaks are often overlooked. Check for drips and moist ground during dry weather to find preventable leaks.
- Get leak detection: A flow-based leak detection device will detect leaks as small as a drip per second and automatically shut them off. While the primary function of such devices is designed to prevent property damage, it has the added benefit of flagging hidden leaks to save natural resources and money on water bills.
For all your home plumbing leak needs and concerns in the and around the Tampa region, call Tampa’s Best Plumber, Cass Plumbing at 813-265-9200. The plumbing professionals at Cass Plumbing have been taking care of plumbing leaks throughout Tampa for 2 decades, have earned an A+ Rating with the Tampa Better Business Bureau, are ranked as the Best Plumber in the Tampa area by Best Plumbers and have received over 1,000 – 5 star reviews. At Cass Plumbing of Tampa Bay, we are here to serve you for all your plumbing needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.