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Water Leaks: Find and Fix Them

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What Not to Flush

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The Great American Cleanup

Green Homes & Businesses

Water Leaks: Finding & Fixing

In the average home, leaks can waste as much as 10,000 gallons of water every year. That’s enough to fill a backyard swimming pool! Common leaks are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These easy fixes can quickly pay for themselves in water savings.

Fixing leaks means less water wasted and more money saved, so follow these simple steps to ensure that your home is watertight!


  • A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
  • Check your water meter before and after a 30-minute period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
  • One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Wait 15 minutes without flushing. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this test to avoid staining the tank.
  • If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
  • Check your water line connections and faucets, both indoors and out, for leaks. Tighten the connections if necessary, and replace any worn-out washers.

Get more Fix-A-Leak facts and tips for correcting common household leaks.


We live in a beautiful region surrounded by water. It impacts everything from the food we eat to the fun we have as well as our economic livelihood. Our daily actions have a lasting impact and it's up to us to protect and restore our waterways. It takes a community of individuals making small changes to make a difference. Bay Star Homes is one way you can get involved in the effort to protect our region's most defining natural resource, water.

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