Being handy around the house doesn't have to be difficult. Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easily correctable, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings.
How to Check your Toilet for Leaks
Place a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank, wait 15 minutes, if the bowl changes color you have a leak. If it doesn't, you can rest easy knowing you don't have a leaky toilet. If you do have a leak, fixing it is usually as simple as installing a new flapper and can save you hundreds of gallons of water a year. Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for your water woes. Santa Rosa Water even offers FREE dye tabs and toilet flappers to help you fix leaks.
Tip: Bring the old flapper to the hardware store for comparison to make sure you buy a new flapper that fits your toilet model. You can also check the owner's manual, if you have it, or the manufacturer's website for the appropriate replacement part number for the flapper.
Old and worn faucet washers and gaskets frequently cause leaks in faucets. Many tutorials are available online for how to fix a wide variety of faucets. Here are a couple of examples:
Tip: Don't forget to turn off the water line before you start!
Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. Pipe tape, also called Teflon tape, is available at most hardware stores, is easy to apply, and can help tame unruly leaks. For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip when not in use, contact an experienced handy person or licensed plumber.
Tip: It's also a good idea to check and, if needed, replace the washer or "o" ring inside the showerhead while making this repair.
Discovered a Leak?
If you've already determined you have leaks and you find these step-by-step solutions aren't enough to stop them, it might be time to replace your leaking fixtures. Santa Rosa residents can pickup FREE water-saving devices (faucet aerators, showerheads, hose nozzles, and replacement toilet flappers) Monday - Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at 69 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa.
If you consult with a plumbing professional, look for the WaterSense label when considering a new appliances and devices, you could increase your home's water efficiency.