What could be worse than a plumbing leak? Paying for the wasted water.
It will show up on your water bill. By the time it reaches your mailbox – physical or electronic – the bi-monthly total could have risen to new heights.
That’s why it’s a good idea to monitor your monthly usage and fix any leaks before they occur. Viewing your daily usage is possible through the city of Barrie’s website.
The number one culprit? Toilets.
The laundry tub in the basement takes the number two spot.
Leaks can occur for different reasons, depending on the appliance. Toilet leaks could be internal or external. If the toilet runs intermittently, it could be the result of a faulty ball cock or the float ball which shuts the water off once it reaches a certain level. If the water level is set too high, it could also be leaking down the overflow tube. Sometimes the refill tube becomes loose. It can be easily seen in the toilet tank and reattached. It could also be the flapper, which fails to reseat itself and create a proper seal after flushing.
A small leak in the toilet can be detected by adding coffee or food colouring to the tank. Wait for 10 or 15 minutes and see if the colour seeps into the bowl. If the water is pooling on the floor outside the toilet, the wax ring which holds the fixture in place could be worn out.
Old-school laundry tubs may present a different problem. Every time the tap is turned on, some of the water will divert to the floor drain. Newer tubs have a drip tube which prevents that from happening. In addition, the trap under the laundry has a seal that allows wastewater to travel to the main drain pipe while preventing sewer gas from coming back up.
Faucet leaks are a common problem. Sometimes the taps and the water lines are old. The seals wear out or the cartridge inside the faucet can fail. If there is no shut-off to the individual fixture, the water will continue to run, right down the drain until it is fixed.
The city of Barrie estimates a small leak, a 1/8 inch stream, can waste 372 cubic meters of water each month potentially adding more than $1,500 in one month to the bill.
Leaks can occur anywhere – at an appliance such as a dishwasher or hot water tank, the fixtures, plumbing lines as well as the connecting fittings.
Beyond the interior of the house, gardens, lawns, flowering hanging baskets, and pots rely on the water to live and look nice. An outdoor tap can leak if the water wasn’t shut off properly at the end of the season to prevent freezing. It is also susceptible to wear and tear and malfunction, such as washers not seating properly, issues with cartridges, or, in older faucets, valve seats.
In addition, outdoor sprinkler systems could leak, leading to higher water bills. The connection between the spigot (located at the end of the faucet where the water comes out) and the hose or the hose itself could leak.
For any issues with leaks, call Plumbtech Plumbing. The Barrie-based plumbing company has been in business for more than 30 years. Highly skilled plumbers can locate and diagnose any leakage problem and fix it.
Plumbtech Plumbing maintains a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week Emergency Service. Plumbech serves the greater Barrie area, Simcoe County, Muskoka, and Parry Sound. Call 705-722-7209.