6 - 2009

Fix a Leak Week, March 16-20

Ladies and gentlemen, grab your wrenches …

The EPA has announced “Fix a Leak Week” in mid-March. It’s the perfect time to save water by fixing those household leaks. You’ll also prevent home damage, avoid cleaning those nasty hard-water stains, and feel good about the environment — and maybe save a few pennies.

The EPA site says:

Did you know that an American home can waste, on average, 11,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks? Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year.

Does it matter?


When I wrote about hiring a plumber to fix a leak a couple of years ago, I noted that one leak in my laundry sink dripped out 8 gallons of water a day.

Since that time, I’ve fixed a j-bend pipe under a bathroom sink (would have been easy as pie except that it was a pedestal sink whose pedestal was in the way) and fixed a leaky toilet. Then I replaced my other bathroom sink myself. All in all, I figure I’ve saved $700 in labor — and countless drip, drip, drips.

My “fix a leak” projects

I don’t feel too bad about my current leaks, because they are fixable manually. That is to say, I hear the “drip, drip” and run in and tighten the faucets or wiggle the valve to make it stop. But the projects I’ve been postponing include:

  • Replacing a washer in the hot-water faucet in the upstairs shower.
  • Replacing a washer in the hot-water faucet in the downstairs shower.
  • Replacing the ballcock assembly in the downstairs toilet.

These should be a snap, because I’ve even already bought the parts (now if I can find them …). Famous last words.

Do you have a leak you can fix?

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