By Terry Leamon, My Maricopa Plumber
A leaky faucet is a problem for more than one reason. It’s an issue that will probably only grow worse, and it can cost you more money on your water bill. Beyond that, it wastes a lot of water. But how much water does a leaky faucet actually waste? It may not seem like much, but over a period of time the gallons add up.
A single drip every couple of seconds may not seem like a lot of water. But think about it this way. If you let your faucet drip every day, 24 hours a day, it is going to add up. Imagine what would happen if every faucet in your home was dripping or every faucet in your neighborhood. It would not seem like such a small amount of water anymore. In terms of how much water is actually wasted by a leaky faucet, every drop of water is a different size and falls at a different rate.
For the most part, however, every drop of water coming from a faucet (according to the U.S. Geological Survey) is between one-fifth and one-third of a milliliter. Using those calculations and 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that about 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.
It may not seem like much, but 15,000 drops are a LOT of drops. If your faucet dripped once every second every day, all day, it would only take four-and-a-half hours to waste one gallon of water. Every day you would waste 5 gallons of water, or 2,082 gallons per year. That is 10% of the average water used by a standard 3.5 gallon per flush toilet on a daily basis. Now, imagine what happens if you have more than one drippy faucet, or the leak is larger than average, or the leak is at the bathtub, which will likely drip more than a faucet.
In short, the cost of a leaky faucet may not seem like much, but as time passes, it will add up and, if it is not taken care of, the cost will only grow as the leak gets bigger and potentially new leaks start in other faucets inside or outside your home. Do not let it drip forever — take action now and reduce the impact to the environment and your wallet.
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