Water drips can add up

Avoid throwing your money down the drain.

The bottom line?  Water drips can add up.  Per the Regional Water Providers Consortium, it is estimated that 12 percent of the average American’s household water use is due to leaks. 

To see if you have any water leaks, try these helpful tips:

Review your water bill to monitor your household water use.

Pay attention to your average use and any increases in your use.  If the increases cannot be accounted for (i.e. watering lawns, filling pools, etc.) then you many have a leak.  For information pertaining to your household’s annual water usage, contact your local water provider.

Check your toilets annually, for leaks.

This process takes about 10 minutes and could save you hundreds of gallons of water per month.  Remove the lid, drop 10 drops of food coloring into the tank, put the lid back on, do not flush, wait 10-15 minutes and then look in the bowl.  If you see colored water in the bowl you have a leak.

Check the following regularly for leaks: faucets, showerheads and outdoor spigots

These leaks are often easy and inexpensive to fix (i.e. faulty washers).

Use your water meter to help check for water leaks

Check your meter at the beginning and ending of a 2-hour time period, making sure not to use any water during that time frame.  If your meter does not read exactly the same, then you may have a leak. 

To find out how much water you my use in your home, visit the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  To see how much water is wasted due to a leaky faucet, visit the USGS Drip Calculator.  For other home maintenance tips view the Healthy Homes Maintenance Checklist.

Lastly, don’t forget the importance of saving.  Homeowners need to save 1 to 3 percent of their homes value every year for home maintenance and repairs. 

For additional money management resources visit Michigan State University ExtensionMichigan State University Extension offers financial literacy and homeownership workshops throughout the year to help you become financially healthy. For more information of classes in your area, please visit either the MSU Extension events page or MI Money Health website. Additionally, you can take the Financial Health Survey at MI Money Health to access if you’re financially healthy and discover more ways you can improve your financial health. 

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