The Major Types of Water Leaks
According to an infographic from Delta, more than 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted due to leaks each year in American households. While some are big and others are small, a leak of even a single drip per second can waste as much as 3,000 gallons per year – the equivalent of 180 showers. Serious leaks – which involve a steady stream of water – cause an average of $8,000 worth of damage to the average home. In extreme cases, they can lead to as much as $100,000 in damage.
Before delving into some of the best ways to prevent leaks from impacting your home and wallet, let’s get familiar with some of the major types of water leaks.
- Burst pipes. Perhaps the most catastrophic type of leak on the list, a burst pipe typically occurs when water freezes and expands inside of a pipe (causing a blockage that ultimately puts added pressure on water downstream).
- Appliance failures. Many leaks are the result of appliance failures, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and even refrigerators. Washing machines are especially common, as the rubber supply lines are notorious for wearing out over time.
- Toilet supply line failure. When a toilet supply line leaks, it can have a catastrophic impact on your home – especially if the toilet is located in an upstairs bathroom.
- Leaky toilets. While far less serious, a leaky toilet can cause your toilet to run continuously, which increases your water consumption and drives up your bill.
- Hot water tank failure. Hot water heaters are notorious for leaking, which is why they’re often placed in a garage or basement with concrete floor. Minor issues include a slow drip, while major issues can involve a heavy spray from the pipes.
- Irrigation system leaks. If you have an old irrigation system in your lawn, it’s possible that the pipes have leaks in them. Since there’s often no way to know (without meticulously tracking your monthly water bill), this can go on for a while.