Leaking tap

How much water are you wasting from your leaking tap?

I thought that I might begin with a subject which we sometimes take for granted: Water. The transparent fluid which we drink, cook with, take our bath, wash our cars and water our gardens with, etc.

As Australians we know that our water is an extremely precious commodity. We are after all the world’s second driest continent after Antartica with an average annual rainfall below 600mm over 80% of our land (source: Australian Bereau of Statistics); which is kind of strange seeing that we are surrounded by sea all around but that’s how it is.

With an average rainfall of only 40mm per month since the beginning of 2015, it is vital for us to exercise care and caution in the way we use water.

In fact if you don’t already know, there is a set of by-laws put in place to govern the way we use water outside of our homes. To refresh your memory here are a couple of things you must avoid :

  • Irrigating outside of your watering days (Yes, you have set days to water your plants!)
  • Hosting down your drive way (however tempting that may be)
  • Using a high pressure hose (WHAT? Uhuh)
  • Using your water sprinklers during winter

Well, it’s not all bad, there’s a couple of things you CAN do but I shall not bore you with a list. You can read a list of the dos and don’ts from the Water Corporation’s website.

wasting waterSo, in answer to the question of how much water we could be wasting when we ignore a leaking tap, the short answer is well…HEAPS!

I know it might not seem like much when you see only small drips coming off the faucet but when you add it all up after weeks and possibly months of dripping, it can come up to a considerable amount.

Well, let me put it into perspective for you. Imagine you have a leaking tap which leaks 10 drips of water a minute.

After a day it will add up to 14,400 drips, which is equivalent to about 3 litres; after a week it will be 21 litres, after a month will be 90 litres and so on.

Depending on how fast the water is dripping, in some cases you could loose up to 20,000 litres of water in a year! (That is enough water to fill a small pool)

Here is a guy who did a little experiment to find out how many buckets of water he could fill if he had a ‘leaky’ tap.

So what causes a tap to leak?

To stop water from running when it’s turned off, taps use either rubber or ceramic parts to create a seal to prevent the water from flowing. When those parts wear out, your tap leaks.

The culprits are most likely these:

  • Washer – This is by far one of the most common causes. With each use, the washer is forced against the valve seat, so the constant friction causes it to wear out. Dripping caused by worn-out rubber washers can be fixed by simply replacing the washer. * Note – A poorly fitted washer can also cause dripping.
  • O Ring – A stem screw is used to hold the handle of a tap in place. This stem screw includes a small disc attached to it, known as the O ring. The O ring can become loose or wear out over regular use, causing the tap to leak near the handle. Replacing the damaged O ring should fix the issue.
  • Valve Seat – A valve seat serves as a connection between the tap and the spout in the compression mechanism. Accumulation of water sediments can cause the valve seat to corrode, causing leakage around the spout area.

If you have a leaking tap right now in your home, why not find out how much water you are wasting and what you could potentially save if you took action right now.

W.H. Auden –  “Thousands have lived without love but none without water”.

Call us at 9387 2339 or email us, if you require any help or advice regarding leaks.


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