Your home is your most important asset. Save money and protect it from potential water damage by heeding these simple tips from Cleveland Water.
Home Tips Tabs
Water leaks are costly, and more common than you might think. Nearly 10% of homes have leaks wasting upwards of 90 gallons of water every day. Most water leaks are fixed easily, but if left unchecked can cost you 10% on your water bill.
|The most common location for home leaks are:|
|Potential loss:200 gallons of water per day
If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting as much as 200 gallons of water or more per day. Not all toilet leaks can be detected by listening for running water in the bowl of the toilet. The most common cause of a toilet leak is the flapper valve. Over time, the valve becomes worn out and it does not seal shut anymore. One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Once you complete this test, make sure to flush immediately to avoid staining the tank.
|Potential loss:3,000 gallons of water per year
A leaky faucet that drips at rate of 1 drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. Most faucet leaks can be reduced by checking the washers and gaskets for wear, and replacing them if necessary. Another tip would be to replace the aerator. These are inexpensive, available at most hardware stores and easy to install.
|Potential loss:500 gallons of water per year
A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons of water per year – that’s enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using Teflon tape and a wrench. You may also consider replacing an old showerhead. An older showerhead uses 3 to 8 gallons of water while a newer model can use as little as 1.5 gallons per minute.
|To check for leaks, take the following steps|
|Step 1||Step 2||Step 3|
Turn off anything that uses water in your home.
Find your water meter. This is typically located in your basement, or in a small pit at the front of your property
Turn off all known water uses at your property. On the meter register, locate the blue star, white triangle, or red circle shaped test wheel on the register face. If the test wheel is spinning when you are not using any water, you most likely have a leak.
Any leak that occurs on the customer's service line, then it is the responsibility of the customer to fix the leak. This includes the water line that runs from the tree lawn to the water meter, the irrigation system and all indoor plumbing. Cleveland Water is responsible for making repairs between the water main in the street and the curb stop.
Some customers may not realize they are responsible for the water and sewer lines that run into their home until it is too late. Therefore, Cleveland Water is partnering with Dominion Products and Services, Inc to offer protection services to customers so they are not faced with costly and unexpected repairs to their water and sewer lines as well as their in-home plumbing. To find out more about this service, click here.
Cleveland Water also offers a discount for residents who experience an undetected, underground leak and they have it repaired. The service allows the customer to receive an adjusted bill, up to 50% off the excess consumption of one billing term, provided they can submit a Plumbing Repair Statement.
When you leave your home for an extended period of time, turn off the water in your home to minimize the threat of water damage while you’re away.
|To turn off your water, take the following steps:|
|Step 1||Step 2||Step 3|
|Locate the “stop and waste” valve located near your meter.||Turn it to the “off” position.||When you return home, simply turn the valve back to the “on” position.|
You can also contact Cleveland Water to turn your water off or on, for a small fee, by calling 216.664.3060.
When temperatures drop below freezing, it is possible for your water meter and the water pipes in your home to freeze. Frozen pipes can damage your property and be expensive to repair. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of frozen pipes:
|Steps to protect your water lines from freezing:|
|Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses.||Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas.||Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks.|
|Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe it is connected to.||If you have pipes in an unheated garage or a cold crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures fall. Good wrapping materials are available at hardware or building supply stores.||Repair broken basement windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. Don’t plug air vents that your furnace or water heater need for good combustion.|
|Find the master shut-off valve.||Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing.||Turn off the water if you are away for a long period of time.|
|The master shut-off is typically located where the water line comes into the basement or crawl space from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve can turn off the water.||A small flow of water running from a bathroom or kitchen faucet during the worst of the cold spell can help prevent faucets or water service lines from freezing. The water should be left running through the pipe susceptible of freezing. You can also leave your cabinet doors open to allow the heat of the house to help keep your pipes from freezing.||When you are away from home for several days, turn the water off and drain the outside faucets or leave the thermostat set above 65 degrees to ensure your home stays warm and the pipes do not freeze.|
If you think you may have a frozen meter or water line, you need to thaw the pipes as soon as possible. You can try to thaw the pipes yourself by applying heat to the area where the meter or pipe is located by using a portable heater, a heating blanket or a hair dryer. You may also contact a certified plumber to come and thaw your water lines. If the meter does freeze, it can cause your basement to flood and the meter will need to be replaced before you will have water again. Please note, there is a charge associated with having to replace your meter. If you have any questions about frozen water lines, please contact Cleveland Water at (216) 664-3060. To download a copy of our Winter Tip Card, click here.