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I’ve Got a Water Leak – Now What?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One of the best things about living here in America is the amazing infrastructure that keeps us with running water, electricity, sewer systems, air conditioning, etc. If you think the infrastructure isn’t important look at what is left of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma. That poor island is crippled with no running water and electricity.

Today I’d like to focus on just water and why it is important not to waste it. Seriously, when was the last time you thought about the millions of miles of pipe that it takes to get water into your kitchen sink? The entire plumbing system in any given city is just an amazing feat of engineering. I’m not sure how many water treatment plants are here in South Florida, however, I can tell you that just one of the three water treatment plants in Coral Springs alone processes 5.5 million gallons of water per day. That would most definitely fill a few swimming pools.

In the world of further useless trivia, are you aware that a running toilet could also fill a swimming pool in about a year? So, let’s start with the easiest fix possible in your home and that would be changing the flapper in the back of the typical home’s toilet. I’m not saying that the flapper is always going to be the problem, but it is the one you don’t need a service call for.

On the lower left-hand side of the toilet is a shut off valve to turn the water off to the toilet, step one now complete. Step two, flush!! Step three; remove the lid from the tank and the flapper should be clearly visible in the center of the toilet. The flapper is held on by the rubber clips on the side and those simply slip off. Unhook the chain from the handle and your off and running. Once you have the flapper out, head to your local home improvement store and get the matching flapper. Pop the rubber clips back where they were, hook up the chain, turn the water back on, and you just saved ten thousand gallons of water or so a year.

Dripping faucets are another big water waster that can usually be solved rather quickly and inexpensively. Most often, you just need to have an o-ring replaced or the internal cartridge requires replacement. The world of faucets is so vast that I recommend giving your friendly neighborhood plumber a call to stop that drip. If you are feeling up for an adventure, you can also go on the manufacturer’s website for the faucet you have and pull up the parts diagram. Many faucets can be repaired with little more than a simple screw driver.

Do you know what to do in a water emergency? The MOST important thing you can know about your home or condo is how to shut the water off completely in the event of a catastrophic failure. In the typical single family home you will find a shut off valve on the side if the house to kill the water to the home. Often times it is in the same place you hook up a hose for outdoor use. In condos, the valve is often located in the closet where the water heater is. Trust me when I tell you, getting the water supply shut down in the event of a burst pipe quickly can be the difference between a few hundred and tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

When it comes to anything water related we are a phone call away and can handle whatever has been throw into your lap.

P.S. If you ask nicely we’ll change that flapper for you free of charge while we’re at your home.

House Whisperer out!!


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