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The hidden cost of a leaking tap

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Australians know water is precious, so most of us do our best to conserve. But do we focus on the important things? A local plumber shines a light on how much water we waste!

Australia is 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). With an average Sydney rainfall of only 60mm 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. At the time of writing, Sydney was on Level 1 water restrictions. In a nutshell, this prohibits: hand watering between 10am-4pm; watering hard surfaces; conventional sprinklers; car washing without a trigger nozzle; etc.

Sydney Water - Current Restriction Details

Abiding by these rules makes a difference, but, a single leaking tap could be wasting more water than the water restrictions save!

Imagine a single tap leaks 10 drips of water per minute... you could lose up to 20,000 litres of water in a year!

It might not seem like much when you see only small drips coming off the faucet but when you add it up, the impact is huge! Imagine a single tap leaks 10 drips of water per 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, you could lose up to 20,000 litres of water in a year! (enough to fill a small pool)

So what causes a tap to leak?

To stop water 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:

  • 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.

What can you do?

A licensed plumber is able to conduct a Water Efficiency Assessment of your home - which essentially means they will test every tap (indoor and out) or other outlet (including toilets) to determine whether you are losing water. Blah, Blah, Blah

Corrective action is typically inexpensive and can be done on the spot. You'll enjoy a cheaper water bill and know you're doing your bit to save our planet!

Perhaps you don't love your current plumber??

No problem! Our plumber is reliable, capable, reasonably priced and friendly.

Click below for contact details. Ask for Andrew!

STOP PRESS: During winter 2020, DRIPLESS has agreed to 20% off AND a FREE Water Efficiency Assessment (valued at $150). Mention Belle to receive the discount / deal.

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