Okay, you’ll admit it—a few of your home’s faucets are a little leaky. You keep meaning to fix them, but you figure a few extra water drips here and there isn’t the end of the world.
Or is it? How much water does a leaky home water faucet waste?
If you are curious about how much water your leaky faucet may be wasting, this article is for you. We have a lot of precious information on the topic to discuss ahead, so make sure you keep reading!
How Much Water Does a Leaky Faucet Waste?
If your faucet leaks 10 drops of water a minute, that’s nearly a gallon of water wasted daily. Each month, that’s roughly 29 gallons of water coming out of your faucet and going straight down the pipes, only to come back out again.
Ouch! You probably never knew that you were wasting that much water, right?
Let’s look at the math of how much a leaky faucet wastes.
Calculating How Much Water a Leaky Faucet Wastes
First, let’s break down the information from the intro so you can have a complete understanding of how very wasteful your leaky spigot or faucet is.
The average rate of water that drips from a leaky faucet is about ten drops per minute. Yours might be a little more or a little less (it’s not too tough to count the amount of water), but we’ll use ten drops as our benchmark.
According to the US Geological Survey or USGS, one liter of water is 4,000 drips. The USGS also notes that one gallon of water is 15,140 drips.
If your leaky faucet produces ten drops of water per minute, then in an hour, that’s 600 drops. In 24 hours, that’s 14,400 drops. Thus, it would take a little over 24 hours for your leaky faucet to accumulate a gallon’s worth of water.
In a month of 29 days, your faucet will have leaked about 28 gallons of water. In one with 30 or 31 days, about 29-30 gallons. That’s a lot of water wasted!
The EPA states that users are typically charged $0.0295 for a gallon of water, which translates to about three cents per every 10 gallons. So even if you were to waste 30 gallons of water a month on your leaky bathroom or kitchen sink alone, you’re not wasting a terrible amount of money, just natural resources.
Keep in mind, by the way, that these numbers apply to each leaky faucet in your home. If you only have one, you won’t incur a very high water bill—the more unaddressed leaks, the greater the risk of your water bill creeping up and up.
What About a Leaky Shower? Is That Wasteful Too?
Perhaps it’s not only a leaky faucet in your home but a leaky shower too. You’ve tried tightening the components but to no avail.
Well, a shower produces more water than a faucet, so the water leakage rate is usually higher.
Now, instead of 10 drops of water coming out per minute, you’ve got 120 drops. Multiplied by 60, the number of minutes in an hour, you’ll see that your shower is wasting 7,200 drops of water per hour.
That’s not quite a gallon, but it is well over a liter of water (4,000 drops) and nearly two. In 24 hours, a leaky shower will produce 172,800 drops of water.
You’ll recall that one gallon of water is approximately 15,140 drops, and this figure is 171,000+ more. That adds up to about 11 gallons of water wasted per day by your leaky shower.
Even a fixture leaking very steadily can leak 11 gallons of water daily.
In a month, that’s 330 gallons wasted. So now you can see why your water bill may be getting more expensive, especially if you add several leaky faucets on top of that!
More Downsides of an Unaddressed Leaky Faucet
Are you still contemplating fixing the leaky faucet in your home? After all, they keep right on drip, drip, dripping but otherwise seem to be in good shape, so you’re not sure if you should leave it.
The faucets may work for now, but not forever.
Here are more motivating reasons to inspire you to address a leaky faucet sooner than later, ideally even today:
More Money Out of Your Pocket
Sure, paying $0.03 cents per 10 gallons of water used might not seem like that much money. However, you have to consider that the average person uses a lot of water even with no leaky showers or sinks on the premises.
According to the City of Philadelphia, a person typically goes through 101.5 gallons of water daily. That’s per person, so if your household has four members, that’s approximately 406 gallons of water used per day.
Filling the tub once alone uses 36 gallons. If your toilet uses three gallons of water per flush and you and your family flush the toilet between six and eight times per day, that’s 18-24 gallons of water a day.
If a family of four reliably uses 101.5 gallons of water daily for 30 days, that’s 12,180 gallons per month.
Remember that you have that additional water gallon usage for your leaky faucet or leaky shower, which is 29 gallons per month for each tap and 330 gallons a month for your shower.
That’s a lot of money to shell out on water!
You’re Wasting a Precious Resource
Water is only becoming more precious as periods of drought stretch ever longer, and climate change continues to wreak havoc on our everyday ways of life.
While water can be a renewable resource, it isn’t by default. Those 330+ gallons of water you’re wasting every month are not renewable, and the water isn’t getting used for anything but dripping down your sink.
If you shower for only eight minutes, you’ll use about 17 gallons of water. So with those 330 lost gallons of water, you could have showered a little over 19 times.
A washing machine uses about 15 gallons of water per load. So the 330 gallons of water that your leaky shower or faucet uses per month would allow you to do 22 loads of laundry.
An energy-efficient dishwasher uses 10 gallons of water per wash. So if you had 330 extra gallons of water, you could run the dishwasher 33 times a month. That’s enough water to use the dishwasher daily for a month and even twice a day on some days!
You can see what we’re getting at. Water is a precious resource we all should conserve and use efficiently as much as possible. You could put the water dripping out of your tap to much better use.
Creates Wear and Tear on the Faucet
If you’re not yet totally convinced to prioritize getting your leaky faucet or shower repaired, this ought to change your mind.
The dripping from your faucet means that it never gets a break, which can, over time, cause premature faucet breakdowns.
Not only that, but the sink constantly sustains water coming into it, which can also wear it down faster.
A sink made from durable acrylic is supposed to last at least 50 years. If yours is constantly dripping, you might not get nearly as much time out of your sink as you should have.
How Much Will It Cost to Repair Your Leaky Faucet?
You’ve finally prioritized calling a plumber to get someone out to the house to look at your leaky sink.
How much will you have to pay for the service?
HomeAdvisor says repairing a leaky faucet costs anywhere from $200-$330, with the average repair cost being $270.
What kind of repair your sink entails will play a significant role in what you pay. If you need a new valve stem because your old one wore out, that costs $10-$30 to replace.
Old or broken faucet cartridges are $30-$70 a pop, damaged sink washers are up to $2, valve seat cleaning (due to the accumulation of scale or corrosion) may not cost anything, and new O-rings are $10 to $15.
A leaky faucet wastes a lot of water, which is, in turn, costing you money on your water bills. However, it’s only about $300 to get the tap fixed, and you can even do it at home if you have the time and the wherewithal.
We hope this post inspires you to address your leaky faucets.
Best of luck!