How Much Does a Dripping Faucet Cost (Per Month) in Water Bills?

leaky faucet cost, average water bill charlotte nc

Wondering How Much That Leaky Faucet Costs?

Let's say your kitchen sink has a steady drip going. It's just ten drips per minute, right? How much is that leaky faucet (or leaking shower head) costing you in water bills each month? Charlotte leak detection experts weigh in on this question using a simple water drip calculation (found here).

Doing the Math of How Much a Dripping Faucet Costs

We could not find a scientific definition regarding the volume of an average faucet drip, but we decided to go with the volume suggested by the USGS water drip calculator: .25 milliliter (ml) for every faucet or shower head. By these measures, the following is true:

One gallon = 15,140 drips makes up 1 gallon of water
One liter = 4,000 drips makes up 1 liter of water

If your home has one faucet leaking at a (very typical) rate of ten drips per minute, that one faucet is wasting three liters of water per day. That's 90 liters per month and 347 gallons of water per year.

Let's say you have a leaky faucet and two leaky shower heads. If that's the case, you're wasting (on average) 10 liters of water per day and 1,041 gallons of water per year.

Got a fast drip going? A faucet or shower head that drips 60 drips per minute wastes 21 liters per day, or 5 gallons of water a day. That's 2,082 gallons per year.

Fixing a leaky faucet or shower head is not hard. Learn how to fix a leaking faucet here.

What About Pipe Leaks?

Pipe leaks, although less annoying or obvious, are much more serious and expensive than leaking faucets. On average, a pipe leak the size of the tip of a pencil will waste approximately 970 gallons in 24 hours at even low water pressure (this calculation is made using 40psi in water pressure; that water pressure level is low for homes in the Charlotte area).

You may not even notice a pipe leak if it's located underground or in a space you can't see. Make sure you keep an eye out for the following:

  • A musty smell under sinks in cabinets (often an indication of a cracked hose, a small pipe leak, or a leak at the junction of a hose and pipe)
  • Water in your yard or running down the street from near your yard
  • High water bills
  • Water stains on walls or ceilings

Water stains in ceilings are sometimes pipe leaks and sometimes problems with either the roof or the AC unit (if it's in your attic). You may need to go up into the attic and use a flashlight to check around your AC unit, around your water heater, and around vents in the roof around fans and vents. If you've recently had your roof replaced or recently experienced high winds that could have affected your roof, it may be a problem with the flashing around vents and not a pipe leak at all.

While up there checking that water heater, consider the risk of having your water heater in your attic. As professionals who have helped folks with much water damage due to a water heater in the attic that started leaking and caused extensive damage. Learn more about this problem and what you can do to protect yourself here: Why You Should Get Your Water Heater Out of the Attic.

What About Running Toilets?

While we're talking about leaks, we have to address running toilets. While many jokes have been made about running toilets, the water bill is no joke. The typical running toilet wastes 200 gallons of water a day. That's an incredible amount of water that just gets flushed into your sewer system. It's also usually an easy project to complete, requiring nothing more than a simple replacement of a toilet flapper or adjustment to the chain attached to the toilet flapper. Learn how to fix a running toilet here.

How Much Does That Translate to in Water Bill Costs?

A leaky showerhead or faucet will cost you about $20 a month, which doesn't seem like much (unless you have several leaky faucets or you let it go for a long time). However, cracks in pipes and pinhole-sized holes in pipes typically cost a household between $100-$600 a month, and a leaky toilet will cost you between $75-$150 on an average month.

Charlotte Leak Detection and Repair Experts to the Rescue!

Has your water bill spiked, and you don't know why? Have you tried to replace that toilet flap or tighten your leaky faucet to no avail? We'll help you figure out if you've got a leak and what the most cost-effective way to resolve it is.

Call 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form for service 24/7, 365 days a year.

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15 comments on “How Much Does a Dripping Faucet Cost (Per Month) in Water Bills?

  1. Henry Killingsworth on

    Wow, I found it interesting when you explained that leaky faucet can waste up to 2,082 gallons of water per year. My bathroom has a leaky faucet. It seems like it would be a good idea for me to have a plumber fix it as soon as possible.

  2. Glen Smith on

    No comment on how a fast dripping hot water faucet can affect your hot water heaters ability to provide hot water. Your not the only expert to not mention this. My friend had her son in law disconnect her old clothes washer and haul it away to the junk yard. Unfortunately the hot water valve feeding the washer had a slow leak. Her son in law just just left the hose connected and to the leaking valve and shoved the end that was connected to the washer down the drain. The next day she noticed that her hot water was just warm. She called in a plumber who told her the hot water heater was bad. He said he could replace it for around $1000. She asked me if it was possible that her son in law damaged her 5 year old hot water heater removing the washer. I stopped by her house the next day and quickly discovered the leaking hose in the drain. I installed a new washer in the leaking valve and in a few hours she had her hot water back. Bad faucet, bad son in law and a very bad plumber almost cost her $1000 all over a leaking valve.

  3. Desray on

    Hi we received a water bill of R2000

    We have a dripping tap and a leaking shower head.could this be the cause?

    • David Parker on

      Desray, I would say absolutely! Get the water dripping to stop and test your water meter to make sure it stops spinning.

    • David Parker on

      Hey Don, It would register but take a while staring at the water meter. The smaller the drip the longer it takes to move the dial.


    • David Parker on

      Mark, Sounds like you need a new faucet! Your wasting enough water and energy on your water heater that would help pay for the new faucet.Lol

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