Have you considered the impact of a dripping tap or other leaks? One little drip costs next to nothing, but lots of drips over a long period of time really add up. A tap that drips once every second wastes 1,000 litres of water per year. A leaking toilet cistern can waste up to 15,000 litres per year.
Out of sight, out of mind?
Leaks from shower mixers are relatively common and can go undetected for a long time since they occur behind the wall, causing extensive damage as well as wasting water. Ask your plumber to install a wet wall caddy around the shower mixer when the shower is installed. This will divert any leaks from the cavity and cause them to run down the shower tiles in plain sight, alerting you to the leak and averting any damage.
To check your complete plumbing system for leaks, turn off all taps, mixers and appliances and take a reading from your water meter (if you have one). Make sure no one uses any water for the next 15 minutes then recheck the meter reading. If it has moved, you have a leak somewhere in your system.
What to look for
The most obvious way to check for leaks is to see if taps or mixers are dripping when turned off. If they are, faulty washers are a likely culprit. Standard taps use rubber washers to form a seal which wear over time resulting in a leak or dripping tap. Replacing rubber washer-type with Ceramic Disc-type taps can give you peace of mind that tap will be drip free throughout its life.
Methven’s Koha range of tapware is one good choice, as it is designed and made in NZ for NZ conditions.
The next easiest thing to check is the toilet cistern. Current designs of cistern valves drain overflow water in to the toilet bowl. Put a few drops of food colouring in to the cistern and wait to see if the water in the toilet bowl changes colour. If it does, your cistern is leaking and you need to change the washer.
If you don’t have any visible leaks but your water meter is still turning, contact your local plumber to find and fix the leak.
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