PSC Urges Consumers to Fix Household Leaks

CHARLESTON, WV – A simple household leak can cost you a lot of money. Most are simple to fix once you locate them, but leaks can be sneaky. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia is participating in Fix a Leak Week, March 18-24 by encouraging everyone to be vigilant in finding and repairing leaks in household plumbing fixtures.

“American homes waste more than a trillion gallons of water every year,” said Charlotte R. Lane, Chairman of the Public Service Commission. “The average home loses almost 10,000 gallons of water per year to simple leaks. That is the amount of water it takes to wash 300 loads of laundry. The money you will save on your water bills will more than pay for the small cost of fixing these leaks.”

To help save water, the Commission offers the following tips:

  • Look at your water bill. If a family of four uses more than 12,000 gallons per month, you could have a serious leak. Turn off all water, then read the meter at the beginning and end of two hours. If the meter changes, you likely have a leak.
  • Monitor possible toilet leaks. Squeeze a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If you see color in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. Worn flappers often cause silent toilet leaks, but they are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • If your faucet drips, tighten connections and replace the aerator with a WaterSense labeled model to save water without a noticeable difference in flow.
  • Leaky showerheads caused by a loose connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem can usually be fixed by wrapping the pipe stem with pipe tape.

For more information, log on to the Public Service Commission website at and click on “Lower Your Water Bill.” Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and WaterSense. You can find detailed instructions for finding and fixing leaks at