Indoor Conservation

Every day the average American can splash, pour and flush between 40 and 130 gallons of water down the drain, while even more is used on farms and in factories.  In the Clackamas River Water Providers service area, the average person uses 75 gallons of water each day, and a family of four typically consumes around 320 gallons per day.  We use water to cook, take showers, clean and drink. The residential water use chart shows how a typical household uses water indoors.

There are a number of ways you can learn how to save water indoors whether it is through fixing leaky faucets or leaky toilets, to installing new low flow fixtures and appliances which can reduce your indoor water usage by up to 50%, to learning how to use your water meter to check for leaks.

Common places to look for leaks.

One the main floor

  • Dishwasher.  Water accumulated on the floor near the unit could be a sign of a leak.  Call your dishwasher repair service.
  • Refrigerator ice-making unit.  A leak in the ice making unit will cause excessive accumulations of ice in the freezer, and may also produce small puddles of water under the refrigerator.  Call your refrigerator repair service.
  • Bathtubs and showers.  Check the spout and shower head for dripping water.  A new washer may be needed.  You may be able to do this repair yourself by unscrewing the faucet and replacing the washer with the same size.  But before doing this repair, close your home’s main shut off valve.  If necessary, call your plumber to make the repair.
  • Toilets. Your toilet may have a silent leak.  Drop a little food coloring in the tank.  Wait about 10 minutes without flushing.  If color appears in the bowl you have a leak.

In the basement

  • Hot water tank.  The pressure valve release could be stuck.  This valve is most often found near the top of the tank, and is usually a large brass fitting threaded to the tank.  If it’s not working properly, water will be leaking from it, dripping down the side of the tank and accumulating on the floor.  A plumber will be needed to repair it.
  • Boiler.  Listen for the sound of running water.  If it’s continuous, and doesn’t stop and start periodically, there could be an underground leak in your boiler system.  Call your plumber.
  • Water softener.  A leak could be caused if your water softener is not recycling properly.  The cycling process, regulated by a timer, often occurs between 2 am and 4 am.  You’re likely to have a leak in this unit if you hear the sound of constantly running water.  If so, contact a plumber.
  • Washing machine.  If you see water on the floor near the machine, it is a sign of a possible leak.  Call your washing machine repair service.
  • Humidifier.  Water accumulates beneath the unit is a sign of a leak.  Caution: if the overflow discharge is piped into a sewer or drainage line, you may not find any visual signs of a leak.  Listen for the sound of running water.  If it’s continuous, there could be a leak.

For more ways, you can save water indoors check out our list of indoor conservation tips. To find out more about the free indoor water conservation tools provided by the Clackamas River Water Providers click here.

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