5 Common Ways You Might Be Wasting Water Without Realizing  

5 Common Ways You Might Be Wasting Water Without Realizing  


The average American family wastes around 180 gallons of water per week from household leaks alone. When you do the math, that adds up to over 9000 gallons of water per year. That’s not only a lot of wasted water but a lot of wasted money, too! According to the EPA, most states are expecting water shortages or subpar water conditions within the next decade. This is largely due to bad water-saving habits, faulty appliances, and leaking pipes. 

At The Plumbing Works in Reading, PA, we are here to address all of your plumbing needs. But, what can you do to save water at home? Here are 5 common ways you might be wasting water without realizing.


Toilets account for a third of the water consumption in the average home. These water guzzlers are necessary features in every household, but it is possible that you aren’t using them the most efficiently.

Every flush you make flushing face tissues, feminine products, etc, uses gallons of water that could be conserved. Older toilets can use on average 2 gallons more per flush than the newer, high-efficiency models. Consider replacing it with a newer model. Toilets with faulty flapper valves waste enormous amounts of water when they run and refill themselves all day. To check, add some food coloring to the tank. If you see that same food coloring in your bowl in 10 minutes or less, give The Plumbing Works a call.

Running Water

Many people leave their faucets running while doing simple household tasks. Letting your water run for 5 minutes while washing dishes wastes nearly 10 gallons of water. To put it in perspective, that is enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 18 hours! 

Shutting off the tap while performing certain activities is an easy way to save water. When you turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, you can save up to 8 gallons of water a day, and up to 10 if you do it while shaving. Instead of running water while doing the dishes, fill up your sink with soapy water. These small changes can have a huge impact and save countless gallons of water every day. 

Showers and Baths

Having a long, hot shower is many people’s favorite way to unwind after a hard day. Soaking in the tub makes people feel relaxed and luxurious. While it’s not bad to indulge in these things now and again, showers and baths are some of the top culprits when it comes to wasting water.

An average shower uses over 17 gallons of water, and that’s only accounting for 8 minutes. Most bathtubs hold 40-50 gallons of water. Consider cutting some of your showers short or installing a low-flow showerhead. These devices use only 2 gallons of water per minute and can make a huge difference when you swap your nightly soak for a quick rinse. 

Half-Empty Wash Cycles

Sometimes all you need is a quick wash of clothes or dishes to wrap up your day. While this may be more convenient, it is very wasteful and inefficient. When you run your dishwashers and washing machines half empty, you are wasting several gallons of water on every extra cycle.

Only running full cycles of laundry and dishes saves households hundreds of gallons of water annually. In fact, only running full dishwashers saves the average family one dishwashing cycle a week. That adds up to over 300 gallons of water saved every year! 

Leaking Pipes

Many people have leaky pipes in their homes and don’t even know it. Leaking pipes account for a whopping 900 billion gallons of wasted water nationwide. That’s enough water for 11 million homes to use in a year! 

Check around your toilets, faucets, and under your sinks for dripping or pooling water. Keep an eye out for large increases in your monthly water bill. If it is higher than you expect, you may have a leak that you don’t know about. And, as always, call The Plumbing Works as soon as possible to fix any leaks you may come across. 

At The Plumbing Works, we want to help you conserve water while also saving money. Whether you have a leak that needs fixing or questions on how to save, contact us at The Plumbing works today!