Follow The Leak-er
(and how to patch simple ones as demonstrated by the EPA)
Leaky faucets are one of the most common defects in a household, whether in a kitchen, bathroom, or garage sink. Everyone has encountered a faucet leak at some point. It causes headaches for tenants who are constantly hearing a steady drip of water hit their drain. It’s also a huge waste of resources; a leaky faucet dripping at 1 drip per second wastes more than 3,000 gallons a year. While that may seem like an extreme example, faucets aren’t the only problem either. Toilet leaks and shower head leaks due to worn out valve seals can add to the number of leaks.
Research from the EPA details that an average household wastes around 10,000 gallons of water a year through leaks. For property managers, this can mean wasting over 10,000 gallons of water!
It’s important to be proactive in dealing with these leaks and lessen frustrations for the tenant and property manager. Luckily, many of these leaks have easily solvable problems and won’t break the bank for you to take care of. Many of the common sinks found in households use compression faucets that seal the valve with rubber washers. These can wear away over time. If a leak is coming from a pipe under the sink, it could also be a matter of compression nuts being damaged, or an entire replacement of the P-trap (curved section of a pipe) that won’t cost more than $20! While these are more basic examples, the EPA also has a section on fixing leaks that can aid in reducing costs by providing DIY solutions.
It may also be convenient to your tenant to provide a date when a professional can fix the leaks; this may be more expensive, but it shows your tenants that you’re able to solve issues in a timely manner. It also prevents them from attempting to solve the problem themselves and causing a dispute regarding “tenant improvement” violations.
Always encourage discussions with your tenants to come to you and disclose problems with leaking. While some can tolerate it, a leaky faucet or pipe is not benefiting either the property manager or the tenant. Staying on top of the matter can help save 10% on your water bill! So, water you waiting for?