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Repair Leaking Equipment

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  rev. 2008-12-07        

Existing Conditions

A high proportion of the faucets in this building are leaking.  The faucets are the traditional style, with replaceable washers.

Retrofit Conditions

Regularly maintain water supply taps to prevent leaks.

Further Benefits

Aside from energy and water conservation, regular maintenance will reduce staining on plumbing fixtures and also reduce tenant complaints.

Application Details

Isolate faucet with shutoff valves, then disassemble and inspect the washers and O-rings for damage that can affect proper seal.  Replace damaged parts.  Where other components are damaged the entire cartridge may need to be replaced.

A good way to detect leaking fixtures is to monitor your water meter during times when you would expect no water use (1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. in family & seniors buildings).  Substantial overnight water consumption may indicate that toilets, taps or bath/shower fixtures are leaking.

Include twice yearly inspection and replacement of all tap washers in the preventive maintenance schedule.

To test for a leaky toilet, dye the water in the  reservoir, and wait to see if any dye leaks into  the bowl on its own.  If it does, your toilet is leaking, and it is time to replace the gaskets.

Some leaks are so large, they are audible.

Issues and Concerns

Avoid scratching chrome plating when removing the hot and cold index caps and other tap parts.

Always examine the washer seat in the fixture when replacing the washer.  If it is scored, it must be ground smooth or replaced.

This measure does not apply to washerless faucets.  These are not subject to frequent failure, so only need to be repaired when necessary.


Conforms to recommendations in "Energy and Water Efficiency in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings", Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.



Water loss with leak of one drop of cold water per second from one tap - 3,942 litres

Annual cost of cold water leak - $5.91 based on municipal water and sewage rate of $1.50/m3.

Cost of leak of one drop of hot water per second (electrically heated) - $9.67 per tap per year

Cost to replace typical washer - $5/fixture

Toilets can potentially leak 33,000 litres annually, or $50/year without any audible indication of leakage.

opp_Repair_Leaking_Faucets         ©2017 Managing Energy Inc.