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Water leaks and basic repairs

When it comes to residential and household leaks, toilets and faucets are the most common culprits, although any water using device can eventually leak.

Cubic metre
 
 

How much do leaks really cost?

Water is measured in cubic metres (m3)

The average Calgarian uses approximately 7 m3 every month.

Average Calagarian water usage
 
 

1 m3 = 1,000 litres

7 m3 = 7,000 litres

For 2018 each cubic metre costs $3.15*

Leaks can range in size. A chain caught under a toilet flapper can waste 3 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $9.45 each month. If the water level in the toilet tank is too high and overflowing into the overflow tube, or the flapper is completely lifted, it can waste 1,200 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $3,780.48 each month.**

Toliet leak
Click to view larger image.

In the case of a leaky faucet, the size and cost of leaks can range as well. One drop per second can waste 2.5 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $7.87 each month. A small stream of water can waste 15 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $47.26 each month.

Monthly water usage

A steady flow of water accidentally left running can waste 360 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $1,134.14 each month.***

360 Cubic metres of water flow

Checking for leaks

  • Most leaks are silent, which means you may not see evidence like a large puddle. Make sure to check for leaks – indoor and outside – every six months.
  • Toilets are the number one source of residential water leaks. Take the Leaky Toilet Test.
  • Use your water meter to check for leaks. In Calgary most water meters are installed inside the house where the water pipe enters your home. This is usually in the basement, near your main water shut-off valve.
  1. Turn off all taps and water appliances (dishwashers, washing machines) in your home
  2. Watch the flow register on the face of the meter. The register could look like a gear (round or triangular, black or red) or a needle depending on the model of meter you have.
  3. If it keeps turning, you have a leak somewhere in your house.
  4. Check all water using devices, such as your taps, humidifier, hot water heater and water softener for leaks. Use our High Water Consumption Investigation Checklist.

What to do when you find a leak?

  • Follow our simple toilet repair or faucet repair instructions if those devices are the issue.
  • Visit a hardware store for repair tips and parts.
  • Search for related YouTube videos or how-to books with detailed instructions.

If you aren’t able to fix the leak yourself, or have trouble finding the leak, hiring a professional plumber is the best solution.

Volume of water can vary based on type of fixture and water pressure. Assumes a 30 day billing period.

* Based on 2018 water rate ($1.6652/m3) and wastewater rate ($1.4852/m3) for Calgary. Not including service charges.

** Based on modeling of possible flow rate of 1” diameter residential service line.

*** Based on a 2.2 gallons per minute tap aerator as per bylaw requirement.