It’s another Santa Barbara Summer. The rains are long gone and many local water restrictions are still in place. Water should only be appearing in intentional spots. However, we’ve already seen quite a few preventable water leaks this season and we hope this list saves a few Santa Barbarans from unnecessary water damage this summer.
Make sure all your water line connections are firmly attached. In Santa Barbara, the most common places connections break are:
Toilet supply lines
This is usually a braided steel or plastic line that connects your home’s water to the toilet tank via a compression fitting. The most common place for a water leak is at this fitting. In Santa Barbara, this supply line is usually found on the lower left hand corner of your toilet bowl. Connections should be snug, usually hand tight will do. No water should ever be dripping from it.
The hook up to your washing machine
This hook up is usually a rubber hose that connects from the back of your washing machine into the water line behind it. This fitting should be tightened with a wrench and should also never be wet. If you keep finding water, even minor amounts, around this fitting, it is most likely leaking and needs to be replaced.
Tie-ins to your fridge, freezer, or dishwasher
Ice Box, Water Dispenser, or Dishwasher Supply line-Just a small twist can save you from a nightmare. Even minor drips over time can result in your floors having to be ripped up and your walls taken out. Make sure your connections aren’t loose (“lefty loosey — righty tighty”), and that the sealing washer is flat. If it is not fully in place, leaks can occur.
Check your toilets regularly. In Santa Barbara, many people have switched to high efficiency toilets, but that doesn’t mean they won’t malfunction. When you flush, your tank should be refilling for no longer than one minute(regardless of make or model). If it keeps filling or you continue to hear water running, water is going down the drain. It is a quick fix, requiring only that a new float is installed in your toilet tank, but people often let it go. We see this time and time again, costing a homeowner hundreds of dollars every month.
Keep an eye out for any signs of excess watering. In Santa Barbara, it’s the norm to hand your watering over to a gardener and forget about the whole thing. However, this is still a very arid climate. Even in the shade, moss shouldn’t be growing. Soil shouldn’t be retaining the muddy feel for a few days after watering, even in the shade. If you experience any of these issues, it’s time to reevaluate. You may have a water leak.
Check your water softeners! These brittle little angle stops and plastic lines connecting water softeners leak all the time! This water is also usually salty. This causes rust and faster corrosion-an even bigger headache! Check your water softener regularly.
Stay Safe Out There!
We hope these tips help. Santa Barbara can’t afford to lose any more water and we need to be diligent in our conservation efforts. In case anyone forgot, Santa Barbara city water customers are encouraged to get a free water check up to assess water usage and identify ways to save water! Call the city at (805) 564-5460 to schedule today.