Water losses caused by dripping faucets can range from several gallons to hundreds of gallons of water per day. Faucets left in the open running position waste from several hundred to several thousand gallons of water per day. Check faucets regularly for leaks at the faucet head and seepage at the base and its connections.

Repairing leaky faucets

Leaky faucets are repaired by replacing washers and by tightening or repacking the faucet stem. Do-it-yourselfers can find a variety of repair kits in local plumbing supply stores, home improvement/hardware stores, and discount stores. Most kits contain detailed instructions and a listing of necessary tools. If preferred, a plumber can make repairs.

Low-flow faucets

Check the amount of water flowing from each faucet. You can do this by opening the faucet and allowing the water to flow into a container for 10 seconds. Multiply the amount of water in the container by six to determine the per minute flow. If your existing faucet flows above 2.5 gallons per minute, install a low-flow aerator. For a bathroom faucet, a 1.5 gallons per minute flow will provide enough water for personal hygiene needs. For a kitchen faucet, you will want 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minute of flow to make sure the flow of water is enough to wash and rinse dishes. You may want to use a low-flow aerator with an on/off flip handle that allows you to increase or reduce the flow as needed.


Faucet aerators are circular screened disks, usually made of metal, that are screwed onto the head of the faucet to reduce flow. Aerators for kitchen faucets are available with a variety of spray patterns and flow-control features. Faucet aerators require periodic cleaning of grit and scale buildup that may inhibit flow.