Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {Water Leak Detectives}

Did you know that 10% of homes in the United States have water leaks that waste more than 90 gallons of water a day? ( 

In order to find and diagnose common household leaks, Frannie invented a fun, new game called Water Leak Detectives! You and your troop can play this game together, or you can play it at home by yourself with the help of a parent or guardian.

In Water Leak Detectives, you will play the role of the detective on search for water leaks! A successful detective will need the following items:
  • Notepad
  • Writing Utensil
  • Food Coloring
  • Flashlight
Frannie is ready to be a Water Leak Detective!
The first place to start when playing Water Leak Detectives is at the water meter. A water meter is a device used to measure the amount of water a household uses. You will have to use your detective skills to locate the water meter in your house! Common locations include an outside wall, under the sink, or in the basement. 
Frannie's water meter is in her basement by the water heater.
It's dark down there, so she needed a flashlight
to read the numbers on the meter.
Once you find your water meter, record the number on the dial. This number tells you how much water a household has used. If this number increases when no water is being used, that means there is a leak! Frannie recommends waiting at least an hour without using any water before checking to see if the number has changed.

If your water meter didn't change during that hour - congratulations! Your household is leak-free. However, if the number changed even a small amount, you have a leak somewhere in the house that needs to be repaired. Now you need to continue using your detective skills to find that leak!

Toilets are often the culprit of unseen leaks. To check to see if a toilet has a leak, Frannie recommends placing one drop of food coloring in the toilet tank and waiting 15 minutes to see if any of the color shows up in the toilet bowl. If color shows up in the bowl - you have found a leak! Make sure to flush the toilet right away after this experiment to prevent any staining to the toilet.
Frannie used green food coloring to check for a toilet leak.
Thankfully, there was no leak!
Water faucets are also common locations of water leaks. These leaks can sometimes be easily diagnosed by dripping from the faucet head. However, sometimes the leak can occur under the sink. Frannie recommends using your flashlight to explore all around a faucet and sink, including underneath the sink, to search for any signs of a water leak.
Frannie checked under all of her sinks for a sign of a leak.
If your toilets and faucets are in good condition, and you still haven't found the leak, here are some other places Frannie recommends checking for leaks:
  • Showerheads
  • Water Heater Tanks
  • Washing Machines
  • Dishwashers
  • All Outdoor Faucets/Garden Hoses

If you still haven't found the leak, not to worry! Even good detectives need help sometimes. Frannie recommends having an adult call an expert plumber to help you diagnose the leak.

And, of course, once you find the leak it is important to tell an adult about the leak so that they can fix it or bring in an expert to fix the leak!

Happy sleuthing, Water Leak Detectives!

Want to share your detective experience? Tell Frannie about it here.