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Does Wasting Tap Water Waste Money?

Does wasting tap water waste money? That’s the question on your mind. Either from a dripping faucet or a leaking or running toilet, does wasting tap water waste money?

A straight answer to this question is surprisingly hard to find.

On one hand, tap water costs next to nothing. On the other hand, a leaking faucet or toilet wastes water constantly. Every second you hear your toilet whooshing or your faucet dripping, you know that’s money sliding down the drain.  How much are you losing? And is it worth paying to get it fixed?

You’re contemplating laying out cold, hard cash to get this stuff fixed, so you need a straight answer: does wasting tap water waste money? Real money?

Let’s dig in.

The Price of Tap Water

Bottled water costs on average $1.22 per gallon. Lucky for you tap water is WAY cheaper.

Does wasting tap water waste money? Your water bill has the answer.
We know water isn’t free—but it’s pretty close to free, right?

The New Jersey average for tap water: $0.0046 per gallon.

Per 100 gallons of water, you pay 46 cents. More than reasonable. These figures can bring us to that straight answer

Tap water is almost 1000X cheaper than the bottled variety
Tap water is almost 1000X cheaper than the bottled variety


Leaking Faucet


According to the environmental protection agency, 10% of US households have faucets that leak at least 90 gallons per year.

But what about the financial impact of the wasted tap water? You pay for water, right? So, does wasting tap water waste money? And if so, how much is it costing you?

As part of their research, the Environmental Protection Agency created a calculator to estimate the total water wasted by a leaking faucet.

A faucet leaking 5 drips per minute (a reasonable average) wastes 173 gallons of water per year. From one little dripping faucet. Staggering, right?

Calculate your water waste.

$0.0046 X 173 (gallons)

Those wasted 173 gallons of water cost you…approximately $1.00 per year.

WOW! A whole dollar!

Even if your faucet dripped a rapid-fire drop-per-second, you’d only end up owing $20 on your water bill. That’s basically the worst case scenario for a leaking faucet.

We’d love to fix your leaking faucet, but we aren’t going to pretend it’s a financial win for you.  Because at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, above all, we’re honest.

Leaking and Running Toilets!

So, your leaking faucet doesn’t have its hand in your pocket. Your toilet is a different story.

Two different types of toilet malfunctions can cost you big time—a whole lot more than a dollar per year! Neither leaves a mess, so homeowners are at risk of ignoring them and paying the price.

How big of a price could you possibly pay for water, you ask? Easily more than $1,000 per year. That sounds like real money, now.

Kinds of toilet trouble:

  • Leaking toilet: In this case, a crack in your toilet causes clean water to leak from the tank right into the sewer. Generally silent, completely mess free.
  • Running toilet: In this case, a mechanical problem causes the tank to fill and then immediately drain — constantly. This creates a flushing, or hissing sound as your toilet continually “runs.” Basically a running toilet is equivalent to flushing the toilet, 24 hours a day!

Leaking Toilet

A leaking toilet wastes approximately 6,000 gallons per month.

$0.0046 X 6,000 (gallons) X 12 (months)

At the New Jersey tap water price, that’s approximately an extra $330 per year from wasting 72,000 gallons.


In the first year, that price more than covers the cost of replacement and repair. Since toilets have an average lifespan of between 30-50 years, unless you go out of your way to replace it, your leaking toilet will keep ripping you off.

More than 300 dollars a year —that deserves your attention. Just wait though, it gets worse. A lot worse.

Does wasting tap water waste money? Yes it can.
A pretty accurate amount of money, actually.

Running Toilet

Essentially, a running toilet is always flushing. As we said, this mechanical breakdown is the equivalent of flushing the toilet 24/7, nonstop!

A running toilet can waste more than 90,000 gallons per month, equating to a million gallons a year. Worst case scenario territory.


What can a million gallons of water cost you?

$0.0046 X 1,000,000

Approximately, $4,600 at New Jersey water rates!

How serious is a running toilet? Local governments have gotten involved to force homeowners to fix them.  You’re still on the hook for the bill though—even if it wasn’t your fault.

Safe to say, if you have a running toilet, this answers, does wasting tap water waste money?

The only silver lining: you’ll hear the “running” sound clearly whenever you’re in the bathroom. Basically, if you hear your toilet flushing and you didn’t flush it, call us ASAP!

Safe to say, if you have a running toilet, this answers, does wasting tap water waste money? Yes, about this much.
Fun fact: an Olympic-sized pool is about 1 million gallons.

Does Wasting Tap Water Waste Money? The Straight Answer

If your faucet drips, you’re losing about $1 per year.

If your toilet leaks, though, you could be losing about $300. That amount of wasted money (and water) warrants a repair, in our book.

If you have a running toilet, you could lose thousands of dollars. At this point, you no longer even need to ask if a repair you’ll save money. You don’t have any time to waste.

Contact us to inspect your toilets and to fix costly leaks.

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