Almost every room in your home has access to plumbing, and even rooms like your bedroom have adjacent access. From showering, to brushing our teeth, to doing laundry, to cooking, most of our daily activities require water. Despite this fact, most homeowners don’t know a ton about their plumbing. But knowing how to shut your water off can become essential very quickly in the case of emergencies. It can also be helpful if you’re doing some quick DIY plumbing that you learned in our eBook or in one of our blogs.
Reduce your household water usage and you’ll save money on your utility bills, reduce water pollution in nearby lakes and rivers, and extend the life of your septic tank. You can cut your water usage by 25 percent by doing a few things a bit differently with your home appliances that use water.
Toilets use a lot of water, up to 27 percent of a household water usage. Here’s how you can reduce that number:
- Check for leaks. A leak can cause the loss of more than 100 gallons of water per day. Water rippling in your toilet bowl is a sure sign of a leak. Put a few drops of food coloring in your tank and if the dye appears in the toilet bowl without flushing, there’s a leak.
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Every flush uses up several gallons of water.
- Reduce the amount of water in your toilet tank. Put in a bottle of water, away from anymoving mechanisms, to take up some space in the tank.
- Replace your toilet with an energyefficient one.This can reduce the amount of waterused significantly, going from five to seven gallons to only 1.6 gallons per flush.
You probably already know that shorter showers are better and that a shower uses less water than a bath. Here’s what else you can do to save water in the shower:
- Install a new shower head or a flow restrictor. These can reduce your shower flow from five to ten gallons per minute to only three gallons per minute.
- Get a tankless water heaterto heat up your water faster so you don’t have to run the shower for a few minutes to get it warm.
Kitchen and Bathroom FaucetsFaucets in the kitchen and bathroom are used multiple times daily, making them sources of potential water waste. Cut down on water usage by trying these simple tips:
- Don’t let the water run. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your dishes, or rinsing your vegetables, turn off the faucet and fill up a bowl, sink, or a cup with water for rinsing.
- Check your pipes and faucets for leaks. If you notice small drips from your faucets, that’s a leak that needs to be fixed. Another way to check is to look at your water meter. Turn off all your faucets and water appliances and check the meter. Wait an hour without using any water and then check again. If there’s been a change, you have a leak somewhere.
- Replace your faucet with high efficiency faucets or install a faucet aerator on every faucet.
Using the dishwasher instead of washing your dishes will save water, but here’s how you can conserve even more water:
- Run the dishwasher with a full load. Half loads uses up the same amount of water for less dishes, wasting water and energy.
- Don’t rinse plates before putting them into the dishwasher. Just remove large food pieces. Your dirty dishes will come out clean without any added rinsing.
Tankless water heaters are a great way to increase your hot water supply, while reducing your energy usage. They are powered by either electricity, gas, or a combination of both. When used in combination with low flow faucets and shower heads, they can help you save money on your monthly energy bills. Tankless water heaters, like HVAC equipment, require professional installation in order to maintain the warranty. The manufacturer often won't honor the warranty, if a problem arises from improper installation. In addition to the warranty coverage, improper installation could also cause other problems in your home. If you sell the house, you might have to have it re installed, if the water heater was not properly installed the first time.
Hopefully the water you have coming into your home, and the systems installed to provide this, work properly and you don’t have to think much of them. Normally, the main water flow system doesn’t require much maintenance. However, when something does go wrong, it happens very quickly and causes a big mess. The first thing that should be done when this happens is to locate your main water shut off valve and get the water to stop as soon as possible to prevent secondary damages.
If you're a first time home buyer, you probably feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of new things you're responsible for. But if you learn the basics of the many systems in your house, you'll soon have everything under control and be able to enjoy your new home. One of the most important aspects of your house that you need to have a decent understanding of is your plumbing.
While your water may not be the most costly of your monthly expenses, saving money on your water bill can certainly make an impact. This summer, there are things that you can do to minimize your water usage, make your appliances more energy friendly and in general, make water regulation a priority so that you can see the savings right on your bill. Here are ten things to help you regulate your water this summer.