Water consumption is a daily part of our life. We rely on it to keep ourselves and our property clean, our food growing, our lawns green and waste properly flushed. Since we all need water to live, it is also our responsibility to use it wisely. While conservative usage of water is not only environmentally friendly and beneficial to your own well-being, it is also beneficial to your plumbing systems, your drains and your wallet.
Here are few easy ways you can make better use of your water supply which will also result in a lighter water or electric bill.
Leaks are a major culprit when it comes to wasted water and damaged pipes. Though it is perfectly normal for your water bill to fluctuate slightly, if it seems like it is constantly increasing while your usage is not, the extra water is probably leaking out somewhere into the endless abyss of waste. In fact, a small leak can waste 50 gallons of water per day and just one drop of water every minute, adds up to 34 wasted gallons of water each year.
A fast and easy way to check for a water leak is by running a water meter test. First turn off all the water fixtures on your property. This includes laundry and washing machines as well as sprinklers. Once no water is running and being used your water meter reading should stay the same. Slow leaks may take time to affect your water meter so wait a couple hours and check your meter again for any changes. If your meter reading increased while no water has been used, this is a sure sign of a water leak in your plumbing system.
Another option is to call your friendly, neighborhood plumber and have them perform a professional leak inspection. This is especially a good idea if you have copper pipes which are prone to developing pinhole leaks which can be more tricky to spot.
While you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time debating this topic, a simple decision like what time to run your dishwasher can in fact have a pretty big effect on your energy bill over time. Power used during peak hours can be over ten times more expensive than off peak hour usage. Your peak hours will vary based on your location and you can check specific rates that apply to you, with your energy provider. This applies not only to your dishwasher, but your washing machine as well.
Another factor that’s worth considering is that according to Energy Star “Homes with high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances save about 30 percent of indoor water use and yield substantial savings on water, sewer and energy bills.” These fixtures include toilets, dishwashers, washing machines and WaterSense labeled faucet aerators. These faucet fittings are inexpensive and individually inspected to ensure they meet EPA criteria, conserving water and lowering your bill without sacrificing performance.
Caring for your Garden
Surprisingly enough, 30 to 60% of domestic drinking water is used to water yards and gardens. Unfortunately large portions are often wasted due to over-watering, evaporation and misdirected sprinklers, which end up watering your sidewalk and driveway. This in turn leads to stained pathways which you most likely, ironically enough, then attempt to remove with a pressure washer, leading to even more water consumption. You can stop this vicious cycle by simply adjusting your sprinklers to only water your lawn. This will lower the amount of water you use, therefore lowering your water bill, while making more efficient use out of it.
Run your sprinklers on early in the morning or later in the evening and only when your lawn needs it. Covering the base of your trees and bushes with mulch which aids in maintaining soil moisture by slowing the evaporation process. If a certain spot in your lawn seems to be unusually green and lush and this is not due to any effort on your part, this may potentially be a sign of a pipe leaking underground.
Plumbing Maintenance Plan
Sticking to an annual plumbing maintenance plan ensures you address the needs of your plumbing system regularly. As seasons change, temperatures rise or drop and your usage habits adjust to these new circumstances, certain areas of your drain system will require more attention. Sticking to a good schedule will prevent complicated, expensive repairs and keep your plumbing system working efficiently. To learn more about an annual plumbing maintenance plan, check out our full guide.
Need help establishing the health and needs of your drain system? Call VIP Sewer and Drain Services for a regular maintenance appointment and our trained professionals will guide you through this process!