Wasting water is not good for your wallet or for the environment, but so many water-saving tips cost you more to implement than you're paying for water in the first place. Luckily, you don't have to spend a fortune to keep your water consumption under control. Here are five inexpensive ways to reduce your water use.
Fix Your Leaky Toilet
Many homeowners have leaky toilets and don't even realize it. Water drains slowly from the tank into the bowl. If you ever hear your toilet filling when you have not just flushed, then it has a leak. Since a leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, you will save substantially just from fixing the leak.
Many times, toilet leaks are caused by a loose or deteriorating flapper. The flapper is the plastic component, attached to a chain, that fits over the pipe inside your toilet tank. You can purchase a new flapper for just a few dollars at the hardware store. To install it, start by turning off the water supply to your toilet. Then, pull the old flapper off its hinges and detach it from its chain. Attach the new flapper in its place, and turn the water back on.
If your toilet keeps leaking after you replace the flapper, give your plumber a call. They may need to replace the entire flush assembly.
Add Aerators to Your Faucets
Aerators are small devices that fit into the heads of faucets, adding air to the water that pours out. By mixing air with the water, they slow the flow of water without making it feel less pressurized. If your faucets do not have aerators, adding them will help reduce your water consumption.
Unscrew the head of your faucet and take it with you to the hardware store to ensure you buy an aerator of the same size. When you get home, just screw the aerator head onto the faucet in place of the old, non-aerated faucet head. If your faucet does not have a head that unscrews or you cannot find an aerator that fits, you may want to have your plumber completely replace your faucet with one that includes an aerator.
Upgrade to a Low-Flow Showerhead
Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, whereas low-flow models only use 2.0 gallons per minute or less. In a two-person home, you could save $50.04 a year on water by switching to a low-flow showerhead – assuming each person takes 10-minute showers. All you need to do is unscrew your current showerhead and screw a low-flow head into place.
Improve Insulation on Hot Water Pipes
If your hot water pipes are not insulated, you're probably wasting a lot of water while waiting for the water to get warm. Venture into your basement – or wherever your hot water tank is located – and look over the sections of hot water pipe that are exposed.
If any of your hot water pipes are not insulated, start by measuring the noninsulated sections. Then, cut a section of foam pipe sleeve to fit over each section. Place the pipe sleeves over the pipe, and secure them with a few pieces of black electrical tape.
Use the Short Cycle on Your Dishwasher
Unless you are washing a particularly dirty load of dishes, you will likely get the same results from using the short-cycle setting as you would with the standard setting. The short-cycle setting uses less water; it also uses less electricity. Try to make sure you wash your dishes promptly, rather than letting them sit, as this will prevent you from having to use more water-demanding settings such "heavy duty."
Most homeowners can implement the tips above within a single weekend, resulting in substantial savings on their water bill. If you're worried about high water bills and would like to take more drastic measures to cut back on water consumption, contact ACME Plumbing & Drain Service today.