With so many homeowners feeling the crunch of a tight economy, it might be wise to take a long and hard look around your home to address areas that may be preventing you from lowering utility costs. Poor insulation and inefficient appliances are notorious trouble spots. But money may be literally leaking from your monthly budget as a result of plumbing problems and improper water usage.
Before calling the professionals for plumbing repairs, size up your leaky pipes and dripping faucets to see if you can fix them yourself. Sometimes all it takes is a little tightening of a pipe or the replacement of a worn washer in a faucet to shore things up.
Clogged drains and pipes can also cause leaks due to water pressure buildup. Provided that drain cleaning endeavors are relatively uncomplicated, homeowners can often successfully clear clogs and debris in drains and water lines with a plunger or the use of an auger or “snake.” Plumbing snakes are available for rent at most home improvement outlets.
Water Conservation around the Home
Aside from a home’s plumbing, there are multiple areas around a dwelling that can also be responsible for water waste such as washing machines. Instead of washing partial loads of laundry and dishes, make it a point to only use clothes washers and dishwashers when they are full. This can save thousands of gallons of water each year.
Another example of inefficient water use is having faucets running while shaving, brushing your teeth or washing dishes by hand. Fill the sink with water or turn the faucet off when water flow is not needed for rinsing.
Toilets are another major culprit for unnecessary water usage. Address any leaks around toilets and adjust water pressure valves down. If possible, also have a more efficient toilet installed that uses less water per flush.
Other ways to diminish water usage around your home include:
● Collecting rain runoff or excess shower water to water gardens
● Occasionally flushing the toilet
● Installing water-efficient shower heads
● Watering your lawn only in the morning or evening hours
While these are just a handful of steps you can take to keep water bills at manageable levels, they should get you started.
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Pipe Gripes is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling
(Photo via Flickr)