Now that Houston is entering the summer months, once again we seem to be repeating last years tendency to be on rather dry. Already some parts of Houston are starting impose water restrictions. It’s a good time to consider if you may be using more water than you thought! Inspect your last few water bills. Did you know that the average family of four can use anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 gallons of water per month? That comes to 127,000 gallons of water a year! Your habits typically dictates the amount of water used. The largest daily user of water in the home is the toilet.
A simple standard toilet flush uses 3.5 gallons of water each time adding up to around 7,000 gallons annually! However if you have a running toilet, it can waste up to 7,000 gallons of water per month! There are all sorts of water hogs in the home (including you) that could be raising that water and sewage utility bill through the roof! In following a few water conservation tips, you could enjoy a much lower bill. Use these tips as a starting point to begin thinking about how you can better conserve water this summer:
1. Replace all the dripping faucets in your home as you could be wasting 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water a year by allowing those slow drips to continue. Sometimes all it takes is replacing the rubber gaskets into the faucet handle.
2. Consider installing aerators that allow for flow restriction to reduce the output of water from your faucets.
3. Do not operate your dishwasher or washing machine with anything less than full capacity. You are wasting water running them only half full.
4. Check for toilet tank leaks and replace sticky flushing handles that allow the water to run in the bowl. To test for leaks, put some dark food coloring in the tank. If you notice any color in the bowl within 20 minutes, you know there is a leak somewhere.
5. The inner parts of the toilet tank may become corroded or require replacing as they wear out. Parts are quite inexpensive and easy to replace on your own. You should make it a habit to replace them every few years.
6. Consider installing a low flow showerhead as this can save you some gallons of water each month. Or, you can take shorter showers.
7. Conserve your water by recycling it. If you take a shower, bring a bucket into the shower with you to capture the excess and then use it to water flowers, mopping floors or any other applicable chore around your home. The same principle applies for leftover water from boiling pasta or washing dishes.
8. Because taking baths uses up to 20 gallons more water than showers, consider reducing your bathtub trips and shower instead.
9. Install rain barrels outdoors to capture rainwater during one of Houston’s afternoon thunderstorms and use it to water the garden, flower beds or container plants. Of course, take precautions to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This will reduce the need to use the garden hose and thereby reduce your water bill.
If you incorporate many water saving techniques and still feel you should have a lower water bill, consider contacting your city or municipality that handles water and sewage maintenance. Some city departments offer inspections of the home for free or at a nominal fee where a worker comes out to identify the sources of possible leaks that could be driving your water bill up. By doing what you can to reduce water consumption, you are helping save the environment. Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning is of course the expert in water leak detection, so your welcome to give us a call for prompt service.