Your plumbing may be one of the most easily forgotten features of your home, but it is also one of the most important as it provides you with clean water for drinking and bathing and safely takes dirty water away from your home. Although your fixtures are most likely the only highly visible part of your plumbing system, the hidden pipes are even more important. If you want to find ways to save money on plumbing, water and sewer costs in the new year, look no further than this list of six tips for smart plumbing upgrades and maintenance.
1. Save Water With WaterSense Fixtures
Even if your fixtures have aerators to limit water flow, you can still use additional tools to save money without sacrificing water pressure. WaterSense fixtures are those that decrease water wastage by using at least 20 percent less water than the typical fixture does. Plus, they save energy while meeting the stringent criteria of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For example, showering with a WaterSense-labeled showerhead can save you four gallons of water with every shower.
2. Watch for Signs of a Leak
A leak does not have to be huge to cost you a lot of money. A single faucet that drips once per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. Here are some of the most common signs of a water leak.
Suddenly higher water bills
Constantly running water meter
Visible mold and mildew
Water stains on floors, walls, and ceilings
Wet spots or puddles in cabinets
3. Get Rid of Old Toilets
If your toilet is over ten years old, the chances are that you could benefit from upgrading it to a newer model that is more water-efficient. Surprisingly, toilets use more water than anything else in your home does, and older models could be wasting up to six gallons with every flush. Newer toilets use well under two gallons with every flush.
4. Inspect Old Water Lines
A professional water line inspection could save you plenty of money and many headaches down the road. Outdated pipes may be made of unsafe materials, such as lead, or older galvanized pipes could be leaching rusty water into your home. Even washer hoses and pipe fittings gradually age and break.
5. Choose the Right Water Heater
Traditional water heaters waste a great deal of energy as they work hard initially to heat the water before expending additional energy to keep that same water warm whether or not you need it. A tankless water heater can solve this problem by heating water on the spot when you are ready to use it. This could save you up to 20 percent on your yearly water heating costs.
6. Know What Can Go Down the Drain
Your drains were made for normal dirt from showers and laundry but were not designed for grease, oil, and bulky wastes. Even if you have a garbage disposal, you should never put any of these substances down your drains.
Paper towels and facial tissues
Feminine care products
Cooking grease and oil
Fibrous vegetables, including potato peels
With the new year here, it is important to consider how you can make this year a positive one for your finances as well as for the environment. Saving money on water bills through routine plumbing maintenance and inspections as well as with a few simple changes can help you make a real difference in your monthly budget. Resolve today to treat your pipes and fixtures right in 2020. To schedule an appointment with EZ Plumbing, call (818) 900-2778.