With an average water bill of $30 a month, Alabama has among the lowest water bills in the country. Indeed, that’s only a third of the $90 West Virginians pay monthly! However, being a homeowner in Millbrook, AL doesn’t necessarily guarantee low water bills. You might be paying even more than needed, such as if you have plumbing leaks. These common problems cause the average U.S. home to waste about 10,000 gallons of water yearly. About 1 in 10 households also leak 90 gallons of water daily. If you learn how to conserve water, you can avoid such costly leaks and high water bills.
We’ll teach you the best water conservation tactics in this guide, so read on.
1. Review Water Bills
To start conserving water, you first need to know your consumption.
The average person in the U.S. consumes 156 gallons of water daily or 4,680 gallons per month. You can use this as your basis and compare it with your water bills. Don’t forget to multiply it by the number of people in your household.
If your water bills show less than the average, great, since it implies you’re not wasting water. But if it’s way more, it indicates potential leaks or that you’re using too much water, unintentional or not.
2. Perform a Water Meter Test
Test for plumbing leaks by checking your water meter when no one in your household needs to use some. Write down the reading and wait for two hours before looking at the meter again. Please ensure no one uses any water throughout the test.
If the numbers didn’t change, that’s fantastic news, as it means you don’t have leaks.
But if it did, and you’re sure no one used water at home, that’s a solid sign you have plumbing leaks. You can then investigate taps, toilets, and exposed plumbing pipes yourself.
However, remember that most waterlines are underground, in ceilings, or behind walls. Millbrook, AL, plumbing services can help track down leaks in these hidden pipes. They can do so through state-of-the-art pipe leak detection technology.
3. Fix Leaky Taps and Showerheads
Taps usually leak once their gaskets wear out. Fortunately, a simple gasket replacement is often enough to fix such problems.
You can also fix leaky showerheads by tightening their connections. Consider using some plumber’s thread (AKA thread seal tape) for a more secure seal.
4. Repair Running Toilets
If your problem is a constantly-running toilet, you may only have to replace its flapper. This toilet component seals the opening between the tank and the bowl. So once it’s completely worn, it stops providing a secure seal and lets the water in the tank go down the bowl.
5. Switch to High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs)
If your existing toilets are old, they likely use 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush (GPF). So if your household flushes the toilet five times daily, that’s 17.5 to 35 gallons of water for such tasks alone.
Also, the older your toilets are, the more prone they are to leaking. These problems can affect their tank, base, supply line, and valve.
Avoid those problems and conserve water instead by upgrading to high-efficiency toilets. Today’s HETs use only around 1.28 GPF, about 1 to 5 times less than older toilets.
6. Avoid Letting Taps Run
Conserve water when brushing your teeth by not letting the tap run.
Instead, fill a glass, turn the tap off, brush, and refill only as needed. This can help you save 64 cups of precious water each time you clean your pearly whites.
That method also applies to shaving or washing your hands and face. But instead of a glass, you can fill a small basin.
7. Upgrade or Replace Faulty Tap Aerators
Aerators help conserve water by widening the flow and making it more productive. Some also have an extra water-saving feature in the form of a flow restrictor. The tiny bubbles they create activate soap faster, saving even more water and soap.
Today’s maximum flow rate for faucets and aerators is 2.2 gallons per minute (GPM).
However, high-efficiency products with flow rates of 1.5 GPM (or even less) are available. Switch to these water-saving aerators if your existing ones are old or worn out.
8. Go Full Load
Whenever possible, run the dishwasher only when it has a full load. This can help save water since it reduces the number of times you run the appliance each week.
Be sure to neatly place dishes, utensils, pots, and pans in the racks or baskets. This way, your dishwasher can clean them efficiently, so you don’t have to double-wash them.
Go full load when using your washing machine, too. This is more water-efficient than washing multiple small loads.
Using your dishwasher and washing machine less frequently also helps you save energy.
9. Take Shorter Showers
Suppose your showerhead’s water flow is 2.5 GPM, and you usually take 15-minute showers. If you don’t shut the water off while doing so, each shower you take consumes 37.5 gallons. If you shower every day, that brings the annual total to 13,687.5 gallons.
To start conserving more water at home, reduce your shower time. Aim for an 8-minute shower, and switch the water off while you shampoo or soap up. Do that, and your water consumption can decrease to 20 gallons per shower (or 7,300 gallons for 365 days).
10. Take Advantage of Rain
Millbrook, AL, gets plenty of precipitation, averaging 49 inches of rain yearly. That’s 11 inches more than the nationwide average.
Take advantage of all that rain to conserve irrigation water. For instance, you can turn off your sprinkler system scheduled to turn on rainy days.
Another idea is to water your other potted plants with the rainwater you’ve collected. You can also use it to clean your driveway.
Conserve Water and Enjoy Lower Bills
From leak repairs to toilet upgrades and rainwater use, all these can help you conserve water. And the more water you save, the lower your bills and environmental impact. Plus, you can help save energy, as transporting water to your home requires energy.
Do you have plumbing leaks interfering with your plans to conserve water? If so, we here at Clark Heating, Air Conditioning, and Plumbing can help! Contact us now, and we’ll be happy to inspect and fix the faulty plumbing system in your Millbrook, AL home.