Water is a renewable resource, but it is also precious and worthy of conserving. Not only that, water can be costly in some areas of the country and limiting its use can save homeowners a lot of money.
Below are three water conservation tips that will help keep your water bill under control and prevent the needless waste of this valuable resource.
1. Fix Leaky Faucets
A dripping faucet isn't just annoying; it is also a tremendous waste of water. For example, a faucet that drips just once every six seconds loses over 300 gallons of water per year. Taking time to fix leaky faucets is worth your while.
For faucets equipped with rubber compression washers, many leaks can be fixed simply by replacing the washers. Old washers grow brittle and hard with time, and a new washer is an easy fix for the problem.
Cartridge faucets are less prone to leak, but leaks can and do occur on occasion. A new cartridge may be needed to eliminate a leak, and spring-loaded rubber seats upon which cartridges rest may also need to be replaced. You may need some trial-and-error to determine the problem, so patience and a willingness to tinker can help resolve the trouble.
2. Stop Running Toilets
Another source of wasted water is running toilets. In the case of a running toilet, the problem can be due to either the flush valve or a leak around the flapper where water leaves the tank to enter the bowl.
A flush valve controls how much water enters the toilet and is often governed by a float valve. As the water level drops, water enters through the flush valve. A defective flush valve causes water to enter the tank when unnecessary, and the excess water flows into the overflow tube and into the bowl.
The flapper keeps water from leaving the tank until the flush handle is pressed. At that point, the flapper lifts and water flows into the bowl. If the flapper is brittle or covered with slime, the flapper may allow water to pass by the seal into the tank.
Fortunately, both flush valves and flappers are inexpensive to replace. Replacement parts can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores and come with easy-to-read instructions. Be sure to turn off the water supply valve at the toilet before attempting to perform work on the toilet, or you may cause an unexpected and unwelcome flood.
3. Replace Inefficient Appliances and Fixtures
Another problem that can cause water waste is the presence of inefficient appliances and plumbing fixtures. Appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers can use a substantial amount of water, and older units are especially wasteful.
For example, an older tub-style washing machine may use 40 gallons of water or more per load. That's why you should consider replacing old appliances with modern, efficient machines that only use a few gallons at a time. Modern front-loading washers use about a third of the water that old-style machines use and also operate more quietly.
In the meantime, you can reduce water usage with existing appliances by adjusting their settings. Washing machines allow owners to adjust how much water enters the tub, and there is usually no need to fill the tub to its highest level to obtain good results. Likewise, with dishwashers, you should also use water miser settings whenever possible and only adjust the amount of water used if necessary.If you have questions about how to save water or need assistance with repairing water-wasting fixtures, be sure to contact AERO Plumbing for help. Our team of professionals is ready and willing to provide solutions to all of your plumbing needs.