There is a litany of ways homeowners waste water every day without realizing it. Household leaks account for more than 900 billion gallons of wasted water annually. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways to start saving water at home without drastically changing your lifestyle.
Apart from leaks, there are many less obvious ways you likely waste water day after day. For that reason, we’ve provided a list of common forms of wasting water at home with solutions you can implement into your daily life.
Do you think your pipes are leaking? Call Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. today for the best, most comprehensive water leak detection and repair in Elgin, IL.
1. Overdoing it When You Water Your Lawn
Outdoor watering accounts for over one-third of a household’s monthly usage, making it easily the top cause of water waste.
The first step to addressing the issue is to account for your landscaping. Opting for plants appropriate for your climate will proactively prevent you from using excessive water. Choosing drought-resistant native plant species allows you to double down on the savings.
Consider how you use water outdoors in other ways. Practice using a broom or leaf blower to clean your sidewalks, decks, and other outdoor spaces, as hosing them down is not necessary and wasteful. Water your grass earlier in the morning or evening to prevent evaporation; cover your pool for the same reason.
2. Hidden Leaks
Sometimes, conserving water alone won’t fix all your problems. Water leaks are some of the leading passive ways of wasting water at home. They account for 10% of household water waste. Worse still, leaks can be challenging to spot, primarily if they’re occurring somewhere beneath your foundation.
A faucet might be dry while leaking somewhere around the base of the spout. Often, this is due to a cracked or old O-ring. When you search for leaks, make sure you check under your sink, as loose connections to the water supply or drain can be the culprit.
3. Inefficient Flushes
If your toilet was made before 1993, you’re using an estimated two to six gallons per flush. Contemporary models come built to save water, using only 1.6 gallons–the federal standard–per flush.
If you’re sporting an old model, replacing it with something modern can save you thousands of dollars on water bills each month, more than paying for the cost of replacement. Another option is retrofitting your toilet with a water-saving dual-flush attachment, so you can use less water.
Examine your toilet’s tank for signs of leakage. A toilet running between flushes is a surefire sign of a leak. Old flappers cause water to leak from the bowl, causing phantom flushes.
By placing a few droplets of food coloring into a tank, you can check for leaks. If the color shows up in your bowl within 15 minutes, you should replace your valve.
4. Older Fixtures
Your older plumbing fixtures are almost certainly wasting water and costing you more money per month. Companies construct newer fixtures with much more water-wise designs than older models.
A typical showerhead can dump about five gallons per minute; a low-flow showerhead only uses half. Replacing one of your shower heads with an Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. model presents you with an easy and effective way to save water in your home.
5. Taking Baths Regularly
Taking a bath every so often can cleanse the body and mind. However, baths use way more water than showers on average. The average bathtub holds about 40 to 50 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower using a water-efficient nozzle will only use two gallons per minute (a total of only 20 gallons).
Naturally, the shorter your showers, the more water you can save.
6. Running the Tap When You Aren’t Using It
Do you let the tap run while brushing your teeth? What about while you drink water, waiting to fill another cup? Running the tap unnecessarily is an excellent way to waste water and run up your bills.
Always turn your tap off between washing dishes or anytime you’re not using it. This is an easy, albeit challenging, choice.
7. Partial Loads
Whether using your washing machine or your dishwasher, failing to fill the machine with an entire load is water straight out the window. Running an incomplete load wastes water and electricity, even with smart devices.
You need to fill these machines with full loads nearly every time you use them to save the most water and money.
8. Forgotten Connectors
Your water heater, refrigerator, washing machine, and other large appliances connect directly to the water supply line. Jostling and daily use can break your device loose from the line, especially as hoses become more brittle with age. All this amounts to leaks behind your machines.
Contact Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. today if you suspect your older appliance leaks. We’ll address the issue promptly so you can go back to living life efficiently.
9. Believing That You’re Already Conserving
Perhaps one of the biggest traps homeowners fall into is believing that they are already doing the most they can to conserve water. Replacing old fixtures can take care of a lot, but you must also be mindful of your habits.
People who rely on intelligent water-saving devices often spend more time in the shower, running the water without considering how much they use. Small changes, like adding a note next to the tap and the showerhead, can go a long way.
Reach Out to Learn More
While there are countless ways of wasting water at home, sometimes the issue isn’t due to your habits. Old, leaky plumbing can cost you heavily on your water bill each month, especially if you don’t know where to look for the issue.
Do you need help shoring up your old, leaky plumbing? Call Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. at (847) 268-3553 today to get the best in Barrington plumbing services. We’ll bring your home back to efficiency in no time.