At Price Busters Plumbing, we have a real hard time understanding how some folks are so shocked by their water bill. Unless you have an unexpected leak or repair that needs to happen, it should be pretty straightforward. That is, unless, you’re terrible at saving water at home. Hey, we’re not ones to judge. We’ll certainly give you the benefit of the doubt, but just in case you need a little refresher, here are some surefire tips for saving water at home.
In the Bathroom
Basically, every aspect of bathroom use is highly water-intensive. If you live in an older home, it’s likely that your appliances haven’t been replaced with newer, more efficient models. There are a few other ways you can save water in the bathroom, though.
Likely as not, your toilet uses more water than any other single appliance in your home. The first thing you can do to save water with this fixture is to make sure it’s working properly. You can do this by placing a few drops of food dye into the tank. If the color appears in the bowl, you’ve got a leak that could waste up to 200 gallons of water a day! If your toilet is up to snuff, we recommend living by the old rule, if it’s yellow let it mellow. This is a crucial tip for saving water at home as it can automatically help save gallons every day.
Again, fix any leaks you already know about. That slow drip adds up faster than you’d think! Do you let the bathroom faucet run while you brush your teeth? While you shave? Don’t! There’s really no need at all to let the water run while you brush your teeth. If you fancy running water for a shave, instead try using a drain stopper to fill the sink basin and rinse your razor there, rather than under a running faucet.
Showers can use between 1 and 11 gallons of water a minute. There are many ways to reduce water waste in the shower. Chief among them is—you guessed it—fixing up any leaks. After that, take a look online or at your local plumbing hardware store for low-flow showerheads that aerate the water and put out fewer gallons per minute. Another crafty tip is taking a bucket into the shower with you. That’s right, if your water heater is slow to heat up, fill up a bucket (or two) while you wait for your temperature. You can use that extra water to water plants or even flush your toilet!
In the Kitchen
Kitchens are the beating hearts of any home, but they can also be a place where lots of water is used and, sadly, wasted. Here are specific water-saving tips for the different areas in your kitchen.
Kitchen faucets get a lot of us and wear. As such, they’re often some of the first fixtures in a home to start leaking. The cost of repairing a leaky faucet pales in comparison to the long term impact on your water bill.
No half loads! Half loads are enormously wasteful. Stick to full loads and you’ll see the difference when you get your water bill.
Rather than rinsing your produce under a running faucet, stop the drain or fill a tub and rinse it all at once. Just use a colander to drain all your produce. If you’re feeling extra green, put the colander over a bucket and use that rinse water to flush the toilet or water plants!
In-sink disposals are a marvel of the modern age, but they require quite a lot of water to work. Rather than scrapping scraps right down the drain and running the faucet while your disposal chews them up, compost! If you have compost pick up in your area (as Seattle does) then just leave a bucket near the sink and empty it into the green bin. Otherwise, starting a compost pile in your yard is a great way to bring the water savings into the garden.
In the Yard
Yards are beautiful and can make a home truly feel like home. But they are intensely thirsty. There are lots of ways to save water in your gardening practice. A rain barrel is a great start; free water! When you do water your plants, water deeply, aiming for the root zone rather than the whole plant. Choosing plants for your garden that are native to your area will also cut down on watering; they’re more likely to thrive with the natural rainfall where you live.
We’ve already mentioned it a few times elsewhere, but fix your leaks, fix your leaks, fix your leaks! Wherever you find them, they seem so minor and are so easy to ignore, but those drops of water add up to gallons over time. You shouldn’t have to pay for it on your water bill any more than you should be wasting all that precious water.
This is another point we mentioned above, but there are lots of high-efficiency faucets available out there that will reduce water output to a fraction of traditional faucets. They range greatly in price, but when choosing a new high-efficiency faucet, remember that it’ll pay for itself over time.
You’re not alone in your quest to save water! Green-minded businesses of all sorts offer services that strive to cut down on water waste. Next time you need to put the shine back on your Chevy, look for a car wash that recycles their water.