If you’re looking to save water and money, here are some tips (and a product) that will help you lighten your water bill.
This information is presented to give homeowners a basic understanding of ways to save money and water as they consider service, repair, and upgrades working with a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber or plumbing contractor.
Use the Water Meter as a Leak Checker
Water leaks can be impossible to spot, especially if they’re leaks in your sprinkler system or outside plumbing. Using your water meter is a way to check your home’s plumbing infrastructure has not sprung a leak anywhere.
- Check your water meter and write down the numbers.
- For the next two hours, make sure no one uses any water.
- At the end of the two hours if the numbers on the meter are any different, you’ve definitely got a leak somewhere.
If you can, find where the leak is and repair it, either permanently (if it’s small and manageable) or call a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber if it’s more than you can handle.
Skip the Power Washer and Opt for a Broom
Power washers may be convenient, and they do a nice job sprucing up the patio and driveway, but they waste a lot of water.
Reduce the use of a power washer to once a year, for example, or only when there is hard-crusted grime and deeply-embedded dirt.
If all you’re doing is using the power washer to clear off loose gravel or a few light leaf stains from the driveway, opt for a broom (a power blower uses electricity or gas and different resources, which is another story).
And since you’re on the driveway, turn off the hose in between rinses if you’re washing the cars. Or, if you’re using a hose attachment that stops water flow, make sure it isn’t leaking itself — or that water will roll down the drive and out into the street.
Choose Landscape Wisely
Landscaping is actually pretty important.
Use it wisely to strategically shade the house from the hot sun, helping you save money on the electric bill and conserve energy.
When it comes to plumbing, you can save thousands of gallons of water by:
Planting landscape that uses as little water as possible, if this is feasible for your location.
Otherwise, just make sure that you use the proper settings on your irrigation controller when watering the yard and plants. As plants grow and as the weather changes seasons, proactively adjust the settings and watering schedule. Don’t just set and forget. The extra effort is worth it.
Use the Dishwasher
Some people still like washing dishes by hand, or use a combination of hand-washing the little every-day items and using the dishwasher for the big family dinners.
In any case, hand-washing dirty dishes may appear to be the best way to conserve water but, according to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, putting dishes through a wash cycle in the dishwasher is actually more effective for conserving water.
- Run the dishwasher when it’s mostly empty
- Run the dishwasher daily, whether it needs to run or not
Washing a small amount of dishes by hand can be kinda zen. With all the washing, scrubbing, and rinsing, for each item, you’re not aware of the amount of water that pours from the faucet and down the drain. If you have to, give the dishes a quick rinse and load up the dishwasher.
Swap Baths for Showers
It used to be moms wanted the kids to take a bath because they’d take notoriously long shower and get water everywhere. Well, now, with low-flow shower heads you can save quite a bit of water per shower. The average bath uses 35 to 50 gallons of water per kid/adult, whereas a nice 10 minute shower with a fancy new shower head only uses 25 gallons.
Save those baths for an occasional soak of sore muscles or a relaxing treat.
Take Shorter Showers
About those showers . . .
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if you cut shower time by just one minute, you’ll be saving at least 550 gallons per year. One minute! If you have a family of five and each cut your showers short by two minutes, that’s more than 5,000 gallons of water saved per year.
To complement the shortened-shower routine, the EPA also suggests switching out old shower heads with new WaterSense shower heads. Not only will they save an average of 2,900 gallons per year, but they’ll also help cut down on your electricity bill because your water heater doesn’t operate as much.
Awareness and Perspective
The biggest water saving tip is actually teaching the kids and educating yourself about water conservation.
Little improvements add up over time. You can save up to eight gallons of water per day by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth or — in Dad’s case — when shaving. Which means, by the time your kid turns 18, you could possibly save more than 50,000 gallons of water with a simple lifestyle habit.
An innovative product to assist people saving water is called Waterpebble (images), an eco friendly water-activated shower timer that simply helps people stop wasting water.
Waterpebble is a palm-sized device, or pebble, that takes the guesswork out of water conservation by tracking how much water you use in the shower.
As you’d expect, there is absolutely no need for a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber to help with installation. There is no installation other than placing it in the shower.
Inspired by a hotel sign prompting guests to “please use water sparingly,” inventor Paul Priestman developed a useful way to put the plea into action.
- It actually uses a chip from Texas Instruments to detect water usage.
- It utilizes software designed by the Cambridge Design Group.
- It will save upwards of 36,000 gallons of water using one 3-volt lithium ion battery or an estimated 90,000 gallons lifetime.
- It uses a familiar traffic light pattern of red, yellow, green to inform homeowners of water usage. Red = end of shower; yellow = you’re halfway through the shower; green = indicates start showering.
- It senses water flow, so there is no need to remember to turn it on.
- The real genius of the Waterpebble is that it incrementally shortens its suggested stop time, training you over weeks to use water more wisely.
Waterpebble is available for about $10 at a variety of Internet sites and retail stores like Bed Bath & Beyond.