Knowhow-Now Article

Saving Money On Water

Plumbing problems are intimidating for most homeowners. There is a tendency to just ignore them as long as they seem minor. But just hoping they will not become major does not work. A neglected plumbing problem is going to get worse. If you are procrastinator when it comes to plumbing, here are some tips to help you take charge and address those plumbing problems right away.

Tip: Ask your plumber to handle all your plumbing problems at once rather than calling him several times to resolve different problems. Your plumber charges for each visit, so it's best to deal with as many problems in one visit as possible.

One problem every homeowner will face is a leaky faucet or toilet. A running toilet may only need a slight adjustment to the float to stop it from running. But on the other hand, it may be time to replace the insides. With the toilet tank lid removed, push down the handle and see what happens as the toilet flushes. It may be that the handle mechanism is not lifting the plunger up and replacing it effectively. You may only need to replace this part. Or you may need to replace the whole insides. This can be done by an amateur, but be very careful to replace all the parts in the right sequence. Watch for leaks in the days after you replace the flushing mechanism. A leak means either something needs tightening or a washer is out of place. A leaky faucet or toilet is more than a nuisance. It can cost you a lot of money on your water bill, and also means you are not doing your part for conservation. The number of gallons of water a leaky faucet wastes in a day is astounding.

Tip: If you have any loose tiles, investigate the cause. One cause for loose tiles is a water leak.

There are shower heads that can save a lot on water use and still provide a full spray. There are also toilets designed to use less water when they flush.

Turning down the thermostat on your hot water heater will save money on electricity--and help keep children or the elderly from being scalded.

When watering the lawn, keep a close eye on the time, or use an automatic timer.

Tip: When you want to unclog a drain, it's better not to use chemical drain openers. The chemicals can be damaging to your skin, but will open your drain.

If you are building a new home, you may be able to have it designed so that "gray water" can be re-used rather than wasted. This is water used to rinse dishes, etc. It is not polluted, and can be re-used for some purposes. You may also install your own water purification system, especially in areas where water is scarce.

Tip: If there is grout stuck in your line, it is most likely going to be a lost cause attempting to clean it all yourself. You can attempt to dislodge the blockage or break it up to help remove it.

Check under your sinks to make sure there is not a small leak. If there is a large leak, you will know it! A small adjustment, using a wrench, may get rid of the leak by tightening a water pipe or drain connection. A plumber's wrench is a good investment for any homeowner. Replacing a connector is fairly simple--but be sure to turn the water supply off first. A bathroom sink faucet is easier to replace than a kitchen one, but both can usually be done by a homeowner.

These are some ways you can save on water and plumbing bills. Easy-to-follow instructional videos are available on the Internet. These are a great help to the DIY homeowner. So don't be intimidated by leaky faucets and other minor plumbing problems. Take charge and take care of them.

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