If you’re thinking about making some upgrades to your house this year, it’s important to put your home’s plumbing system on your list. Small leaks or malfunctioning appliances can quickly add to your monthly utility bills. Here are just a few simple plumbing tips that can help keep your household budget in check and help save you money.
Inspect and pump your septic system
The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.
Replace Outdated Faucets
Are your kitchen and bathroom faucets a little outdated? Your faucets do more than enhance the appearance of your sink. They also adjust the amount of water passing through. Over time, this can cause an increase in your water bill. Newer eco-friendly designs help control how much water is being used and reduce water flow by up to 30% or more. Just choose products with the WaterSense label backed by the EPA. Faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restrictors will also help reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system.
Examine Your Water Meter
Your water meter runs from the outside water mainline to a small metered box located on the outside of your home. As it makes its way into your home, another meter controls water flow. Be sure to check this area for leaks. Do you see the meter turning even though water isn’t flowing throughout your home? If so, you may have a water leak somewhere.
Look for Drips
Puddles of water on your basement floor are an obvious sign of a plumbing leak. But, in many cases, a loose valve or cracked pipe may cause condensation to build up in a specific area. Odor-causing bacteria and mold can begin to form in these places. If you suspect a leak, call Mr. Dan’s today to prevent any further damage.
Upgrade Your Water Heater
When it comes to plumbing tips, one of the best ways to lower your utility bills is to replace a hot water tank that is over ten years old. Older models can drain your electric and gas bills each month. An on-demand gas water heater can save on your utility bills each year. Because you’re only using water that is heated as needed, there is no need to keep stored water warm. If you decide to keep your old water heater, consider having it drained every six months to flush out impurities and improve its performance.
Washing small loads of laundry on your washing machine’s large-load cycle wastes water and energy. By selecting the proper load size, you will reduce water waste. If you are unable to select a load size, run only full loads of laundry.
Try to spread washing machine use throughout the week. Doing all household laundry in one day might seem like a time-saver, but it can harm your septic system, not allowing your septic tank enough time to treat waste, and could flood your drain field.
Washers that bear the ENERGY STAR label use 35% less energy and 50% less water than standard models.
Inspect Your Toilet
You may take your toilet for granted every day, but it actually works hard to keep your home’s plumbing system flowing properly. Toilet use accounts for 25% to 30% of household water use. A sticky flapper valve can cause more water to push through your toilet than what is needed.
Many older homes have toilets with 3.5 – 5-gallon reservoirs, while newer, high-efficiency toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. If your toilet is over 10 years old, consider replacing it with an eco-friendly one that uses less water. Replacing existing toilets with high-efficiency models is an easy way to reduce the amount of household water entering your septic system.
Inspect Now, Save Later
Having a professional plumber inspect all of your home’s plumbing systems can improve performance and reduce the risk of future plumbing disasters. This simple step can save you money on utilities and emergency plumbing calls in the long run. Call Mr. Dan’s today for all of your plumbing questions and needs.