Water is essential to our daily lives! Not only do we require it to live, but we also use it to cook, clean, bathe, and remove waste from our homes. The Romans figured out indoor plumbing almost 2,000 years ago, but it wasn’t until after the Great Depression that Americans could expect plumbing to be a standard feature in their homes.
In the nearly 100 years since, we’ve grown quite accustomed to having clean water on-demand in our homes. According to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), the average Floridian can use as much as 87 gallons of water around their home per day! That’s accounting for toilet flushes, showers, landscaping irrigation, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and dishes, and all sorts of other common household tasks.
How to Reduce Water Use in Your Home
If you’re looking for some easy ways to conserve water in your home, you came to the right place! At Dovis Plumbing, we believe everyone should know how to get the most out of their home’s plumbing system.
Check out some of our helpful tips below!
Look for Obvious Signs of Leaks
If there’s a leak anywhere in your home’s plumbing system, it means that water is constantly flowing into your home. Not only can this mean a skyrocketing water bill by the end of the month, but leaks can damage walls and floors, promote the growth of dangerous molds and mildew, and even affect the structural integrity of your home over time.
Obvious signs of leaks to look out for would include inexplicable puddles or dampness, water stains, mold and mildew, wall blisters, and – of course – unusually high water bills. If you suspect there’s a leak in your home, call a plumber out to perform a thorough inspection to identify and fix the problem.
Check for Dripping Faucets
While you’re hunting for leaks around your home, invest about 30 seconds per faucet to see if you notice any dripping. It might seem benign enough, but like any leak in your home, the cumulative amount of water wasted from dripping faucets can be much more significant than you think!
Take a Bath or Shorter Showers
You might think that the gallons of water it takes to fill your bathtub are more wasteful than taking a shower. It’s easy to think like this because all of the water you use during your shower immediately goes down the drain, so you never really have a good sense of how much water you’re using.
If you have a standard bathtub, you use about 42 gallons of water to fill it up. That might sound like a lot too, but compare that to the EPA-estimated 2.5 gallons/minute flow for the average showerhead: In about 17 minutes, you’ve used the same amount of water as you would have during a bath.
If you’re partial to longer showers – say, 30-45 minutes – you could use as much as 112.5 gallons of water on just one shower!
Install Water Flow Restrictors
If you want to cut down on water use in your shower, you can call a plumber to install a flow restrictor or fixtures that are designs to cut down on water use! This way you can enjoy those longer showers without worrying as much about your water use!
Check Your Toilet for Leaks
If you’ve noticed leaking around the base of your toilet, there are two likely reasons. For one, the wax ring sealing your toilet to your home’s drainpipe might be broken. The second reason could be that the caulk sealing the base of your toilet to the floor is deteriorating.
In either case, losing this seal can cause wastewater leaving the bowl to leak out before it reaches the drain. This can not only lead to water damage on the floor around your toilet, but it can also promote the growth of harmful bacteria.
Is Your Toilet Running?
No, this isn’t a setup for some hackneyed joke. A running toilet is one that always sounds like it’s trying to refill the tank after a flush. It may not be consistent in the sense that it’s never-ending, but you may hear your toilet routinely cycling even though you know no one’s used it recently.
Running toilets are very common and require a little skill and patience to fix. If you have a running toilet, it means that the rubber or plastic seal at the bottom of the tank isn’t properly sealing when the toilet lever is disengaged. This problem often occurs when a small chain connecting the flushing lever is disconnected from the seal’s operating mechanism.
Only Wash Full Loads of Laundry
Washing machines use A LOT of water. A single cycle can use as much as 30-35 gallons. If you aren’t waiting to wash full loads, you could be using much more water than necessary!
Don’t Leave Faucets Running for Anything!
One of the most common ways people waste water around their homes is by simply letting their faucets run. Whether you’re doing dishes, cleaning produce, brushing your teeth, or shaving, get in the habit of turning off the tap when you’re not actively using water!
Only Irrigate Your Lawn When You Need To!
These days, it’s easier than ever to schedule your home’s sprinkler system. While it may be tempting to let these programs run their course, you should always be mindful of the weather and cancel irrigation on days when you expect rain.
Contact a Plumber for an Inspection
As you can see, there’s only so much you can do on your own to control your water use. Sometimes it’s up to your home’s plumbing system and fixtures to work properly to save water around your home.
If you want more advice about how you can save water around your home, reach out to Dovis Plumbing for help. Not only can we perform inspections to check for leaks and repair them, but we can also install water-conscious fixtures that can help you cut down on your household water use.
For more information, reach out to Dovis Plumbing online today!