It’s an inevitability for a homeowner — the water bill. But even if you’re faced with a water bill each month, there are ways to reduce the financial drain. These tips and tricks can be done at home and will help you save money on your water costs. But if you have any serious plumbing issues, call a professional plumber to ease the burden.
Upgrade Your Shower Heads
The original shower head in your bathroom probably isn’t very energy efficient. Shower heads have come a long way in recent years to disperse water more effectively and efficiently. And there are lots of flow-restricting shower heads that still deliver a relaxing massage.
Standard shower heads use almost 10 litres of water per minute. Flow-restricting shower heads use no more than 7.5 litres of water per minute. If you shower every day that’s a lot of wasted water! It’s easy to wash away your savings with outdated shower heads.
Take Shorter Showers
The average person’s shower lasts about 8 minutes long. That’s over 75 litres of water each use! Imagine using that much gasoline in your car every day. All that shower time increases your water bill and also takes more freshwater out of natural environments.
Even if you’re someone who loves a hot shower, try limiting your showers to 5 minutes long. You’ll notice a difference when it comes to paying the utility bill.
Use a Recirculation Line
A recirculation line is a plumbing system that quickly moves hot water to your tap or faucet. Traditional hot water plumbing typically delivers water at a lower pressure, which means more time waiting for hot water.
Recirculation line systems use a thermostat to sense low water temperatures at your water outlet and automatically begin to pump hot water in that direction. No need to let the water run! This saves a ton of clean water and energy, which ultimately saves you money on your water bill. And installation costs are relatively affordable.
Tighten Up Your Toilets
Have you ever had to jiggle the chain in the tank at the back of your toilet? Do you ever hear the toilet tank running a long time after flushing? These are obvious signs that your toilet tank is leaking, but this water waster could be more subtle.
Place a few drops of coloured dye in the back of the toilet and wait to see if colour starts to appear in the bowl. It could take about 20 minutes, but if you see colour in the toilet bowl you’ve got a leak. This slow trickle will increase your water consumption. Replacing the toilet flapper is a DIY project, but a plumber can assess more complicated leaks.
Invest in a Low-Flush Toilet
Our toilets don’t always need an entire tank of new water after each use. Dual-flush toilets have become more common in new construction and it might be time you upgrade for your home. Low-flush toilets offer a flush volume for both liquid and solid waste.
Dual-flush toilets use about 67% less water when compared to traditional single-setting flush bowls. That’s a lot of conserved water, especially for large families, so don’t flush your money down the tube. Update your toilets!
Fix Those Leaky Faucets
A leaky sink might be annoying, but it’s doing more damage than you think. A single drop per second from a leaky faucet amounts to more than 11,000 litres of water per year! A leaky faucet drops your bank account too!
Run Full Loads of Laundry
You can save money on your water bill by always running full loads of laundry. Not only does this lower the amount of water you use each month, but it also extends the life of your washing machine. So think about your chequing account next time you try to wash just a couple of t-shirts.
Today’s laundry machines are much more water-efficient than classic models, using only about 25 litres per load compared to 150 litres in the 90s. Think about updating your washing machine if your family does a lot of laundry.
Water Friendly Dishwashing
Your dishwasher is another machine that should only be run when it’s full. And perhaps surprisingly, modern dishwashing machines are more efficient than hand washing. If you want to save water and save money, wait for a full load.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, use the two-basin method to hand wash as opposed to leaving the tap running. It’s the most cost-effective way to clean your plates.
Turn Off the Taps
There are lots of daily tasks that require running the bathroom sink. But whether you’re shaving, brushing your teeth, or doing another part of your personal care routine, turn the tap off when you don’t actually need water. A typical sink faucet can pour over 4 litres per minute, which means you are wasting at least 24 litres a day leaving the tap on while you brush. That’s a lot of dollars going to the utility company!
Water Your Lawn With a Timer
We all know how dry it can get in Alberta, and it’s tough keeping your grass nice and green. But over-watering your lawn can hurt in 2 ways. Water lodging your grass can damage it over time. Most lawns only need 1.5 inches of water per week.
Just as importantly, all that extra water is racking up your utility bill! Use a sprinkler timer when watering your lawn. These devices will automatically turn off water according to your settings and can be added to almost any outdoor faucet. Even without a timing device, you should set up a timer to turn the water off yourself. Save yourself the wasted water!
Don’t Wait To Save
Don’t get soaked when it comes to paying your water bill! Follow these ways to conserve water in your home to save money on your utilities. And if your water bill continues to rise, call a plumber for a professional assessment.