If you’re looking for ways to save money, perhaps for personal goals or because it’s quite literally your 2019 New Years Resolution, stay on this page! While there is a lot you can do to save a buck or two, there are a few not-so-hidden costs that may seem unavoidable. If you’re looking at astronomically high plumbing and water costs, investing in a few cheap, simple solutions or strategies, such as learning how to use a garbage disposal or looking into how to reduce water usage, can save you money. So, let’s commit to these 4 plumbing best practices and save a few bucks along the way!

1. Fix Plumbing Leaks

National averages for leaking faucets can set a household back anywhere between $20-$200 a year. And that’s per each plumbing leak — pending on the severity of the leak. While the costs for repairs can be sometimes high, DIY options are available to drastically reduce the cost of a simple leak repair. In fact, you should consider DIY methods to fix plumbing leaks to help reduce water usage, especially if the water being used is wasted rather than being put to good use.

Additionally, check for internal pipes to see if there are any damaged pipes affecting water usage. While they may be difficult to check, an easy check is to turn off the water system and check the water meter. Given that your tap is off, you should expect to see a drastic decrease (to zero) in your water meter. If that’s not the case, then we would recommend next detecting where the leak may be. Simply walk around the house (while the meter is off) and listen for running water or leaks. There are a few more DIY tests you can check out here for plumbing leak detection. After detecting leaks, consider how you should proceed to fix plumbing leaks.

Once you narrow in on the root of the issue, you should assess how difficult/easy it may be to fix. Some leaky pipes may call for a simple tightening of pipes or some application of plumber’s tape to ease the issue. Simple repairs will be one of many ways on how to reduce water usage, especially when you’re not using it. To truly fix plumbing leaks at home, make sure that after all your efforts to fix plumbing leaks, that you can run the water meter test after turning off the water. If the problem persists and you have difficulty getting to the root of the problem, or if the problem seems a bit too big to handle, then maybe it’s time to call your local plumber to get the problem resolved.

2. Learn How To Use Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are great for disposing of food items that would otherwise stink up the trash bin. If you’re wondering what to not put down the disposal, here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Eggshells
  • Bones
  • Celery
  • All Types Of Shells
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Eggshells
  • Onion Skin
  • Trash
  • Banana Peels
  • Fruit Pits
  • Grease
  • Eggshells
  • Corn Husks
  • Oil
  • Starchy Products (potatoes and pasta)
  • Have We Mentioned Eggshells?

If you’re still wondering if you should put eggshells down the disposal… the answer is no. Really, you should look for things that might be slippery, slimy, or sticky. These items can stick to garbage disposal blades and damage or drastically weaken your disposal’s ability to get rid of food particles. When considering how to use a garbage disposal, consider how to reduce the work your disposal has to do. If you come across food like eggshells, banana peels, or other compostable food, it might be a good idea to look into getting a compost bin to get rid of your waste alternatively when convenient. Easing up the tasks is one of many plumbing best practices to consider.

This will save you money in the long run to avoid repairs or total garbage disposal replacements. Even then, having a few garbage disposal DIY repairs can come in handy. For instance, running salt and ice chips down your disposal while the blades run can scrub away at stuck food and clean the blades. Or, running lemon water with a high salt concentrate scrub the garbage disposal and offer a citrus after-scent if you’re dealing with a particularly smelly garbage disposal. Above all else, it is critically important to know what can and cannot be thrown down a disposal when looking at how to use a garbage disposal.

3. Learn How To Reduce Water Usage

We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t run the faucet while we brush our teeth (which is true, you shouldn’t do that). However, there are a few key ways in which we waste water.

Waiting For The Shower To Turn Hot: When looking into how to reduce water usage, this is a space of big waste. While you should remain comfortable and shouldn’t have to jump in the shower if it is freezing cold, there are ways to reduce the time it takes for the shower to get cold. Consider a hot water recirculation system. It can be attached to the top of your water heater. It minimizes the amount of travel time your water circulates through to get to you and can get you access to hot water faster — saving you time, water, and money in the process. This is one of many plumbing best practices as it cuts out the waste of water and the time involved with simply waiting for your plumbing appliances to do what they are meant to do. Alternatively, you can explore a ‘point of use’ water heater around the important faucets which can carry around 4 gallons of water. As such, you’ll have 4 gallons of hot water for immediate use while the water from the system warms up.

Using Outdated Household Appliances: Energy-efficient household appliances are optimized to save you money while also saving energy and water in the process. For example, the process of handwashing dishes consumes up to 3-5 gallons of water per minute whereas up-to-date dishwasher machines use up to 3-5 gallons of water per load. As such, the amount of water you can save by opting for dishwashers is astronomical. This applies to showerheads, new faucets, washing machines, refrigerators, and more.

4. Call Your Local Plumber

Finally, maintenance is key for plumbing best practices. Whether it be to offer suggestions and other methods on how to reduce water usage or helping fix plumbing leaks, schedule service from our team of plumbers or call at 602-787-3956! We’re always more than happy to help.