Most people are astounded at the impact of even tiny leaks in faucets or toilets.
Leaks that are barely perceptible to the naked eye can waste thousands of gallons of fresh water a year, costing you hundreds of dollars in excess water bills. If you have a leak that you know of, get it fixed before all that money goes, literally, down the drain. It’s a good idea to have a professional plumber do a complete household check-up to find leaks that escape casual notice. Also, the damage from an ongoing leak is typically far more expensive to take care of than is the original problem if it is addressed in a timely and professional manner.
Repair leaky faucets quickly to avoid further damage to the fixtures and faucets.
Don’t put up with any slowly dripping faucets. A slow drip can waste as much as 150 gallons of water each day, or 4,500 gallons per month and will add to the water bill.
When replacing plumbing fixtures, consider the long-term savings by purchasing a high efficiency water heater, or a low water consumption fixture.
On-demand water heaters are now available and provide exceptional benefits in the right circumstances (but not in all cases). Toilets consume more than 40% of your total water usage. Installation of a new toilet flapper and fill valve will keep your toilet running efficiently.
Water Heater Conservation Tips
Conserve energy and improve safety by checking the temperature setting on your water heater. It should not be above 120 degrees Fahrenheit or medium setting on older models. Also, the temperature on thermostats is not always accurate; test the hot water temperature at the tap (just after the unit has completed a heating cycle and enough water has been run to flush the water through the piping). Hot water is dangerous, especially to the elderly and youngsters and scalding time increases rapidly at temperatures over 120 degrees.
Your water heater is one of the most important household appliances. If you do not have a quality water treatment system, sediment may build up over time at the bottom of the heater, which can hamper performance.
Periodically, drain water from the bottom of your water heater to remove sediment, which extends the life of your water heater. Just realize that some non-contractor grade units have plastic valves that may fail – especially if the unit has not been regularly serviced.
Also important is a water heater burner inspection. A good way of telling is to check the flame under the water heater. It should appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly yellow or if you see a layer of soot and carbon, the flue ways may be clogged. Don’t try anything yourself at this point. Call a professional to investigate the situation.
Once a water heater springs a leak in it’s housing, it is beyond repair and must be replaced. Many units will last 15-20 years or even longer before this happens. (And it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times, like when the family is coming over for a holiday gathering!) If you have an ancient water heater, it may pay off for you to get it replaced even before it breaks down. Units made in the last 10 -15 years have much higher operating efficiencies than older models. Savings in fuel costs often will pay for the new installation in just a few years.
No Hot Water from a gas water heater? First check to insure that the gas is turned on to the water heater (and if propane is your fuel source, check to be sure you have sufficient pressure from your propane tank). If the gas valve is on and the gas is on to the house, check to see if the pilot light is lit. If the pilot light is lit, refer to the operating manual for instructions on lighting the pilot light. If the pilot light is lit and the water heater is still not heating it is best to call your local, licensed, plumber or qualified gas contractor to check further.