Today I want to talk about what could be the most neglected part of most households, the plumbing. A few minutes spent on a lazy Saturday afternoon doing a little upkeep on your plumbing can save you big money over the long run.
Install shutoffs and leak detectors
A good place to start your plumbing maintenance is by locating the main water shutoff valve to your home and turning it off and on a few times each year. This valve can seize up if not used once in a while, or worse, it could start leaking.
Now that you figuratively got your feet wet with your plumbing, remember to turn off your outdoor taps from the shutoffs inside your home. Leave the exterior taps open to prevent the pipes from freezing up and cracking during the winter.
Lastly, if you’re not daring enough to try it yourself, have a certified plumber install a stop and waste ball valve that you can easily turn off. It would also be a good idea to invest in leak detection equipment to shut off the water supply if there’s a problem while you’re not home.
Fix your fixtures
Plumbing fixtures are where a lot of your money can literally go down the drain. One leaky faucet can waste up to 15 gallons a day, which adds up to about $15 a month on your water bill, depending on your municipal water provider. If your faucet is dripping, replace the cartridge or install a quality faucet with a warranty on the cartridges. Remember, just because a faucet looks nice, doesn’t mean it has good quality inner parts.
Did you know toilets can leak? According to Environment Canada 30% of daily home water usage is attributed to toilets1. An easy way to check if your toilet tank is seeping is by dropping some food colouring into the tank and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes. If you see the colouring in the bowl, your tank is leaking. Also, if you have a dual flush toilet, you need to follow the manufacturer’s preventative maintenance schedule to ensure optimal performance and avoid breakdowns.
Showers don’t just wash away dirt; they can wash away money too. A 10-minute shower can use up to 42 gallons of water. Help save money on your water by installing a low-flow showerhead. Plus, fluctuations in the water pressure during a shower could mean there’s mineral build-up in the spouts. You can either clean each hole individually with a pin, or simply unscrew the showerhead and place it in a tub of vinegar over night. Remember to scrub it with a brush to remove stubborn mineral deposits before reinstalling.
Clear up your drains
Kitchen sinks can get clogged by grease so it’s a good idea to pick up some eco-friendly drain cleaner that uses enzymes to eat away the grease without harmful chemicals.
Avoid doing dishes
Yes, I’m serious. Consider using a dishwasher instead of washing in the sink. A dishwasher uses a third less water2 and if it’s energy efficient, you’ll save even more.
1 – source
2 – source