Do your plans for carefree summer fun include plumbing maintenance? Maybe they should, since we’re still suffering the effects of a multi-year water shortage here in southern California. Those El Nino forecasts didn’t deliver the sort of drought-busting rain we hoped for last winter, so water conservation remains high on the agenda. Another thing that may be high is your monthly water bill. Summer’s a good time to take control of water-waste issues and reduce costs. The place to start is your household plumbing. Here are some areas to focus on:
Fix Dripping Faucets
Three faucets dripping three times per minute can send over 300 gallons down the drain annually. Have a plumber troubleshoot and repair the cause of leaky faucets—likely, simply a worn washer or defective seals.
Repair Running Toilets
Toilets are frequent water-waste suspects. Usually it’s one of two simple issues: a worn-out flapper valve in the bottom of the tank or a defective fill valve. Both can waste hundreds of gallons of water and both are a simple fix for any qualified plumber.
Don’t Ignore Little Leaks
Small leaks from water supply lines in household plumbing run 24/7/365 whether you’re paying attention or not. Even pinhole leaks waste water and shouldn’t be dismissed as “normal.” Minor leaks can also be the red flag for a major pipe rupture that could happen at any time and inflict expensive water damage. Tell a plumber ASAP if you notice any.
Upgrade Aging Fixtures
A toilet from the disco era probably consumes more than 5 gallons per flush (GPF). The current federal standard for a high-efficiency toilet (HET) is 1.3 GPF. Upgrading to these modern water-friendly units can save up to 13,000 gallons per year in the average family. Also consider installing water-saving showerheads—they’ve been greatly improved in recent years—as well as faucet aerators.
Maybe it’s time to consider drought-tolerant landscaping that needs less water in the first place? Just a thought. For plants that still requiring watering in summer, however, water after dark or in the early morning to minimize loss due to evaporation.
Hopefully, normal rainfall will return to SoCal some day. Even when it does, however, water conservation is likely to remain both a private concern that benefits your household budget as well as a public responsibility to help conserve this increasingly scarce natural resource.
If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Maintaining Your Septic System Properly“
North County Plumbing is located in Oceanside, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services…with no overtime charges!