Abnormally high water bills are never a pleasant surprise when they come in the mail, particularly during hot, summer months. Often, homeowners reach dead-ends when considering how else to limit their water use, or when trying to diagnose an unwanted spike in their water bill.
Fortunately, there are some secret techniques you can start doing right now to lower your home water bill and reduce your overall water consumption.
1.) Water Your Lawn Properly
Inefficient or improper lawn watering can make up for upwards of 65 percent of overall water use; a gratuitous waste which can also damage your lawn as opposed to help it grow. The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities suggests watering your lawn early in the day or later in the afternoon, avoiding the hottest parts of the day. This is because some of the water from your sprinklers evaporates as it is sprayed, wasting gallons upon gallons of water over time.
The Sacramento Department of Utilities also suggests adjusting your sprinklers to avoid spraying sidewalks and other non-lawn surfaces, and cleaning your sidewalks with a broom or blower, as opposed to a hose. You can lower your monthly water bill substantially by simply limiting consumption when watering your lawn, and mitigating waste wherever possible.
2.) Efficient Appliance Use And Low-Flow Products
An expensive and undesirable water bill can also be the result of inefficient home appliances. Try adopting new, front-load washing machines in place of traditional, top-load machines; these new machines save both energy and water consumption, which builds up over time to impressively decrease your water bill. We also recommend efficient dishwasher use; run dishwasher cycles only when the washer is full, and avoid hand-washing whenever possible. Per load, hand-washing wastes 3-5 times as much water as a standard dishwasher cycle.
Additionally, you can replace your home’s faucet head and showerhead fixtures with low-flow models. These models limit the flow of water, while still keeping a proper output speed; you get the same water you need, but less of it is wasted over time. Today’s low-flow showerheads can save 15 gallons of water in only 10 minutes. Try it for yourself! Replace your water fixture heads with low-flow models, and see the immediate differences on your next water bill. Also, standard toilets consume over 3 gallons of water per flush, as opposed to low-flow toilets, which use around half of that per flush. Think about how much you could save annually by adopting these new, innovative low-flow fixtures.
3.) Anticipate Water Consumption Changes
To lower your water bill, or at least prepare increases that may happen, you can try anticipating future spikes in use. These usage increases often result from seasonal water use changes, guests or home visitors, and outdoor water activities (such as pools). By anticipating these changes, you can accommodate for them by limiting water use in other areas that month, to keep your water bill down to a comfortable minimum. Identifying areas of increased water use before they occur can also let you make adjustments, and seek less consuming alternatives.
4.) Switch Off The Water While Washing Your Hands
This plumbing tip is pretty straight forward, but so many forget to act on it: you can save an incredible amount of water monthly just by turning off your water while washing your hands with soap, shaving and brushing your teeth. Essentially, any time you can afford to turn off your bathroom sink during use, you should.
While it may seem like a menial amount of water is being wasted while brushing your teeth or washing your hands, it all builds up; over the course of a year, you will have wasted countless gallons upon gallons of water over nothing. Avoid making this mistake, and limit how carelessly you leave you bathroom water fixtures running. If you’re really looking in to saving money on your water bill, we also recommend brushing your teeth in the shower.
5.) Thaw Frozen Foods In The Fridge
One of the most common ways Sacramento residents waste water in their homes is by using warm sink water to thaw out frozen foods, such as meats. Not only does thawing through your refrigerator prevent pointless water consumption, but it also limits the chances of your food spoiling.
6.) Limit Your Dish Use
Additionally, you can save countless gallons of your annual water consumption by limiting your dish use. If you drink water frequently throughout the day, set aside one glass and reuse it as needed. This eliminates unnecessary hand-washing and dishwasher filling, which adds up over time to save you considerably on your water bill. The core concept is minimal everyday water consumption. When you limit your dish use, you also limit your water use.
7.) Check Your Plumbing Frequently
You can save considerable money on your water bill by performing routine plumbing self-inspections, and even scheduling a professional plumbing inspection annually. How? Routine, monthly self-inspections serve preventatively to keep pipe and water fixture damages to a minimum. With regular pipe inspections, you can catch potential problems before they can develop into something, much, much worse.
Detecting these plumbing damages early is important, because they often result in leaks and faulty joints, through which gratuitous water can escape and spike you water bill through the roof. It’s better to catch these at-risk areas before costly, water-consuming leaks can occur.
8.) Act Proactively With Pipe Leaks, And Know The Signs
However, to catch these leaks and damages early, you’ll need to know the signs. The following is a short list of common leak indicators you can refer to when examining your home’s plumbing pipes and water fixtures.
- Decreased water flow
- Decreased water pressure
- Moisture spots on your lawn
- Light puddles around plumbing fixtures and pipes
- Persistent clogging
- Lush grass concentrations and lawn indentations
If you notice any of these signs in your home, or expect a leak to be the cause of a recent increase in your water bill, it may be time to call in a professional plumbing service to address the problem.
9.) Call A Specialist Right Away Over Damages
If you notice any of these signs, or expect there to be a water-consuming leak in your home, you should call a Sacramento plumbing professional right away to inspect your home’s plumbing. Plumbing pipe damage, faulty installation and poor maintenance can all lead to water-wasting leaks, and thus a boost in your water bill. Perform regular inspections, now the signs of a water leak, and contact a specialist right away if you notice anything irregular.
If you’re looking for a professional evaluation of the plumbing in your Sacramento home, or would like to learn more about the many factors that can affect your water bill, contact the experts at Express Sewer & Drain today.