Whether you’ve been noticing an increase in your monthly bills or you’re looking for a way to save some extra money, learning how to reduce your water consumption is a great place to start. You might find it surprising how many different ways there are to cut down on your water usage — even small daily changes can lead to monthly bill reductions that can add up over time.
By conserving water use every day, you can keep the cost of water treatment down and help protect the environment. Here are a few water-saving hacks to help you get started.
Common Causes of High Water Bills
Many property owners wonder why their water bill is so high. Learning about the causes will help you lower expenses in the long run by using proactive methods to repair or prevent more water usage.
Leaking or Running Toilet
Your high water bill may rise due to a leaking or running toilet. On average, toilets account for 24% of water use by Americans, with about five flushes daily. It’s essential to check for typical performance occurring with tests. Consider one of these two standard methods:
- A dye test: This method requires removing a toilet lid and inserting a few dye tablets or food coloring drops into the tank. After waiting about 15 to 20 minutes, any dye in the bowl confirms water flow from a leak.
- A sound check: Listen for noises coming from your toilet. A hissing sound suggests water is leaking or running. Inspectors check seals, water connections and tank flappers.
A leaky fixture with one drop every second will drip about 2,083 gallons of water yearly. Homeowners fixing faucet leaks rather than later prevents a water bill increase. Check your showerheads, faucets and other fixtures for faulty rubber washers in the handle.
If you discover a leaky faucet, a simple fix provides a great solution. Turning off the water and unscrewing and replacing the washer stops the leak. Keep tiles, porcelain and other materials clean and safe by spotting drips early on.
Seasonal Water Consumption
Seasonal changes may cause a water bill that’s too high. During winter, running water through pipes keeps them from freezing. In addition, humidifiers on a furnace during the dry season may malfunction or appear improperly adjusted and use more water. Summer usually results in more water usage for the following reasons:
- More showers after sweating outside
- Watering of lawns and plants
- Kids staying home during summer break
- Filling and cleaning pools
- Cooling of air conditioners
Not Using the Right Water Softener
Appliances often remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium from drinking water. A softener system may become faulty periodically. When this happens, the backwash sometimes gets stuck in a valve’s open position and water continuously flows.
Contact a professional if you suspect an issue with your softener system. Common traits of a faulty process include a salty taste and a change in water pressure. Salt levels, the amount of water in the tank and parts such as motors and bypass switches play a role in how the machine operates. A fix or replacement saves money over time and restores your pressure preferences.
Dishwasher Is Leaking
Sometimes a tiny drip underneath your dishwater begins to pool. Months or years could go by before a property owner notices the leak. You should promptly handle a dishwater leak to your kitchen floors, walls and cabinets. When you see a dishwasher leak, soak up any surrounding water with towels.
If the leak occurs while the machine runs, there are many possible causes. Some parts may need fixing or replacing, such as the gasket, door latch, hose and connections, pump seal, floating switch and more. Other times, a professional may be necessary to assess drainage, unlevel appliances and detergent issues for restoring your home’s dishwasher operation with like-new conditions.
A loose joint or line crack in landscaping irrigation could cause leakage, even while the system remains turned off. Finding leaks in outdoor areas is challenging due to systems buried underneath the ground. Home irrigation leaks could use an additional 6,300 gallons of water monthly.
Check your lawn and backyard for irrigation issues, such as damp or overly lush patches compared to surrounding grass or plants. If you notice a drain from your garden hose, consider replacing its spigot connection with a new nylon or rubber hose washer. An inspection checks if your sprinklers, garden hose and pool leak and strategizes for maximum outdoor water efficiency.
5 Tips to Save Water in Your Home
To start saving money on your water bill, check out our quick and easy tips.
1. Reuse and Repurpose Your Water
This tip will require you to stretch your creative muscles. You can reuse and repurpose water in a number of ways instead of throwing it away. For example, instead of pouring water you used for washing vegetables or cooking pasta down the drain, you can use it to water your house plants. You can also save rainwater in barrels and use that to water your lawn or plants.
2. Turn off Your Tap and Reduce the Flow
Leaving your tap water running when you’re brushing your teeth, shaving or lathering up in the shower can contribute to gallons and gallons of wasted water each day. Turning the water off when you aren’t using it can cut down on the amount expended. When you do have your tap water running, you can reduce the flow of it with an aerator. Doing so will help you conserve water, which translates to lower monthly water bills.
3. Take Shorter and Smarter Showers
While long baths can be a luxurious treat, taking a shower uses up less water. What’s more, when you reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower, you can save even more per month. Also, just like with your tap water, you can make simple changes to cut down on the amount of water coming from your showerhead. A low-flow showerhead can reduce the amount of water you use by up to 50%.
4. Run Full Loads and Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
You most likely use appliances like your washing machine and dishwasher daily — perhaps even multiple times per day. Reducing the number of times you use these appliances can help you save money. Make sure you run them only when you have a full load. Similarly, use energy-efficient appliances to save anywhere from 35 to 50% less water each cycle.
5. Regularly Inspect Your Appliances and Fix Leaks
Every so often, inspect faucets and appliances that tend to use a lot of water — like your dishwasher and toilet — to check for leaks. If you find any, you’ll want to fix them as soon as possible, as even small leaks can lead to large amounts of wasted water each day. Household leaks can waste nearly 200 gallons of water per day, so finding the source of any leaks and fixing them can greatly reduce your water consumption.
How Water Consumption Impacts the Environment
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that the average American household uses 300 gallons of water every day. This shocking statistic means everyone can do their part to reduce water consumption indoors and outdoors.
Water is a human necessity for life. Saving water at home is a way to help the environment continue to thrive while maintaining your needs. Overconsumption of water can damage the surrounding area’s water supply. Using too much water in your home begins a chain reaction of several environmental concerns.
A reduced water supply could mean higher water prices or national restrictions because it is a limited resource. Low water levels can put natural ecosystems in danger and increase pollutants in the water sources.
Saving water can make a difference so you and your community can fulfill your needs without straining the environment. Because 70% of American water usage is indoors, it is worth considering small changes you can make to save water at home.
Consult With Our Team of Water Experts
At Culligan Water, we specialize in keeping your home’s water system clean and healthy to use. Our water treatment systems are an eco-friendly solution for your household. We know that the environment depends on us to save water every day. To learn more about how to save and treat the water in your home, contact Culligan Water at 717-746-0379 or make an appointment today.