The summer season brings a lot of excitement, warm weather, and fun opportunities for those who love to get outdoors. However, for homes along the west coast, this summer is also expected to bring record-breaking drought. In addition to its environmental concerns, drought can create higher water bills as the supply and demand balance shifts. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to get your home ready without breaking the bank. Here are 5 drought-proofing tips that will help you save money and water this summer.
Tip 1: Low-Flow Water Fixtures
One of the easiest ways to incur water savings is by installing low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets. If you have not made the switch to low-flow, now is the time. These units are designed to save money and water while promoting environmental protection.
If you already have low-flow fixtures, you will want to ensure they are not outdated. Low-flow technology has evolved a lot over the years. Newer units are both highly efficient and water-conserving. If you have older low-flow fixtures, you may be due for an upgrade.
Tip 2: Check for Leaks
When your pipes, plumbing fixtures, or appliances are leaking, they will waste money and water while putting your home at risk for greater damage. All of your plumbing systems are susceptible to leaking—including your showers, sinks, and faucets. Another common—yet unsuspecting—culprit of leaks is your toilets. Flapper issues with a running toilet may drain water when your toilet is not in use. Some signs of home plumbing leaks include:
- Higher water bills
- Water stains on your walls or ceilings
- Standing water or puddles in your home
- High home humidity
- Noises (such as dripping water or continuous running toilet sounds)
However, certain plumbing leaks, such as a slab leak, may only be detectable by a professional meter check. Annual plumbing maintenance can help you stay ahead of potential leaks. Here is our comprehensive guide on what to do when you find a water leak in your home.
Tip 3: Pool Tips For Saving Water
If you have a pool, you know the financial toll it can take on your water bill. Thankfully, there are easy steps you can follow to save water and money. First, turn off your automatic pool filler. This setting could have your pool refilling with every splash. Instead, you can save water and money by refilling your pool with a hose as needed.
You might also consider plugging your pool overflow. Each time you create a small splash or wave, a little water is lost out of the drain hole. This causes your pool to need frequent refills.
Water evaporation is a primary source of pool water loss. By covering your pool when it is not in use, you can prevent this evaporation. You may also consider regularly checking your pool for leaks. An easy way to do this is with the bucket test:
- First, turn off your pump so that your pool will not refill on its own.
- Then, fill up a 5-gallon bucket with water from your pool.
- Next, place the full bucket on your pool stairs. If possible you will want the bucket water levels to be even with your pool water levels.
- After 24-hours, you can compare the water levels of your pool with the bucket. Both may lose water from evaporation. However, if your pool is leaking, it will drain water faster than the bucket.
Tip 4: Install a Recirculating Pump
When you need hot water—whether for a shower, cleaning, or cooking—you often have to run your water for a while before it gets hot. This process tends to waste time, money, and water. The solution for quick hot water is a recirculation pump. This installation can save you up to 12,000 gallons of water waste each year while offering the convenience of instantaneous warm water. It’s a win-win situation. Best of all, with the latest technology, this installation is a quick and easy upgrade for your home.
Tip 5: Mindful Water Usage
We all need running water in our homes. The key is making the most of the water you use. By being strategic and mindful in your home practices, you can save both water and money. Here are a few ideas for making the most of your water usage:
- Bathroom Radios: For homes with multiple people and only a few bathrooms, some residents may want to be discrete when using the bathroom. As such, they may run water to cover their bathroom noises. Consider putting a radio or noise machine in your bathrooms as an alternative. This can help keep your family comfortable while saving water.
- Water Conserving Routines: Turning off the water while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face can add up to significant water (and money) savings over time. You may also consider spitting in the toilet instead of your sink. This will save your drains from clogging with toothpaste while saving you extra water.
- Greywater Systems: If you are serious about saving water, you can also have a custom greywater system engineered for your home. During this process, we design a system that repurposes laundry and tub water for gardening and irrigation. While it is not a “quick and easy” process, it results in serious water savings.
- Full Appliances: Ensure your water-based appliances (like your dishwasher and laundry machine) are full before running them. For example, your dishwasher will use the same amount of water with each cycle—regardless of whether it is a full load or nearly empty. As such, you make the most of your water by running only full loads.
- Check Water Pressure: Most homes have a water pressure regulator valve, which should be set around 50 PSI. Higher PSI settings will lead to substantially more water waste. Elevated PSI settings cause you to use a higher volume of water each time you turn on the shower or faucet. Not to mention, the high pressure creates turbulence within your pipes, which can wear out your water-based appliances and plumbing systems.
- Smart Irrigation: Water your lawn and garden in intervals rather than all at once. You should also check your sprinkler heads for leaks. According to the EPA, irrigation system issues can waste 25,000 gallons of water each year. You may also consider installing a new irrigation controller. The latest models have water-saving settings to help you manage your conservation efforts while keeping your yard green.
Bonney Home Drought-Proofing in Sacramento
Are you ready to drought-proof your Sacramento home or business? Bonney is here for you. We offer the latest water conservation services and installations. Our experts can also help you take advantage of cost savings with available rebates, tax credits, and coupons. Make an appointment with our Bonney Plumbing professionals to get started today!