Are you sick and tired of throwing money down the drain? Suffolk County homeowners don't want to spend more than necessary on their water bill, but that's exactly what happens when you're dealing with low-efficiency or malfunctioning plumbing fixtures, or you have a problem with leaking pipes.
If the rate you pay your utility bill is increasing but your water usage has remained the same, chances are you have a plumbing issue that needs attention from local plumbers. But how do you pinpoint the problem so you can get it repaired and stop breaking out in a cold sweat when you open your utility bill?
This guide covers five tips from your experienced local plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central Long Island that can save you quite a bit of money on your water bill. Our service technicians have helped many Long Island homeowners and business owners get significant reductions in their water costs, so they know the solutions that will give your bank account a break and can get your plumbing system running efficiently.
1. Check Your Meter
Your home has a water meter, usually located on the outside of the building. In the evening, right before everyone is going to bed for the night, make sure all the faucets and appliances are turned off and no water is flowing, then take a look at the meter and note down where the indicator (a small black or red triangle, or dial arm) is located. In the morning, before using any fixtures or appliances, go check again. If the reading is higher than when you went to bed or if the indicator is moving, then that's a sign that water is still flowing and you may have a hidden leak somewhere in your home.
A plumbing leak can waste a surprising amount of water, which will naturally increase your costs. But, it can also cause a catastrophic amount of damage in a short period of time if it's left unchecked. Anyone who has ever had to deal with moisture damage mitigation for issues like mold and wood rot will tell you it's a hassle worth avoiding.
Video Camera Inspection
So how can local plumbers detect a hidden leak? At Mr. Rooter, our qualified plumbers use video camera inspection technology to check up on the health of your plumbing system. With this non-invasive method, a small video camera attached to a flexible cable is lowered into your drain and maneuvered through the pipe, recording everything it "sees." Your plumber will check the video feedback and interpret it to get a pretty good idea of where the problem is occurring. That way, they can go straight to the problem area without having to rip up your walls or dig up your lawn trying to find the leak, and that's why video camera inspection is such an essential plumbing service.
2. Examine Your Toilets
Is your toilet running? Better go catch it! Sorry, we just had to get that one out of our system.
Even toilets that are functioning perfectly are notorious for their high water usage, especially older ones—and a small malfunction can turn them into merciless water-wasters. In fact, a leaking toilet can waste 6,000 gallons per month. That's why it pays to be aware of potential issues with the toilets in your home.
If you hear liquid running in a toilet even though it hasn't been flushed recently, that's a sign that it may be leaking. Try placing a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the water in the bowl changes color without flushing, you've got a problem. A sticky flapper valve is another potential problem, as it forces more water than necessary through the toilet when it is flushed. Local plumbers offer plumbing services to inspect your toilets and get them back in working order—though if the toilet is more than about 10 years old, it may need to be replaced.
3. Install Energy Efficient Fixtures
Speaking of replacing toilets and other plumbing fixtures, if your fixtures are on the older side, they're wasting money even if they're functioning perfectly. Your faucets are more than just an exit point, they also regulate the amount of water that passes through them. Newer, environmentally-friendly models of faucets, shower heads, and toilets can drastically reduce the amount of output without sacrificing pressure. Low-flow faucets can actually reduce water usage for that fixture by 20 to 50 percent, which will make a significant difference on your bill—you'll still have access to all the water you need, but you'll spend a lot less to get it.
4. Upgrade Your Hot Water Heater
The next stop is your water heater, particularly if you have a conventional system that continuously heats a tank. While your heater may not be driving up your water bill—though that's certainly a possibility if it's leaking—an older, inefficient, or broken water heater is definitely increasing your gas or electric bill. It can also cause unpleasant problems such as discolored water or insufficient supply.
Heaters only have an expected lifespan of about 11 to 20 years, depending on factors such as how much maintenance it receives and how hard your water is. A new, energy-efficient heater can save as much as 60% of your water heating costs. A new conventional model with a tank will still save money, but the savings are increased if you opt for a tankless or hybrid system. Tankless heaters pull cold liquid through the pipe when you turn on the tap, then heat it on demand before it exits the faucet. Because it's not heating continuously, it saves a lot of energy. A hybrid system combines a tank with a heat pump for increased efficiency.
Bonus Tip: Lower Temperature on Water Heater
Most heaters are set to heat water to 140 degrees, but is that really necessary? Of course you want a nice, hot bath—but you don't want to be scalded. Having your local plumbers set your water heater just 20 degrees lower will save you money on your utility bill because your heater won't use as much energy, and you'll still have baths that are just as hot or hotter than the temperature you prefer.
5. Preventative Maintenance
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is never so true as when it's applied to your commercial or residential plumbing system. It's no secret that plumbing repairs and replacements can be costly. If given the opportunity to detect problems early on, your local plumbers will save you a lot of money by stopping plumbing disasters before they have a chance to cause expensive, wide-spread damage in your home.
One of the best preventative maintenance and plumbing drain repair methods available is a revolutionary technology called HydroScrub® jetting. It uses high-pressure jets of water to blast away clog-causing grime and debris that is clinging to the walls of your pipes. Jetting is much more effective than drain snaking because it removes all traces of build-up and pushes it through your pipes into the city sanitary sewer, where it belongs.
Want to Save Money? Your Local Plumbers at Mr. Rooter Can Help
Whether you're in Ronkonkoma, Centereach, Holbrook, or another part of Suffolk County, you can rely on the professional plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central Long Island for quality workmanship on everything from minor repairs to complex plumbing issues.
Give us a call today at 631-542-2194 to request a service appointment and find out how we can save you money on your water bill.