31st March 2016
No one wants to deal with a high water bill or shocking plumbing invoice, so we’ve compiled a list of our favourite money and time saving tips to create a more water and power efficient home without breaking the bank!
Monitor a leaky showerhead
Does your shower head leak when you turn it on to have a shower? Most likely it’s leaking in behind the wall too, and possibly even when you’re not showering. Get a plumber in ASAP to have a look at the situation. Not only is leaking water costing you money on your water bill, it can also cause structural damage to your property which will end up costing you a lot in the long run.
Know how to shut off your main water valve
No matter whether you live in an apartment or a detached home, it’s important you and everyone else knows how to access and turn off the main water valve. In the event of a burst pipe, sever leak or something else causing uncontrollable flooding, shutting off the main water valve is essential. They’re often found near the street curb, on the side of your home or tucked away in the garage. If you’re not sure, your local council or water provider should be able to help you locate it and teach you how to turn it off safely.
Scrape plates before you put them in the sink
Food, especially carbohydrates and hot cooking oils, can cause damage to your pipes if you wash them down the sink. Make sure you scrape any bowls or plates as best you can into the bin before doing any washing up. If you want to really remove as much of the scraps as possible, invest in a silicone spatula, which will perform the job in seconds.
Sharpen and lube your garbage disposal
While hot cooking oils can damage pipes, this tip does require the use of room temperature cooking oils for the best results. Once a month, pour some ice down your garbage disposal to help sharpen the blades and then pour some cooking oil afterwards, to help relubricate them. This will ensure they maintain their efficiency far longer than is factory standard.
Smell your hot water
If your hot water has a funky smell when you turn it on, there may be something suspicious happening deep inside your pipes... specifically corrosion, which will eat away at the inside of your water tank. A plumber should be able to replace this pipe without much hassle to help extend the life of your water heater.
Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when they’re full
This one is common knowledge but we thought we’d add it anyways: full dishwashers and washing machines are more energy efficient than half-filled ones. Running your washing machine on a cold water wash means that colours can be combined (although still heed the usual warnings about new garments) without risk of running, reducing your number of loads overall.
Wash your car with soap and a bucket of water
Want to save several hundred litres of water? Wash your car with a soapy bucket of water and a sponge and then rinse it down only once you’ve completed the initial scrub. Simple!
Read your water meter
Find out if you have any sneaky leaks by reading the water monitor and then avoiding using any of your water supplies for two hours. If, when you go back to check the meter, it’s registered any usage, there’s likely a leak somewhere about the house... the difficult part is finding it!
Don’t use your loo as a trash can
Flushing your toilet uses water, water that you pay for. So don’t confuse it for the trash can (as so many do!) and save those flushes for their intended purpose.