Tips & Tricks to Conserve Water & Energy with Your Plumbing

To assure that your Burnaby Plumbing system is as ecologically friendly and economically efficient as possible, a thorough inspection of your system is recommended. There are a number of steps you can take as a homeowner to decrease water consumption. By decreasing waste, you will be taking a step in the right direction with regards to contributing to your community’s environmental health.

Watering Outside Landscaping

If your lawn, shrubbery and other ornamental landscape features require regular watering, it is essential that you do not over-saturate the ground. Especially in areas that have public water supplies, overuse of water can increase utilities unnecessarily. Even if your water source is a private well, consider the electricity required to pump that water to your home. Either way, you can save on water and electricity by installing a timer.

An inexpensive timer (spring-loaded) attaches directly to any outside hose bib. Preventing excess watering in the summer, the timer simply provides an automatic shut-off at the valve. The timer is especially handy if you forget to turn off the sprinkler!

Water Pressure

Excess pressure can cause untoward damage to your plumbing system. The maximum supplied water pressure should  not exceed 60 pounds per square inch (psi). If your water is city supplied, contact your local water authority to determine the pressure supplied to your home. If the pressure is in excess of 60psi, contact Burnaby Plumbing to install a pressure reducing valve (PRV) on your supply main in the house.

Easy Leak Test

To determine whether you may have a leak within your plumbing system that is wasting water, you can perform a very simple test. First turn off all fixtures (sinks. dishwasher, ice maker, showers, washer, etc.). Take a base reading at your water meter. Keep all fixtures off for 8-10 hours; check the meter at the end of this time. If there is any indication of water used, you most certainly have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system. Even a minor leak from a faucet can add up over the course of a year:

1 drip/second = 8 gallons wasted water/day = 3,000 gallons/year

Regular Fixture Maintenance 

Did you know that toilets use in excess of 40% of total water consumed in your home? By replacing the flapper and fill valves, you can minimize this water consumption by alleviating a constantly running toilet. A visual inspection of the internals of the toilet tank will insure that all valves are operating at peak efficiency, reducing waste.

Regular maintenance/replacement of shower heads can help conserve water. Newer shower heads can save as much as 7.5 gallons per minute! Consider that an average shower takes 15-20 minutes, and you will have conserved:

7.5 gpm x 15 minutes = 112.5 gallons

to

7.5 gpm  x 20 minutes = 150 gallons

That’s a lot of water! The same can be said for a leaky faucet, often you just need to replace the washers to alleviate a leak. Routine inspection of each faucet will assure that all washers are in good working condition. Also, by removing any debris behind the screen, you will notice an increase of pressure and volume.

Water Temperature

By maintaining a hot water temperature at or below 120°F, you will save both water and energy. With a temperature that is closer to your desired bath temperature, there is no need to temper with cold water. Additionally, with tank-type water heaters, maintaining higher temperatures of the stored water will consume energy.

One potential permanent solution to conserving both water and energy with regards to hot water is to have Burnaby Plumbing install a Burnaby tankless water heater.