Plumbing Tips for Improving Energy and Water Efficiency in Sydney Homes
Improving water efficiency in your Sydney home can reduce water bills and energy expenses. For instance, your water heater can consume about 25 percent of the total energy consumption in your home.
You can enhance water consumption and conserve water by fixing running toilets, plumbing leaks, collecting rainwater with gutters for gardening, and investing in low-flow types of showerheads.
Toilets often account for about 30 percent of the water consumed in standard homes.
Our Sydney plumber specialists have put together this article to offer plumbing tips for conserving energy and water while ensuring your plumbing is kept in its best condition.
Inspect Your Plumbing Regularly
You can fix plumbing issues more easily by detecting them early enough. Also, you’ll be able to fix them at a cheaper cost.
However, waiting longer before fixing the problem can worsen it and make it more challenging and more expensive to fix it.
Rather than waiting for a serious problem such as clogged pipes or broke seals, consider the following tips:
- Check outdoor hoses and faucets.
- Inspect any pipes in the utility room and basement.
- Inspect any exposed pipes under the sink.
- Check the shower, bath, and sink hardware.
- Check for any toilet leaks. You can do this by adding some food coloring into the toilet tank and check whether the water in the bowl changes color after about 10 minutes. Also, inspect the area around the base of the bowl for any wetness. Any wetness is an indicator of a faulty seal.
Upon detecting a leak, get all the affected fixtures and pipes fixed. In case a replacement is needed, have it fitted soonest possible. Fixing leaky plumbing joints and faucets can save a lot of water that would otherwise get wasted every day.
However, some leaks are not easy to detect. Such leaks include those hidden within the walls and can only be noticed by checking the water meter.
In this case, turn off all the faucets and don’t flush the toilet. Next, check the current water meter reading. Take a couple of hours off without using any water fixture and recheck the meter.
In case the meter reading has changed, then it means you’re probably having a hidden leak in your plumbing system.
Invest in low-flow plumbing fixtures
You can conserve water by installing low-flow types of plumbing fixtures. In this case, replace the existing plumbing fixtures without interfering with the entire plumbing installation. Examples of low flow plumbing fixtures include:
- A low-flow showerhead can reduce your daily water consumption significantly. It reduces water usage by about 30 percent, making it more efficient than a conventional showerhead.
- A low-flow faucet uses about 40 percent less water when compared to a regular faucet.
- Aerators assist in controlling a faucet’s flow rate. They’re inexpensive and can conserve water effectively.
- Replace older toilets with newer, more efficient models. For instance, older toilets use about 5 gallons for a single flush while high-efficiency ones use about 1.6 gallons for a single powerful flush and about 1 gallon for a conservative flush.
If you’re using a water pump to boost pressure, invest in low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce energy consumption since the water pump will have an easier job to do.
Proper maintenance of the water heater
By conserving water, you’re also reducing the volume of water flowing through the water heating unit. Consequently, you’ll make huge energy savings. You can make your water heater more efficient by:
- Using a tankless water heater will reduce the amount of water used and also reduce energy consumption.
- In case your water heater is tank-based, keep the unit clean to enhance its efficiency and performance.
- Replacing an older water heater with a newer, energy-efficient model will assist in conserving energy.
- Keep the heater unit at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent scalding and reduce energy consumption. At this temperature, the heater will warm water without using a lot of energy.
- Insulate hot water pipes to prevent heat loss.
Inspect the washing machine’s supply hoses
Washing machines consume a lot of water. Thus, any leakage affecting a washing machine can increase your water bill significantly. Observe the following tips for further water conservation:
- Move the washer away from a corner of the wall. Check for any wetness on the floor as it can indicate leaks and drips.
- Inspect the supply hoses for cracks, deteriorating rubber hoses, or any other issues.
- Replace any rubber hoses once in 5 years or whenever necessary.
Consider efficient garden and lawn management practices
Irrigation is among the greatest outdoor water consumers. A lot of water goes to waste due to bad habits, leaks, and overwatering. For instance, many homeowners focus on water conservation in the indoor space but forget the outdoors. If your outdoors have green areas, they can consume a lot of water. You can take advantage of the following tips to conserve water in your garden and lawn:
- Apply mulch around plants and trees to reduce the rate of evaporation. Mulch will also reduce the need to water the plants.
- Harvest rainwater in containers. Use it for maintaining the garden and lawn.
- Water the lawn or garden at dawn. Doing so will avoid losing water through evaporation.
- Water the lawn wisely. Preferably, use a smart type of sprinkler to save water.
- Practice xeriscaping. It involves gardening and landscaping techniques that reduce the need to water plants. Some xeriscaping concepts utilize optimal garden layouts, special soils that retain water, efficient irrigation, and growing desert plants among other concepts.
Remember the drains
Although drains don’t affect energy and water consumption, they’re important in the efficiency of the entire plumbing system.
While energy efficiency and water conservation are important, it’s also necessary to ensure water is properly drained. Use these tips to maintain the drains:
- Most homeowners ignore drains. They only check them when clogged. You can prevent drain clogs by cleaning them with non-toxic drain cleaners. Harsh chemical drain cleaners may damage the drain pipes.
- Avoid pouring oils and fats down the drain. When oils cool, they solidify within the drainpipes and clog them. The best way to dispose of fats and oil is by putting them in heat-resistant containers and disposing them in your garbage.
- Use the recommended garbage disposal rules to prevent clogging and damaging the drain pipes.
- Use strainers in bathroom drains to keep foreign objects away from the drain pipes.
- Avoid flushing dental floss as it can bond with other disposed matter and create large clumps that’ll eventually block the pipes.
Projects that enhance water efficiency are often seen as expensive and challenging to implement by most property owners.
However, it’s possible to implement such projects. While the potential of reducing outdoor water consumption is high, you can easily start with reducing your indoor water consumption.
By implementing the recommendations and tips in this article, you’ll save money as a result of reducing both energy and water consumption.
Also read: Signs that Your Home Requires the Services of a Sydney Plumber