Are you treating your toilet like a garbage can? Do you leave your hot water running for longer than necessary? Are you still using your ancient dishwasher or washing machine?
Bad plumbing habits may seem harmless at first, but you are likely working towards an expensive repair in the future or unknowingly raising your water bill. To avoid both of these negative consequences, here are the common plumbing habits that are flushing money down the drain and how to avoid them:
Using too much hot water
Everyone knows how good a long hot shower feels, but if you leave your hot water running for too long, you are raising both your water and heating bill. On top of that, your furnace heating systemis likely working overtime to replenish the hot water in your reservoir, which can mean more frequent repairs in the long run.
Try to limit your hot showers to ten to fifteen minutes only. Long hot showers are not good for your skin and hair anyway, so you’re also doing your body some good aside from saving on utility bills.
Flushing un-flushable objects
When you treat your toilet like a garbage can, you’re most likely going to get clogs that are going to cost you a lot of money on plumbing bills. What’s worse is that this problem is completely avoidable, so avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper. This includes hair, baby wipes, feminine products, and dental floss.
Letting faucets drip in the winter
Some homeowners leave their faucets dripping in the winter to prevent pipes from freezing and eventually bursting. But if the water freezes in an uninsulated drain line, it can lead to flooding, a burst line, or both, which can cost even more money to repair than a burst pipe.
Instead of letting your faucets drip, mitigate the risk of frozen pipes by insulating them or using heat tapes. If your house has exposed drain lines, it’s also a good idea to insulate them to prevent them from freezing and bursting in the winter.
Trying to fix a major problem yourself
It can be tempting to try and fix a major plumbing problem yourself in an effort to save money. But unless you are an experienced plumber, you could make the problem even worse and inadvertently increase your repair bill.
Don’t try to fix a major plumbing issue by yourself if you don’t have the skills nor the right equipment to do so. Shop around for a reputable plumber who can give an affordable quote.
Using old appliances
All appliances become less efficient over time. Appliances that are connected to the water line (washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, etc.) tend to use up more water (and electricity) as they grow older and become more inefficient. Apart from that, an ancient appliance is more likely to break and possibly even cause flooding, which can be a lot more expensive than just buying a new unit.
If your appliance is near or past the end of its lifespan, replace it immediately before it causes a major plumbing issue. This is especially important if the unit is already breaking down frequently and costing you a lot of money in repairs.
Ignoring small leaks
Any plumbing leaks, no matter how small, should be addressed immediately. Even the tiniest trickles can add up and put an unnecessary increase on your water bill. Furthermore, small leaks can eventually grow bigger, and leaks, in general, can indicate a major problem in your plumbing that you may not be aware of yet.
The same goes for a running toilet. A running toilet can waste over a gallon of water per hour. And you’re not even considering the water that youdouse to flush the toilet.
To avoid wasting water and letting your water bill rise, have leaks and running toilets fixed as soon as possible. Fortunately, you can probably fix small leaks yourself with a few basic tools so that you don’t have to spend money on a plumber.
Avoiding the plumber
There are several plumbing issues that you can fix yourself, but for bigger problems, calling a professional plumber is your best bet. The longer you ignore the leak in your faucet or the rattling pipe in your basement, the bigger your repair bill may be in the future.
To keep your plumbing in good shape and reduce the costs of maintenance, kick these bad plumbing habits to the curb. Not only are you saving yourself from needlessly high repair bills, but you’re also avoiding disruptions caused by a major plumbing problem in your home.