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Top 10 Ways You’re Wasting Water & How To Fix It

Water running from a showerhead

Having fresh, clean drinking water available with the turn of a faucet handle is convenient, but it can be easy to take it for granted. Using more water than necessary not only harms the environment and wastes a finite natural resource, but it can also increase your water bill significantly.

Here are 10 ways you may be wasting water in your Indianapolis home without realizing it:

1. Taking Baths & Long Showers

Showers and baths can use a lot of water, especially if multiple people are in the home. A typical bathtub holds 40 to 50 gallons, while the average shower flows at about 2.5 gallons per minute, so a 10-minute shower would use 25 gallons of water.

To keep your water use to a minimum, skip the bath and take a shorter shower, and consider switching to a low-flow showerhead, which can use 1.5, 1, or even as little as 0.75 gallons of water per minute. With the 1.5-gpm showerhead and an eight-minute shower, you can cut your water use in half, to about 12 gallons, with little noticeable difference in comfort or cleanliness.

2. Flushing Items Aside From Toilet Paper & Waste

Toilets use large amounts of water to eliminate waste, with older models requiring anywhere from 2 to 6 gallons per flush. Even modern water-saving toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, and if you have to flush multiple times because your drains are slow or clogged, water usage can increase dramatically.

You should only flush waste and toilet paper to keep your drains clean and your water use as low as possible. Other items can cause drain clogs, or worse, a main drain or sewer clog. Avoid flushing:

  • Baby wipes
  • Flushable wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cotton balls
  • Tissues
  • Paper towels

3. Running the Dishwasher Half-Full

Dishwashers work most efficiently when full, as they use similar amounts of water no matter how many dishes there are. If you can’t wait to do a full load of dishes, use the quick load setting, if present, to keep water use to a minimum.

Also, modern dishwashers don’t require pre-rinsing your dishes to get them completely clean, so doing so is an unnecessary waste of water and time.

4. Washing a Small Load of Laundry

Like dishwashers, washing machines clean your laundry most effectively when the machine is full. However, you should be careful not to overload the washer, as this can prevent it from cleaning your clothes properly, requiring another wash cycle and more water.

If you need to do a partial load, use the precise fill option so that the machine uses less water. Washing in cold water is typically the best choice, as it requires significantly less energy, but if your clothes are heavily soiled, warm water can clean them more effectively and save water in the long run.

5. Using a Standard Tank Water Heater

If you’re using a standard water heater with a storage tank, upgrading to a tankless water heater can help you save water and energy while reducing utility costs.

Tankless systems heat water on demand, so they don’t have to keep a large tank warm, and the water will stay at a consistent temperature, requiring less hot water for a comfortable shower. You’ll need the help of a professional plumber to complete your tankless water heater installation.

6. Relying on Old Plumbing Fixtures

Older, outdated fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom can use a lot more water than modern fixtures. Upgrading to water-saving or low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads can make a huge impact on your water usage. A professional plumber can quickly and easily replace your fixtures.

7. Ignoring Leaky Faucets & Running Toilets

The sound of a dripping faucet or a running toilet may seem like a small annoyance, but these issues significantly increase your water usage. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day alone. Call a professional plumber for faucet or toilet repairs to stop wasting water.

8. Ignoring Hidden Leaks

If your home is on a slab foundation, your plumbing pipes will typically pass through the slab and run underneath it. If a leak occurs in these hidden pipes, your water bill can increase dramatically and your foundation could also be damaged. Call a professional plumber for slab leak detection and repair to stop these leaks.

9. Running the Tap When You Aren’t Using It

If you have a habit of letting the faucet run while brushing your teeth, hand-washing dishes, or cleaning, you can save a significant amount of water by simply turning off the tap when you are not actively using it.

10. Drinking Bottled Water

Bottled water may be convenient, but it can be a huge waste of money and resources. Though bottled water doesn’t affect your water bills, you spend more buying cases of water every time you go to the grocery store.

Tap water is just as clean and safe as bottled water, but if you are not fond of the taste, you can install a water filtration system with the help of a plumber to make it more enjoyable to drink.

Request Expert Plumbing Services in Indianapolis

Would you like to conserve water and keep your water bills as low as possible? Talk to our professional plumbers at Northern Comfort Systems.

We offer a full range of plumbing services in the Indianapolis area, helping homeowners find hidden leaks, install water-saving fixtures, upgrade to a tankless water heater, and more. We also offer water heater services in Terre Haute, Anderson, and Muncie.

Count on our team for award-winning service backed by upfront pricing, great reviews, and guaranteed satisfaction.

Call today to schedule plumbing services with Northern Comfort Systems.

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