Plumbing can be intimidating, especially for newer homeowners. You may feel like you have no idea where to start when it comes to maintaining your plumbing system, and you might even be afraid to tinker with any of the parts. While it’s best to leave major plumbing projects to a professional, there are steps you can take to save water at home and prevent costly repairs. Take a look at these DIY plumbing and water-saving tips to keep your home flowing.
Check out these plumbing and water-saving tips to keep your home running smoothly.
1. Install Low-Flow Toilets, Faucets & Shower Heads
A great first step to optimizing your plumbing system is purchasing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets. A 10-minute shower with a conventional showerhead can use up to 42 gallons of water. Depending on how many showers your family takes, that could mean thousands of gallons per year! Replacing your showerhead with a low-flow model is easy to do and costs only a few thousand francs CFA. Low-flow faucets and aerators can cut down your water consumption by up to 50 percent. You can replace the entire faucet for about 50-100 thousand FCFA, or simply add an aerator for some thousand.
Low-flow toilets reduce your water consumption to a minimum, using up to 20% less water with each flush. These toilets tend to be more expensive than regular models, but they can pay for themselves in a year through water bill savings. Choosing low-flow models can help both the environment and your wallet.
2. Use a Strainer in Your Drains
There are simple precautions you can take to prevent dangerous materials from going down your drains and damaging your pipes. Use strainers in your sink and bathtub drain to keep hair and soap out of your pipes and avoid expensive clogs.
Also, avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners when a clog does happen: They are harmful to the environment and your pipes. Instead, try pouring one cup of baking soda into your drain followed by one cup of vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then flush out with boiling water. This natural remedy is effective and gentler on your pipes.
3. Keep Fats and Oils Out of Your Drains
Other hazardous materials that clog up your pipes are fats and oils from cooking. When the grease cools, it solidifies and sticks to the insides of your pipes. Over time, it will build up and block the entire pipe, which can cause serious sewer backups. These backups can affect your home and any Other hazardous materials that clog up your pipes are fats and oils from cooking. When the grease cools, it solidifies and sticks to the insides of your pipes. Over time, it will build up and block the entire pipe, which can cause serious sewer backups. These backups can affect your home and any neighbors who share the same water supply. Next time you cook some delicious meat for lunch, let the grease cool, wipe it out with a paper towel, and toss it into your green bin.
4. Check Your Toilet for Leaks
It may not seem like a leaky toilet could impact your water usage too much, but in fact, one leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day! If you have two toilets in your home, that could cost you some thousands of extra francs CFA a month. To test your toilet for leaks, drop some food coloring into the tank. If the color seeps into the toilet bowl within 10 to 15 minutes, there is probably a leak. Be aware, that there is a possibility the food dye stains your toilet tank. As for the leak, it’s likely that the toilet flapper needs to be replaced, which you can purchase for as little as 2-5 thousand FCFA. If replacing the flapper doesn’t fix the leak, call a plumber to have it professionally checked and repaired.
5. Be Careful What You Flush
Another way to protect your toilet is not to treat it like a trash can. The only things that should be flushed down your toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Items such as feminine hygiene products, wipes, paper towels, and diapers should always be placed in the trash. Dental floss is another item to keep out of your toilet. Today’s dental floss is shed-resistant and won’t break down. When these items enter the sewage system, it bonds with other waste and forms large clumps that block pipes. Also, do not flush hair to help avoid a backed-up toilet.
6. Turn Off Your Faucets
Like a leaky toilet, a leaky faucet can cause thousands of gallons of wasted water per year if not taken care of. First, make sure that you’re preventing any leaks by turning your tap off all the way each time you use a faucet in your home. If you turn it off completely and it continues to leak, have it repaired or replaced by a plumber.
Investing in plumbing maintenance early can help save you money in the long run. Although some plumbing repairs are unavoidable, there is a lot you can do to prevent or minimize these problems.
If you’ve tried these DIY tips and are still experiencing issues, contact Top environmental Service (TES) to have your plumbing system inspected by one of our experts. T.E.S. to have your plumbing system inspected by one of our experts.