Angie’s List: Tips for conserving water around the house

By Paul F. P. Pogue, Angie’s List

Water is one of the most important utilities in the home, and one of the easiest to overuse. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average home loses 10,000 gallons per year to leaks. The EPA has declared next week, March 18-24, as Fix a Leak Week, but you can improve your home’s water usage any time.

Follow these tips to conserve water around the house and save money while doing your part to use water wisely.

Update your appliances: Older appliances are some of the biggest water-wasters around the house. Newer toilets use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush. Older ones, especially those dating before 1992, can waste several gallons with every flush!

Inefficient faucets and showerheads account for as much as 3,000 gallons of loss a year. And older appliances use quite a bit more water than new ones. Look for water-based appliances marked with the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label or Energy Star designation.

Some municipalities offer free home audits and efficient fixtures free of charge. Check with your local utility company for programs in your area.

Fix leaky pipes and toilets: Pipes losing water behind the wall can be tricky to detect unless there’s obvious damage. Pay close attention to your water bill. A jump in water usage from one moth to another may indicate a leaky pipe.

If you suspect a leak, check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak. Call a plumber for assistance.

Even a small leak in your toilet tank can lose significant amounts of water, and you’ll never detect it if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and let it sit for …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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