Today is Earth Day, when we celebrate the beautiful planet that we live on. We often take our world for granted, not respecting the gifts that Mother Nature gives us on a daily basis.
Within the past few decades, humans have begun to realize that our industrial output is harming the planet and have taken steps to reduce the damage. You can contribute to the green movement by following these 5 simple plumbing tips to reduce waste.
1) Fix Leaks: Did you know that a single leaky faucet can waste 20 gallons of water per day? Checking for leaks will help reduce your bill, as well as saving the earth.
2) Install Low Flow Toilets: Newer toilet models are designed to decrease water useage. Many even feature full and half flush options.
3) Tankless Water Heaters: Traditional tank heaters are inefficient because they require constant energy flow to keep the water tank warm. Tankless models heat the water as it is needed.
4) New Shower Heads and Faucets: Like toilets, these new devices reduce the amount of necessary water to take a shower or wash your hands.
5) Only Run Full Loads of Laundry: You can save water by only running your washing machine when it is full. A washing machine uses about 12 gallons of water for each load, regardless of how full it is, so limiting loads reduces water consumption.
I am highly anticipating the gradual transition from the rainy spring days into the sweltering heat of summer, just as my children anticipate breaking free from claustrophobic classrooms into a summer vacation full of outdoor activities. But before summer arrives, we have to prepare for the season; I need to buy sunscreen and bathing suits while the kids need to pass their final exams.
Likewise, there are steps to take to ensure your plumbing is optimized for the season. Here is a list of things you should do to prepare your plumbing for the summer.
1) Reduce the water temperature: Check your water temperature to make sure it is below 120 degrees. During the summer, it can be even lower, especially while on vacation.
2) Check washing machine hoses for bulges: Clothes seem to get dirtier in the summer because everyone is playing outside and swimming. Make sure your washing machine can handle the extra workload by checking for kinks in the connections.
3) Check outdoor faucets and hoses for leaks: The cold winter months can cause damage to outdoor plumbing, so inspect your hose before trying to water flowers or construct a homemade slip-and-slide.
4) Conserve water: If you wake up early to water plants before sunup, or wait until after sundown, you will save water. Midday watering causes much to dissipate in the sunshine.
5) Be careful what you put into garbage disposal: Garbage disposals were not designed to handle all food wastes. Stringy and fibrous foods, like celery and cornhusks, can wrap around the disposal blades. Never put down instant foods that expand with water, like mashed potato flakes, because they are almost guaranteed to cause a clog. This will ensure your summer BBQ goes off without a hitch.
Have a fun summer and try to make decisions that will conserve water and save the planet!