With the continuously increasing costs of utilities and the ever-growing public concern for the environment, it just makes sense to learn good habits when it comes to water usage. We spoke with a plumber from one of the most respected plumbing companies in Brisbane to bring you some tips on how you can save on your water bill, and help the planet at the same time.
Having worked in the industry for over a decade, John from Citi Plumbing has seen many changes over the years. “The most dramatic change of all is probably the massive increases in the cost of water.” He said. “Utilities costs used to be just a miniscule part of the family budget, but the ever increasing price hikes have seen them eating up a larger and larger portion of the average family’s weekly earnings.” Having been in the industry for so long, Daniel was a wealth of knowledge on all things to do with plumbing and gas-fitting. He blew our mind with all the crazy stories about how much the industry has changed in the past 10 years and his extensive knowledge about anything and everything the team here at Ideas for Good questioned him about in relation to fluid mechanics and plumbing. So here they are just for you; plumbing tips from one of the most renowned and experienced plumbers Brisbane has to offer!
Tip #1: Change Your Own Washers
If you have old taps that are starting to drip, do yourself a favour and learn how to change your own washers! You could call in a plumber but that’s likely going to cost you around $100, and it’s only a simple 5 minute job! All that’s involved is turning off your mains waters supply, unscrewing the leaky tap, and replacing the worn or disintegrated washer. If you don’t know what you’re doing take a look on YouTube for plenty of DIY plumbing videos that will show you quickly and easily how simple a job changing a washer really is. Leaking taps cost Australian’s thousands of dollars each year. Don’t let it happen to you! Ensure you conserve water as much as you can, by keeping all your washers in top condition.
Tip #2: Convert Your Toilet to Dual Flush
While all new toilets that we install here in Brisbane are now dual flush, many older homes still have single flush toilets. These old cisterns are notoriously inefficient and will be costing you when your water bills come in. Consider installing a dual flush system and save up to 35 000 litres of water each year! Toilets are the third biggest user of household water (behind showers and washing machines) so upgrading to a new system can make a big difference. Installing a dual flush toilet is fairly simple even for someone with little or no experience as an amateur plumber, but if you don’t want to take on the job yourself there are always local plumbers in your area who are willing to lend a hand. It might cost you a few hundred dollars now, but it will end up saving you, and the environment big-time in the long-run.
Tip #3: Install a Water-Saving Shower Head
Another simple way to conserve water is to installing a water-saving shower head. These are incredible easy to install, much like washers except you may not even need to turn off the water at the mains (depending on your type of shower). Again, there are plenty of DIY guides online and videos on YouTube to guide you if you need assistance with the install. Like all of the above methods of saving water, a local plumber will be able to help you with the job, but they are so non-technical that you may even prefer to hire a handyman for the job, who may charge slightly less for his time.
Tip #4: Install a Greywater System
If you really want to conserve water, why not install a greywater system to save all the waste water that gets drained away every time you wash the dishes or take a shower. These can be fairly expensive to install depending on the scope and size of the system, however simple DIY units can be almost as effective as professionally installed ones, and can save you from wasting extra water on watering your garden and washing your car etc. Do some research online and think about what type of system you want before contacting a local plumber to attain a quote.
These are just some obvious tips, there are a plethora of other ways you can save water and money but this is a good place to start. If you have a outdoor swimming pool consider getting a cover to put on it when it’s not in use to stop evaporation, and consider getting a rainwater tank if you’re really serious about saving. For more great ideas like this, take a look on the Citi Plumbing Blog which we update with great advice and ideas every month.