Monthly Archives: April 2015

Saving Money on Water Bills

Four Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill

Most people are interested in ways to save money on their water bills, so it’s good to learn how to perform some simple home maintenance and repair projects that will help you get started. Saving Money on Water BillsChanging water usage habits takes a concerted effort by every household member. Conservation techniques can seriously lower your monthly charges, but it may take time for a household to adapt. However, you can take some steps that will lower your water bill immediately.

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, showers account for 16.8 percent of the average household’s daily water use. Switching to a low-flow showerhead is an inexpensive, simple procedure. Once complete, the shower will no longer use 2.5 gallons per minute – the standard amount for traditional shower heads. Low-flow showerheads only use 2 gallons or less per minute. Besides using less water, a low-flow showerhead will also cut down on energy use. Less hot water used means less energy expended on heat. Over the course of a year, this adjustment can save the average household $70, paying for the cost of the product and then some.

Repair Running Toilets and Leaking Faucets

The EPA estimates that homeowners could regain 10 percent of their water bill by repairing running toilets and faucet leaks. Throughout the United States, 10 percent of home plumbing systems waste at least 90 gallons daily. When a toilet continues to run, it is normally due to a worn-out rubber flapper. This part is inexpensive to purchase and will include installation instructions. Dripping faucets usually occur when mineral deposits build up or washers and O-rings deteriorate inside the feature. If your plumbing expertise is insufficient to quickly repair the leak, a plumber can offer speedy assistance with either of these common water-wasting problems.

Add Insulation to Hot Water Pipes

Simply slipping insulation coverings on your hot water pipes can reduce waste and save on your electric bill. Insulation can raise water temperature 2 to 4 degrees. If it takes less time to heat water before a shower or when washing dishes, you will not have to leave the faucet running as long beforehand.

Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances

Purchasing Energy Star certified appliances are a solid investment and a sure way to cut down on water bills. According to Energy Star, their certified washing machines use only 10 to 20 gallons of water each load. A noncertified washing machine uses 30 gallons or more. According to the organization, dishwashers over 10 years old waste $35 per year. An Energy Star certified dishwasher will save homeowners 1,600 gallons throughout its life cycle.

Follow these helpful guidelines when working to save money on your water bill, and contact Captain Plumbing for all professional plumbing repairs and expert appliance installation.

Natural Gas

Residential Natural Gas Line Safety

Natural gas line safety is ensured through regular maintenance and quick attention to gas line problems. Because homeowners are responsible for maintenance of their natural gas lines Natural Gasbetween the meter and their home, it is important to regularly inspect for corrosion, leaks and other dangerous and potentially life-threatening problems. Read on for some tips to keep your natural gas lines safe and in good working order.

Where are Natural Gas Lines Located?

Make sure you know where your natural gas piping is buried. If the meter is at the curb, the entire expanse of piping from the meter to the gas appliances inside the home is the responsibility of the homeowner. Property owners may not be able to pinpoint the exact piping route when pipes are buried deep in the soil, but an experienced plumber can trace them and inform homeowners of their location.

Avoid Damage to Pipes

Before homeowners begin a renovation project that requires excavation of their yard, it is vital to know and visibly mark the location of all natural gas lines. Once excavation begins, it’s important to only use hand-operated digging tools to remove dirt within 24 inches of any pipes. Even if the excavating equipment does not penetrate the pipe, any scrape or nick on the surface can lead to a leak in the future.

Signs of a Leak

An excavation project, a natural disaster like a flood, or regular wear and tear can all cause gas leaks. A leaking gas line is a serious emergency. The sooner the problem is diagnosed, the less damage it likely will inflict.

The most apparent sign of a leak is the smell. Another method of detection is by listening closely near piping. A soft hissing sound may signify a leak. Always conduct visual inspections, both inside and outside. If you notice rust, call an experienced plumber. Other indications of a leak or pipe wear are dead grass over a buried pipe, or if a previously buried pipe is exposed due to fire or flood.

Be Prepared

All property owners should know the exact location of the gas turnoff valve. Keep an adjustable 12 inch wrench on hand at all times. To shut off the flow, grasp and turn the valve until it is positioned crosswise to the pipe. As soon as you notice a leak, turn off the valve with caution. In certain cases, faulty wiring could have directed an electrical charge to the meter.

Homeowners should also know where each turnoff valve is located for all gas-powered appliances. If the leak is due to a malfunctioning appliance, you will not have to cut off gas to the entire home. After smelling gas or identifying a leak, do not use electricity in your home until the leak is repaired. Educate each member of your family on a specific evacuation plan so everyone can quickly exit the house after the smell of gas is identified.

Prevention Measures

Have a reputable professional inspect your natural gas lines, especially if you suspect corrosion or leaks. Also schedule regular inspections of gas-powered appliances such as a water heater and stove. Do not place any items near appliances that could interfere with their proper function.

Call Captain Plumbing for specialized, professional repairs and inspections to make sure the natural gas lines in your home are safe and working properly.