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How Your Plumber Can Help You Save Water and Save Money

Plumbing is one of the most important systems in your home. What would you do without hot water for washing, clean water for drinking and food prep or a proper sanitary system to get rid of waste? You are bound to face some of the issues on this list of the top ten plumbing problems. Be sure to follow up with immediate action and keep this vital home system operational and safe.

1) Clogged or Plugged Drains - The effects of a blocked drainpipe can become very serious, very fast. If the clogged drain is in the path of waste water you may find yourself dealing with unhealthy conditions and nasty odors until the blockage is broken up. Other blockages in your kitchen or bathroom sink are more inconvenient than dangerous, but still need to be looked after right away.

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Products to break up clogged drains may work, but many back ups need to be physically located and removed. That's definitely a job for your local plumber.

2) No Hot Water - Your hot water heater is responsible for supplying the hot water required for showering and other cleaning processes in your home. When that equipment malfunctions or has been improperly adjusted you could find yourself without the warmth you're used to. Inadequately sized water heaters will continue to be a problem. Have your plumber calculate the needs of your household and recommend a suitable make and model.

3) Leaky Water Heaters - Maybe your hot water supply is fine, but there are puddles of water underneath the hot water heater. This is an obvious sign that something is wrong with the equipment. Have it inspected and repaired or arrange for a replacement in order to avoid a complete loss of hot water, as outlined above.

Hire a plumber if you are upgrading or replacing your water heater. They may also be able to dispose of your old equipment as well.

4) Dripping Tap - That annoying drip, drip, drip you often see in movies and television shows really is a problem. Not only will this issue add up to a sizable amount of wasted water, it's also a sign that your tap or the fittings around it are in need of immediate repair.

Call your local plumber to stop the drip and have any worn or damaged parts replaced.

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5) Pipe Leaks - A leaky pipe is a much more serious problem than a leaky faucet. When water gets behind the walls or into the insulation damage can be extensive. Water problems will lead to mold growth and premature deterioration of framing. Even a sporadic leak can result in major damage.

If you see or smell water where it shouldn't be call the plumber right away. Leaky pipes are often a precursor to bursting pipes. And the damage and flooding that can result from that issue are bound to be expensive.

6) Toilet Constantly Running - When you consistently hear the thrum of a running toilet what you're really hearing is the water bill going up. A running toilet is generally a result of broken internal components, from valves to the float or chains. It could be a simple problem or a symptom of something larger.

The wisest idea is to shut off the water supply and call your local plumber. Attempting to tackle plumbing problems as a DIY project often results in more extensive damage and expense.

7) Faucet Installation - Upgrading your plumbing fixtures is a simple way to redecorate. It may also provide you with better functionality and features - a kitchen faucet with a sprayer incorporated is convenient and attractive. New taps and shower heads can completely transform the look and feel of a bathroom as well.

Although some DIY enthusiasts may be comfortable installing a new faucet, many situations require the expertise of an experienced plumber.

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8) Garbage Disposal Issues - Your garbage disposal is hooked up directly to your plumbing and requires a drain and water supply. If your disposal is not working properly - or not working at all - a plumber is the best person to call.

You can look forward to nasty odors and unpleasant messes when a garbage disposal is malfunctioning. But the components of operation are complicated and it could be very dangerous to fool with a garbage disposal on your own. Have a trained professional in to be sure the equipment is properly wired in and plumbed.

9) Leaking Toilets - A leak around your toilet may be due to a deteriorated gasket. The water supply lines or bowl gasket may also be part of the problem. In all of these cases it's best to call a plumber. An improperly installed toilet can make a real mess and create serious inconveniences, especially if you do not have a second bathroom.

10) Issues at the Main Shut Off - You will find a main valve inside the house that can be used to shut off your home's water supply. But what do you do when there is a problem with that valve? Your only option is to call in a local professional. They will have access to a special key used to shut off the exterior water.

There are many projects and issues that require the help of a plumber. Any one of these top ten plumbing problems will be best looked after with the expertise of a licensed and experienced plumber. Keep your family safe and your home in good condition with the help of a professional.

The plumbing system in your home handles a massive amount of water over time. Many families wanting to go green are looking closely at that amount, and searching for solutions that save water and cut down on the water bills. Hire an experienced plumber to help you upgrade the current system, install new water saving plumbing fixtures and design any additions and renovations to reach your water conservation goals this year.

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If your bathroom is not fitted with a low-flow toilet make that your first plumbing upgrade. High efficiency toilets use less than half the water of a traditional design - 6 liters as opposed to 13.2 liters. Figures state that the average family home will save over 80 liters of water each year by replacing older toilets with a new low-flow model.

Have the plumber replace every toilet in the house on the same visit, saving you money on travel costs and labor charges. In fact, any time you hire a plumber it's more efficient to have them complete as many small jobs as possible in one visit.

Some homeowners opt for a dual flush toilet, which provides the option of using even less water than typical low-flow models. Many dual flush toilets offer a choice between 4L and 6L flushes, reducing your water usage by even greater amounts than the option outlined above. Dual flush toilets generally cost more than typical low-flow models, but the money saved over time will help offset that added cost.

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Bathroom fixtures like faucets, taps and shower heads waste water on a regular basis. And for a fairly small investment your plumber can install new fixtures that use less water while providing the same level of comfort and coverage.

A standard shower head handles about 9.5 liters of water per minute, or 95 liters in a typical ten minute shower. Install a new water saving shower head and cut that amount to around 7.6 liters each minute, or 76 liters over that typical shower. You can imagine the savings on your water bill when each person in your home saves 19 liters of water for every shower.

New shower head designs provide excellent coverage and will not affect water pressure, allowing you to enjoy the same comfortable experience and still cut down on water usage. You may even consider upgrading to a luxurious rainfall shower head with built in flow restrictor. These fixtures provide soothing coverage spread across a wide diameter, mimicking a gentle rain shower in your bathroom.

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Tub faucets and standard sink taps can be easily fitted with an aerator - you don't even need to call the plumber for this job. Look for a part that fits with your current faucet and follow the installation instructions included. Otherwise you can upgrade the bathtub tabs and sink faucets to cut down water usage by around 30 percent. Current data suggests that homeowners will reduce their average water consumption by 10 to 13 liters per day by installing faucet aerators.

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Bathroom trends in the past called for a large soaker tub and standalone shower. While this design evokes a feeling of luxury, it also contributes to massive amounts of wasted water. Think about how often you use the soaker tub, and how much of that water is actually needed. While a large tub creates a sense of indulgence, a smaller tub with the right design can create the same feeling without requiring as much water to fill.

Soak in a smaller tub and save money on your water bills. Use the extra space to add storage or build out around the new tub with tiling to create an impressive focal point.

Take a look at your bathroom sink as well, and consider whether a smaller vessel would work. Installing a smaller sink may not save as much water, but every little bit adds up over time. And a smaller model may allow for double sinks in the existing vanity space - a must have for any master ensuite or family bathroom. Be sure that both sinks are equipped with aerated faucets for water conservation and good quality drain plugs to avoid leaks.

The Cost of a Typical Plumbing Upgrade

Moving into your new home can be a stressful situation. But when plumbing problems occur that stress level can go through the roof. Plumbing upgrades (whether on a new-to-you home or after you've been living there for decades) can be costly depending on what type of pipes, fixtures and other components your home requires.

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Dated bathrooms will need an update and an upgrade at some point. You may need to replace the sink, vanity, toilet or tub. Installing new single shower units is another common upgrade in older bathrooms. Faucet replacements are common in the kitchen or bathroom and laundry rooms may require a new laundry tub or replacement valves. Hot water tanks have a limited lifespan as well, and will need replacement every ten to twelve years (or even less, depending on the quality of your water).

More extensive plumbing upgrades include replacing galvanized piping with copper or connecting a wastewater system to the municipal system. These projects are more common in older homes, but will go a long way to bringing your house up to current building codes.


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Many homeowners are updating the plumbing to more efficient levels, possibly on the advice of an energy conservation consultant or auditor. These upgrades to low flow toilets or shower heads with aerators will put money back in your pocket through lower utility bills, although the initial cost of the upgrades is up to you.

A Rough Idea

Although it depends entirely on where you are located and the current rate of labor and material in the plumbing industry, it's possible to outline a rough price for typical plumbing upgrades. The following prices will give you a good outline of what you can expect to spend:

  • Replacement of Kitchen or Bath Faucet - $100 and higher

  • Replacement of Toilet - $300 and higher

  • Large Kitchen or Bath Sink (porcelain or stainless steel)- $600 - $800

  • Replacement of Bath Tub - $1500 and higher

  • Connect Laundry Tub - $400 and higher

  • Replacement of galvanized pipes with copper tubing - $2000 - $2500

  • Hot Water Tank (40gal gas or electric) - $500 - $800

  • Connect wastewater plumbing to municipal sewers - $3000 and higher

  • How To Lower the Cost of Plumbing Upgrades

If you are physically able and possess enough skills to do some of the work yourself DIY plumbing could be a good way to cut costs. But in many situations the more intensive work should be completed by a professional to ensure it is safe and efficient. Water damage is a common result of inexperienced homeowners trying to complete plumbing projects on their own. Have confidence in your abilities, but have the professionals handle the work that is beyond your skill set.

In the case of upgrades, it pays to get the right plumber. Find someone you can trust who will complete the necessary work and advise you on the best schedule for upgrades. Some projects need to be done right away, while others can wait. You need to trust that your plumber is guiding you in the best path

Plumbing upgrades may be necessary after moving into an older home or they can be a part of inevitable home maintenance. With the right plumber and maybe a little bit of DIY skill you can control the costs of these upgrades. Call a local plumber to find out what to expect in terms of costs to replace a bathtub, install copper piping in your home or put in a new hot water heater. Then budget for the necessary projects and get to work.

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