Simple Home Repairs Save Water and Money

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 By

Save water, save money

Want to save a little green for both your wallet and the environment? Take a look around your house! Simple fixes, like repairing leaky faucets or stopping a running toilet, can help save water and reduce your water bill.

Look for leaks

A dripping faucet isn’t just wasting you water – it’s draining the money right out of your pocket! Fortunately, this is a relatively easy fix that you can do in under an hour, with a few simple parts from the hardware store.

If you notice a leaky faucet in your bathroom or kitchen, start by shutting off the water to the faucet and then run out any water that’s left in the pipes. Once all of the water has flushed away, plug the drain in the sink – faucets have plenty of small pieces and the last thing you want is to lose one down the drain!

Next, use a screwdriver to remove the faucet handles and inspect the washer that was located behind the handle. These washers, which may degrade or rust over time, are the most common source of faucet leaks in the home. Once you’ve removed the washer, take it to your local hardware store to find a replacement.

When you get home, place the new washer in the position of the old washer and replace the handle. Use the screwdriver to tighten the handle and turn the water back on to the faucet. Finally, turn the water on and inspect your set up for leaks. If everything has gone according to plan, your faucet should be water tight!

Fix a running toilet

You flush the toilet, only to come back hours later and find it still running. Don’t call a plumber: Take a look inside and fix the problem yourself! To start, you need to catch the toilet in the act, while it’s still running. First, remove the lid and look inside. One of the first things you’ll see – and the most likely culprit of a running toilet – is the flapper, the large rubber plug that keeps the water in your toilet bowl.

The flapper works in tandem with the lever and chain – the pieces that cause the flapper to rise and fall when the toilet handle is flushed. Inspect this entire system first. Is the chain tangled or catching on something? Is the flapper properly aligned or is starting to degrade and fall apart?

In many cases, a few minor adjustments to this system are enough to get your toilet back up and running. You should be able to adjust the shape or angle of the lever with your hands or shorten the length of the chain with a pair of needle-nose pliers. You can even purchase replacement parts for this system at the hardware store and replace the entire thing yourself.

Or hire a plumber

Of course, if any of these simple repairs don’t solve your leaky faucets or running toilets – or if you don’t feel comfortable making the repairs yourself – consider hiring a plumber to make them for you. Although it’s more expensive in the short-term, you’ll save much more over the long-run in the form of a smaller water bill.

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