•Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full. If
you have a water-saver cycle, use it.
•Adjust the water level of your clothes washer so it matches your
•Don't use excessive amounts of detergents, bleach or chemicals
that may kill the natural bacteria in your septic system and wastewater.Use biodegradable soaps and detergents.
•Water pressure in your home above 60 pounds per square inch is
harmful to your plumbing system and will cause excessive water usage. Contact
your local water authority to find out what the water pressure is on your
street. If it exceeds 60 pounds, consider installing a pressure-reducing valve
that will limit the water pressure within your home.
•Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. If you
find one, have it fixed as soon as possible. To check for leaks in your home,
first you need to determine whether you're wasting water, then identify the
source of the leak.
a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February.
If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being
used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
•Consider water and energy-efficient appliances. The USEPA reports
that EPA-certified Energy Star washing machines may use 35% less water per
load. Water-saving showerheads, toilets and faucet aerators can also help cut
your water usage.
•Insulate exposed water pipes with pre-slit foam insulation. You’ll
enjoy hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
• Keep a bottle of
cold tap water in the refrigerator. You’ll avoid the cost and environmental
impact of bottled water and you’ll have cold water available in the summer
without running the faucet.
• Turn off the tap
while brushing your teeth or washing dishes in the sink.
Outside your home:
•Water your lawn only when it needs it. An easy way to tell if your
lawn needs water is to simply walk across the grass. If you leave footprints,
it’s time to water.
• Make the most of your watering by watering in the early morning.
As much as 30 percent of water can be lost to evaporation by watering during
•Plan for fewer, deep-soaking watering to encourage deep root
growth and stronger turf.
•Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more
•Use drip irrigation hoses to water plants, and water in the early
morning or evening.
•Consider using porous pavement (gravel is a good example) instead
of asphalt for driveways and walkways, the rain will soak into the soil instead
of running off and contributing to erosion.
•Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway, or
•Plant appropriately for your local climate. Check with local
nurseries for non-invasive, drought-tolerant plants.
•Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the
outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
Still MORE Leaks?
If you have all that
you can to try to eliminate leaks from your home but still can't nip that drip
in the bud?
Maybe there is a
hidden plumbing leak underground.Contact your Roto-Rooter Plumber about their underground leak location
If you've already
determined you have leaks and you find these step-by-step solutions aren't
enough to stop them, it might be time to replace your leaking fixtures. If you
consult with a Roto-Rooter plumbing professional, if you are considering a new
toilet or faucet, you could increase your home's water efficiency.
Testing a Toilet
Check the water level
in the tank to be sure that the water is not overflowing by way of the overflow
pipe (the pipe in the middle of the tank with a small piece of tubing connected
If water is running
into the overflow pipe, adjust the fill valve until the water stops
approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube (there may be a water
level mark stamped on the side of the tank).
Test the flush valve
mechanism by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank.
Check the bowl after
15 minutes, if the water has changed color, the ball or flapper is leaking and
needs to be replaced.
Fix a Leak: Toilets
A common reason why
toilets will leak is an old or worn out toilet flapper (sometimes called a
"valve seal"). Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build
up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for
your water woes. To fix this leak, consult your Roto-Rooter Plumber.
DIY Tip: Bring the
old flapper to the store for comparison to make sure you buy a new flapper that
fits your toilet model. You can also check the owner’s manual, or Roto-Rooter
plumber for the appropriate replacement part for the flapper.
more than 40% of your total water usage. Installation of a new toilet flapper
and fill valve will keep your toilet running efficiently.
Fix a Leak: Faucets
Old and worn faucet
washers and gaskets frequently cause leaks in faucets. Consult your Roto-Rooter
Plumber for how to fix a wide variety of faucets.
DIY Tip: Don't
forget to turn off the water line before you start!
A dripping faucet
can waste as much as 150 gallons of water each day, or 4,500 gallons per month.
Repair the faucet to save water and reduce your water bill.
Fix a Leak:
showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the
showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. Pipe tape,
also called Teflon tape, is available at most stores, is easy to apply, and can
help tame unruly leaks. For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip
when not in use, contact your Roto-Rooter plumber.
DIY Tip: It's also
a good idea to check and, if needed, replace the washer or "o" ring
inside the showerhead while making this repair.
Replacing an old
shower head can save up to 7.5 gallons of water per minute without sacrificing
full spray action at low or high water pressures.
Fix a Leak:
If you have an
in-ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it
wasn't damaged by frost or freezing. Or have a Roto-Rooter Plumber inspect it
for you. They will not only help you detect and correct leaks in the system,
but also maximize its efficiency.
Finally, check your
garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you
run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight
connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.