How Much Is That Water Leak Costing You?

For many Americans, a constantly leaking tap is not much of a deal. A source of little annoyance maybe, but that’s all. Or is it? What if you come to know that this constant dribbling of tiny water droplets is also draining your wallet? And that it’s also one of the major reasons for the ongoing water shortage in many big cities. 

Yes, you read that right!

To take an example, the drought-hit state of California has been dealing with a similar sort of water dilemma for decades now. On top of it, its complex infrastructure is old, and mostly damaged by frequent earthquakes, making it extremely challenging for authorities to figure out the faults, let alone fixing them. 

But that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to understand its impact on you. To know how much is that water leak costing you? And also, to help you save it. 

Well, let’s get started, shall we?

How much water does a tap leak?

Although there is no specific device to measure it, there’s certainly a way to come to an estimate. For instance, the United States Geological Survey suggests that,

15140 drips = 1 Gallon

4000 drips = 1 Liter

There’s also a drip calculator by USGS that you can use to calculate nearly how much water does a leaking tap waste. Just count the drips of a leaking faucet and you can calculate approximately how much water gets wasted from it every day and every year. Rest assured, the results will surprise you. 

To give you an idea, here are a few water stats and facts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Stats and Facts on Water Leak

An average American family wastes about 1800 gallons per week or 9400 gallons of water annually.  

It spends more than $1000 per year as water costs but can save around $380 by using WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR certified appliances.

The total volume of household leaks can reach and cross a staggering 900 billion gallons of water annually, which can be used otherwise for nearly 11 million homes. 

But a water leak can cause more damage than you can imagine. Apart from water wastage and extra charges, it can also harm your property and result in unnecessary repair costs. We’ll do the math in a while, but first, let’s take a closer look at all the possible sources of a water leak.

Sources of a Water Leak

The sources of water leakage are not just limited to leaking taps, showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, pipes, hoses, or fittings. Instead, there are other places as well that you might want to watch out for, such as:Electrical appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and water heaters/geysers.

Lawn sprinklers.

Plumbing that’s not visible, for instance, under the kitchen, sink, or wall, etc.

Roof, ceiling, walls, windows, doors, and floor, etc.

The point is that if you’re considering conserving water plus save money, you must take all these factors into account. An undetected leak can turn into a major problem in no time and can cost you fortunes. So, make sure that no leaks are left undetected or ignored for too long. 

Moreover, water prices are already on a rise in the state of California.  Therefore, it’s important to detect and fix any leaks and use water carefully to avoid paying extra. Let’s know more about it. 

Drip by drip, the water decreases, and the bills increase! 

A normal tap leak can increase our utility bills by more than $30 annually.

A small hole or crack in a pipe can cost you about $70 every month.

Leaking/running a toilet can cause you anywhere between a $80-600 rise in your monthly water charges. 

A leaking garden hose can cost you more than $300 per month.

Hiring a plumber can cost you somewhere between $250-325 per visit.

Repair of appliances damaged by water leaks is always an expensive task. For e.g. repairing a water heater or pipelines can easily cost you more than $500 in a blink. 

Replacing old plumbing lines with new ones can be quite pricey too and may charge you hundreds and thousands of dollars. 

The bottom-line is ignoring even the smallest leak can turn into a major defect and seriously disturb your budget.

Now obviously, you might not be able to detect and fix all the leaks on your own and may require assistance from expert plumbers for the same. 

At the same time, there are certain steps and measures that you can take to detect hidden leaks or to be certain that there are hidden leaks somewhere on your property. Here’s what you can do.

Last but not the least…

How to detect a water leak?

1. The first thing you should do is to turn off all the faucets, appliances, and water valves. Then check your water meter when you aren’t using water. If the reading changes, then there is a leak.

2. A routine check-up into plumbing pipes and water lines can also bring out many hidden leaks that need a fix. 

3. Be mindful of any odd sounds from water tanks or pipelines.

4. Check for any water spots, stains, or green patches in your property to see if it’s due to a leak.

5. Don’t ignore the dribbling; turn off the leaking taps.

The TakeAway

Whether it’s about saving yourself from paying high bills or protecting our natural resources, stopping water leaks quickly is worthwhile. So, the next time you suspect leakage in your faucets or any pipes, rush to a professional for a quick fix. 

Author Bio

For the past 30 years, twin brothers Dave and Jim Schuelke have run their company Twin Home Experts. Twin Home Experts can be found throughout California, Arizona and Utah for home services including plumbing, mold repair, bathroom remodeling, and rodent control. Twin Home Experts is also one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels online for valuable content to both homeowners and plumbers showcasing DIY and frequently asked questions. 

Best Ideas To Make Your Home Eco-Friendly In 2020

People all around the world are becoming more eco-conscious. Everyone from large corporations to the average Joe is looking to reduce their carbon footprint and help conserve our environment. Most homeowners nowadays are looking to make their homes eco-friendlier, while also saving a bit of money along the way. There are lots of ways to go about this, so you should familiarize yourself with the basics.

Try some water-saving measures

Sustainability isn’t just about keeping energy expenditures low. Electricity isn’t the only thing we spend a little too much of. There’s also the problem of unsustainable water consumption. Most of us use a little too much water in our everyday lives. Not all of it is exclusively our fault, though. There are a lot of folks that are unaware of how much water some of their fixtures waste.

If you want to get serious about your water expenditure, it might be time to make some slight adjustments. To make concrete changes, you might want to install a low-flow toilet and showerhead. They can save tens of thousands of litres of water every single year. It makes for some very noticeable savings when it adds up. At the same time, ensure that you don’t waste a lot of water whilst brushing your teeth or lathering up during a shower. Individual efforts are just as important as implementing efficient fixtures.

Install energy-efficient lighting

Very few homeowners pay much attention to the efficiency of their home lighting systems. It doesn’t seem like much of a problem when you look at individual bulbs. Even incandescent bulbs don’t use a lot of power, but hardly anyone has their home running on a single lightbulb. It’s a lot more likely that they have dozens of them throughout their house.

Installing LED lightbulbs would save you quite a bit of power. Switching to LEDs might be a bit costly at first, but it’s an investment that is well worth the cost. After a while, the power savings add up. Not to mention, LED lights are famous for lasting years longer than their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts.

If you really want to keep your lighting efficiency up, make sure you utilize your windows throughout the day. Natural lighting is the best way to light your home, and it costs you nothing at all.

Get good with solar

Any modern eco-friendly home would not be complete without solar panels. They’re the single most efficient and environmentally-friendly installation you can add to your home. It’s not difficult to understand why they’re so advantageous, either.

Every home needs to be powered by electricity. If your home’s source is the power grid, it’s inevitable that it will increase its carbon footprint. Even the most progressive countries can only produce so much eco-friendly power from renewable sources for their populations. Some of that power will be sourced from burning fossil fuels and coal. This is because it’s difficult to gauge the overall need of the population for power using solar or wind alone.

Individual efforts for renewable power are a lot simpler, though. Especially when it comes to using solar. All you need is someone to do solar quotes for your home, install power panels, and you have yourself an eco-friendly source of power for the whole household. There’s no need to connect to the grid for most of the year, as the sun’s power will be plentiful, even on cloudy days.

Embrace natural cleaning

Cleaning your home is a regular chore we all have to deal with. You get your cleaning products, a brush, and start scrubbing away at all the dirt that accumulated throughout the week. What you might not know is that this kind of cleaning can harm the environment, depending on what you use to clean.

Various chemical cleaning products use substances that are less-than-ideal for the environment. No matter where you dump the water that’s left over from cleaning, it’s going to end up in the soil or natural water sources. Either it goes down the drain and to the nearest river downstream of sewage, or it drains through the lawn and ends up in underground water. It’s something that pollutes our environment and affects the natural ecosystems that surround us. To change this, you might need to get some natural cleaning products.

The good news is that this problem is relatively easy to solve with some DIY products. You just need some common household items. You would be surprised at how easy it is to clean with baking soda, vinegar, and a combination of both. Combine this with some natural soaps and you’ll have just about everything you need to clean most of your home. No harmful chemicals necessary.

Conclusion

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make your home eco-friendlier. You just have to get familiar with some environmentally-friendly innovations and apply them. Every change you introduce to your home will make it much eco-friendlier and keep the environment around you safer. It’s well worth the trouble.

Add Extra Storage To Your Shower Or Over Your Tub

Here is a great solution to give you more storage in your shower or tub space. Use a tension rod that is long enough to go across the width of your tub or shower. Add shower curtain rings that have clips at the end that are designed to clip the shower curtain. We had to buy them online because we could not find them in the store. This allows us to put various items in the clips and easily accessible to you when your need them.

3 Tips to Decide on Your Hot Tub Placement

You can set up your hot tub in your home bathroom, backyard, or private patio. Then, which is the best place to install the same? It all depends on the type of home you live and your lifestyle choices. When it comes to hot tub shape and design, there are plenty of options available for you to choose from. Then, you cannot buy a huge tub for a small bathroom. If you have a spacious bath, on the contrary, there is nothing like it. In such a case, you can even set up a big Jacuzzi tub for that ultimate comfort and sophistication.

The hot tub also costs you. According to an article published on https://us.cnn.com, home décor and renovation is expensive sometimes, yet you can do much of bathroom revamping on a budget. You could opt for a bathtub sale and save up to 65 percent. Once you invest in one, here are three tips to decide on a hot tub placement in your home:

  1. Use

Are you contemplating to use your hot tub for a relaxing experience in quiet and peace? Will you use the same for amusement and romantic fun during festivities or parties in your house? Or would you use a hot tub for treating chronic pain? You need to answer these questions before choosing and installing a hot tub.

The proposed use of the hot tub plays a crucial role in its installation. For increased seclusion or soothing ambiance, you might like to set it up where you have some privacy such as in the private patio of your home. Similarly, if you would love to enjoy picturesque landscape views in an attractive setting, you might want to set up your hot tub in your backyard. Hot tubs for daytime use must be placed under a shade, and one intended for an evening bath should have some pathway, lighting, and steps to climb into the tub safely, especially if the hot tub is in your backyard. Remember these factors when installing your hot tub. Make sure you have custom hot tub covers to keep it protected when not in use.

  1. Appeal and aesthetics

When you invest in a new hot tub, it is essential to mull over its overall appeal and aesthetics. How will it look in a new place? Is it easy to build and uphold the aesthetic appeal with another furniture arrangement, decoration, and lighting in your bathroom? You can also install the hot tub as a standalone piece in your home bathroom. Make sure that your hot tub complements or improves the look and feel of your bathroom. You can place potted plants, colorful candles, and soap racks near the tub.

  1. Maintenance

Before installing a new hot tub, check the bathroom dimensions. How cozy is your bathroom where you want to place it? In case of a repair, make certain that you can easily reach the spa cabinet, electrical elements, and plumbing materials. If you install the hot tub on or close to the wood, protect the wood or keep it away from water.

Conclusion

You can install a hot tub anywhere as long as it feels comfortable and suits your lifestyle. You can set it up in your bathroom or private backyard based on your preferences.

Home Improvements To Help You Get Through Winter

You may not like the bitter winter cold but for your house, this season is the hardest to survive. In fact, the biggest structural damage your home suffers occurs during winter as the snow and cold take their toll on the unprepared house. Luckily, there are home improvements that can help you get through winter without any major repairs. Regulating the temperature inside and insulating the walls are just some of the measures you can apply to winter out this snowy season.

Insulating the unusual spots

You probably know all about the importance of insulating the walls of your house. However, it is equally important to invest in insulating the less probably areas of your home. For instance, insulating the basement is not a waste of money since a cold basement will literally drain all the heat from the rooms above.

Furthermore, the hot water pipes that run through the basement can benefit from insulation as well. The last thing you need is lukewarm water reaching your heating bodies when the temperature outside plummets below minus 20 degrees Centigrade. Metal is not very good insulation so even a thin layer of foam around the hot water pipes can help reduce waste of energy.

Finally, insulating the attic is also a great move. You don’t of this space as an energy-inefficient area because the roof is slanted. However, a roof without proper insulation underneath will give out warm air that is generated below. This will cool down the house, especially the upper floor where the nursery and the bedrooms are located.

Disconnecting the garden tap

Just like the hot water pipes in the basement, every meter of piping that is not going to be used during winter and that lacks proper insulation should not be used. This is easier said than done, as homeowners forget to disconnect the garden tap, for instance. They turn it off in September or October and completely about it until springtime comes. However, as temperatures hit their yearly low, the water inside freezes over, increasing the risk of a pipe bursting.

Instead of closing off the garden tap, be sure to disconnect it all together so there is no water inside the pipes underground. The same should be done with other outdoor water features, like a provisional kitchen. As far as swimming pools and splash pads are concerned, they should only be fully emptied but covered with a plastic sheet to prevent the show from accumulating inside them.

Cement rendering the walls

Having mentioned the swimming pool, it is worth noting that its inner walls are much more reliant to cold than the walls of your house. The main reason for this is that cavity insulation can only provide protection against cold air to a certain point.

A much better solution is rendering the walls with cement. This method will not only weatherproof the walls (subzero temperatures included,) but it will increase the overall aesthetic appeal of the house. If you have already used this method to treat your walls, then perform the necessary cement rendering repairs before the onset of winter.

Helping Santa

If your children ask you if the chimney stack is clear for Santa to come down, don’t take this question as a joke. In the best Christmas spirit, be sure to actually look up the chimney. Namely, it needs to be cleaned because you are going to fire up the hearth once again and if there is anything stuck inside the shaft, all sorts of problems can occur. Even if the chimney is unobstructed, it still needs to be cleaned for the inside so call the local chimney sweeper to the rescue. Finally, check the kitchen hood and all the other air vents, as they should all be ready for the winter season.

Inspect the house for openings

In the end, one final checkup will get you ready for the holiday season. Get outside and walk around the house inspecting it in the process for holes, cracks, and openings. You might find out that there is a draft coming from under the windows or that the corner roof tile is missing. These are easy fixes but if you fail to perform them, you could be in trouble after the first snowfall.

If you notice a chilly breeze sweeping through the house but you have ruled out the window area as the likely culprit, turn to the front door. Its bottom section is often disproportion to the size of the frame so a gap several millimeters wide can appear. You could never tell it existed during summer but in winter you’ll need to get a rubber gasket to cover this minuscule opening that cold winds can still get through.

Getting through winter is not easy as it’s the most challenging season of the year for your home. However, a couple of home improvements listed here will help turn the tide around and ensure you spend the snowy January in the comfort of your warm home.