While long-term water use, such as daily lawn watering and showers, have the largest impact on your overall water consumption, sudden emergencies can make your water bills surge. Whenever your water heater breaks, a pipe bursts, or something in the plumbing cracks, you can lose a lot of water before repairs are being made. Here’s how to reduce the chances of winter water emergencies and keep your water bill manageable:
Insulate and Winterize Exterior Pipes
If you have any pipes or spigots around the exterior perimeter of your house, they are particularly susceptible to freezing and bursting. Look for the right spigot covers to properly protect faucets and insulate bare pipes. Also, talk to your landscaping company or plumber about disconnecting your yard’s irrigation system. The pipes are usually narrow and thin and can break easily when frozen and brittle.
Maintain Infrequently Used Pipes
The rubber gasket sealing plumbing connections throughout your house need water contact to stay lubricated and flexible, especially if they’re older. If you have a guest bathroom that hasn’t seen visitors for a while, run low-pressure water through the pipes every once in a while to keep the plumbing in good repair.
Keep an Eye on Water Bill Trends
While your water use will change each month, you shouldn’t see that extreme changes month to month nor much variation between the years. If one month’s water bill is much higher than the same month’s last year or the year before that, look into where the water may have gone. It could be a mistake, overuse of water that could be solved by an efficient faucet, or, most crucial to catch, an unnoticed cracked pipe that’s been leaking water.
Lowering your water bill is all about making systematic and systemic changes to how you use water, but in winter, you must also consider preventing plumbing emergencies. Contact Brian Wear Plumbing for more information about how to keep your water use low or to schedule an inspection today.