Ways You May Be Wasting Water in Your Home and How You Can Save Water

As experienced plumbers here at Bakersfield Plumbing Company, serving Bakersfield, CA, since 1910, we have seen firsthand how water waste can affect households and the environment. With California’s ongoing concerns about water conservation, it’s crucial to be aware of how you might be wasting water in your home and learn effective ways to save it. Here are some common culprits of water waste and practical tips to conserve this precious resource.

1. Leaky Faucets and Pipes

The Problem: A dripping faucet may seem insignificant, but those drips add up. A faucet that drips once per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water annually. Leaky pipes, often hidden beneath sinks or behind walls, can cause even greater water loss and damage to your home.

The Solution: Regularly inspect faucets and pipes for leaks. If you notice any drips, fix them promptly. Sometimes, tightening a loose connection or replacing a worn-out washer is all it takes. For more significant leaks, it’s best to call a professional plumber to avoid further damage.

2. Inefficient Toilets

The Problem: Older toilets use up to 6 gallons per flush, whereas newer, more efficient models use as little as 1.28 gallons. An inefficient toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water each year.

The Solution: Consider upgrading to a WaterSense-labeled toilet, which uses at least 20% less water than standard models without sacrificing performance. Additionally, check for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If the color appears in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak that needs fixing.

3. Long Showers and Inefficient Showerheads

The Problem: Long, hot showers feel great but can waste a lot of water. A standard showerhead uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Multiply that by a 10-minute shower, and you’re looking at 25 gallons of water per shower.

The Solution: Install low-flow showerheads that use about 2 gallons per minute or less. Try to keep your showers under 5 minutes to conserve water. Installing a shower timer can help you keep track of your shower time.

4. Running the Dishwasher or Washing Machine Half-Full

The Problem: Running your dishwasher or washing machine with only a half load wastes both water and energy. Dishwashers can use up to 6 gallons per cycle, and washing machines can use up to 40 gallons per load.

The Solution: Wait until you have a full load before running these appliances. If you must run a smaller load, adjust the settings to use less water. Modern, energy-efficient models also use significantly less water and are worth the investment.

5. Overwatering the Lawn

The Problem: Overwatering your lawn not only wastes water but can also lead to unhealthy grass. Many homeowners water their lawns more frequently and for longer durations than necessary.

The Solution: Water your lawn early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation. Adjust your sprinkler system to ensure it covers your lawn evenly and only waters when necessary. Consider drought-resistant landscaping to reduce your outdoor water usage.

6. Ignoring Water-Efficient Fixtures

The Problem: Many homes still have outdated, water-wasting fixtures that consume more water than necessary. From old faucets to traditional toilets, these fixtures can significantly increase your water bill.

The Solution: Upgrade to water-efficient fixtures such as low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads. These fixtures can reduce water usage by up to 50% without compromising performance.

7. Letting the Water Run While Brushing Teeth or Washing Dishes

The Problem: Leaving the water running while brushing your teeth or washing dishes can waste a considerable amount of water. A running faucet uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute.

The Solution: Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and only turn it on to rinse. When washing dishes, fill the sink with water to wash and rinse dishes instead of letting the water run continuously.

By addressing these common water-wasting habits, you can significantly reduce your water usage, lower your utility bills, and contribute to water conservation efforts. At Bakersfield Plumbing Company, we are committed to helping our community in Bakersfield, CA, and Kern County adopt sustainable practices. If you need assistance with any plumbing issues or water-saving upgrades, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team. Together, we can make a difference!