Is it Important to Track How Much Water Your Household Consumes?
Louisville homeowners who don’t track water usage miss out on important information about their households. Many of us don’t pay much mind to our water supply unless there is a problem – however, sometimes tracking consumption the only thing we have alerting us to a problem. If you don’t track water usage, many homeowners do not discover issues with their plumbing until major damage is done.
When you track water supply and regularly review the data collected, the ability to detect hidden plumbing problems and mitigate damage are just half of the major benefits. Louisville homeowners also need to be conscious of the water they use in order to limit waste.
The Louisville plumbers of Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling share why it’s important for you to track water consumption and keep an eye on the findings. As you do so, if the results indicate the need for a plumber, you know who to call!’
To Track Water Usage, or Ignore It?
Having plenty of fresh, clean water at home is something we tend to take for granted. In reality, we are quite lucky to have it, as there are many places throughout the world which do not. Even though our water is not scarce, it is still important that we make efforts toward water conservation.
Even though water is a renewable resource, globally there is still a finite amount. When we waste water, we detract from the amount available to others who need it. There is less water available for the plants and animals who depend on water for survival, and we cause more emissions to be released into the atmosphere by increasing the volume of water that needs to be treated for use.
Daily, the average American family of four consumes over 300 gallons of water in the home. Everything from showers to a slow drip leaking from a faucet adds up on our water bills. In addition to conserving water for the benefit of our planet, doing so also provides one very important direct benefit to you – lower bills.
When you track water usage at home, the data provided helps you protect your home, your family, and the world around you.
Discover Hidden Leaks
Plumbing leaks have the potential to waste a vast volume of water right under your nose, as they can occur in locations that are not immediately obvious. In some cases, the observations that result when homeowners track water usage are the only clue a problem exists.
When water bills are unusually high, the most common reason behind this is a hidden leak. Leaks have the ability to form in several locations throughout the home without producing the typical side effects we know to look for – water on the floor, flooding, etc. Because they don’t result in immediate damage or noticeable displaced water, they often go unnoticed for extended periods of time, which further increases the volume of water wasted, the added expense of this waste, and the damage that your home incurs.
Common locations where hidden leaks exist right under a homeowner’s nose include:
- Below foundation
- Toilet tank/bowl connection
- Exterior hose bib
- Irrigation systems
When you track water usage at home, you are able to spot the major sign of a leak earlier – water waste. The first thing to do when you receive an unusually high water bill is to compare it against the previous few months.
Check the current bill to see the total volume of water you are billed for; this denotes how much water your home consumed over the billing period. The amount is expressed in gallons or CCF, which stands for centum cubic foot – one centum cubic foot is equal to 748 gallons. Then, take a look at the previous months’ bills to verify your volume of use did increase.
Sometimes, there is a perfectly valid reason your bill is higher, but when you don’t track water usage, they’re easily overlooked, such as:
- Adding a person to the household
- Hosting guests for extended stays
- A child returning home from college for breaks
- Planting and watering landscaping or a garden
- Watering grass at the start of the season
- Installing a new appliance that uses water
- Filling your pool
- Choosing baths instead of showers
If a factor like those mentioned above cannot account for the additional water consumption, it is likely that you have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system. Contact your plumber for leak detection services to uncover the source of hidden leaks and perform repairs to correct the issue.
Plan Plumbing Improvements
Aesthetics aren’t the only reason homeowners choose to update plumbing fixtures – a little plumbing remodeling has the power to go a long way toward improved water conservation! A home outfitted with outdated plumbing fixtures consumes a lot more water performing regular daily tasks than a home with newer fixtures.
One way to tell it’s time for plumbing upgrades is to track water usage. When you determine how much water each fixture uses by tracking, it is easy to identify the major water wasters in your home. Track water usage to identify smart targets for home improvement projects that help your family cut back on water waste.
Since the 1990s, plumbing manufacturers in the U.S. have strict regulations for flow rates and flush volumes for fixtures. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program has even tighter guidelines, which many manufacturers voluntarily choose to follow for better water conservation.
Newer plumbing fixtures use less water to perform the same tasks as older fixtures – the only difference is the amount of water used to complete them. Even if your fixtures have been updated in the last few years, there may still be room for improvement, as products with improved efficiencies are introduced to the market all the time!
When you upgrade your plumbing fixtures to the newest, most water efficient equipment, you stand to cut water consumption by an additional 35 percent. Use the results obtained when you track water usage to determine which fixtures to upgrade.
Reduce Utility Bills
The principle behind this reason to track water consumption is simple – use less water, pay for less water. Your conservation efforts directly impact the price you pay for water each month.
Homes on wells don’t have to pay water bills, but their water consumption still comes at a cost. The home’s well pump runs using electricity, therefore changes made when you track water usage can help.
Improve Conservation Efforts
The average American uses about 88 gallons of water at home each day. This means a family of four consumes more than 10,500 gallons of water per month, on average. Is your household’s water consumption below, at, or beyond this average?
It doesn’t matter where your consumption falls on this scale when you track water usage – there are always opportunities to lower water usage. Just as daily water consumption adds up, so do all the measures you take to use less. Even the smallest changes benefit water conservation efforts!
Use the data collected when you track water usage to guide your conservation efforts. Pinpoint where you personally use the most water and evaluate the situation for changes you are able to make that consume less water.
Ways to Track Water Usage
There are a few helpful ways to track water usage and determine the major consumers of water in your household. Your water bill contains the information you need to get started, and there are products available that benefit your water conservation mission.
With the volume of water consumption listed on your water bill, you are able to break down this amount to estimate about how much of that is utilized by each fixture or application in your home.
Water consumption calculators help you estimate the total amount of water used per application, helping you identify areas in need of improvement.