As we go about our everyday routines, we tend to knowingly – or unknowingly – utilise excessive amounts of water and consequently produce large amounts of water waste. It is also easier than we like to admit to neglect practicing basic plumbing system maintenance. These practices together often lead to over-the-top water bills as well as major breakdowns that require contacting your go-to plumber Cape Town professionals and will undoubtedly take a toll on your wallet. In just a few minutes of reading, check out the plumber Cape Town guide to saving money on plumbing, and pick up a few tricks and tips along the way.
Tip 1: turn off your taps properly
This tip is likely one that you have heard before. Despite this, most of us do not fully grasp how much water can be wasted through a dripping tap. In many cases, it is not negligible. In some cases, leaky taps can drip at a rate of up to 3 litres per day. Making an effort to close your taps tightly can make all the difference in some scenarios. In others, you may not be able to solve a leaky tap this way, especially if there is a fault in the system. There are various causes that lead to a leaky tap, including:
This is a component that is installed in tap handles in order to create a waterproof seal. Oftentimes, O-Rings become damaged or loose, which will result in leaking near the handle of the tap.
An issue with a tap’s washer is arguably the most common cause of tap leaks. The washer is the small leather or rubber ring inside the tap that presses down against the end of the pipe to cease water flow. As time wears on and a tap is used, they can become corroded or damaged. In some cases, they have not been installed appropriately in the first place.
The valve seat
The valve seat is an incredibly vulnerable part of the tap system, and it sits where the spout meets the tap. The valve seat is usually damaged as a result of wear and tear or a mineral build up in the system.
Responsible for the temperature and flow of your water, the cartridge is one of the most important parts of the tap. It can become damaged as a result of general wear and tear, or an accident. This component is easy to replace, but unless you have the knowledge of how a tap works, it is suggested that you reach out to your go-to plumber Cape Town company for assistance.
Excessive water pressure
Understandably, an excessively high water pressure can also be to blame for a leaky tap. High-water pressure tends to restrict the water in the tap system from properly flowing to and from its destination. As a result, the pipe can get backed up with water. This water is then forced to find a way out of the pipe, resulting in a leak from your tap.
A simpler explanation for your leaky tap is that the parts within your tap may be loose. This can usually be resolved by tightening pieces such as the O-ring or washers if you are confident. If the issue persists, you may need to call your preferred plumber Cape Town company for assistance.
Perhaps the most unlikely source of leaky taps, pipe issues do sometimes occur and result in leaking. Cracks, damage from tree roots or corrosion can cause the water pressure in the system to fluctuate, which may result in occasional drips. Some indicators of pipe issues include weirdly coloured water and strange smells.
There are undeniably certain tap types that are more prone to leaking, such as ball-type taps. They function with the help of a metal ball that determines water pressure and the level of water. Before installing new taps, we advise that you take some time to do research on water-savvy taps that are known to be reliable and steadfast. In addition, you may wish to replace older and more problematic taps in your home with the help of your trusted plumber.
Tip 2: consider using low-flow shower heads
It is no surprise that many people opt to replace their regular-flow shower heads for high-pressure alternatives. This results in a considerably more relaxing shower experience and improved temperature control. However, the increase in water usage and water bills as a result is a stark negative to choosing this type of shower-head. Should cutting down on water waste be your primary concern, consider switching from a regular – or high-pressure- shower head to a low-flow shower head.
This will significantly reduce your daily water use. Low-flow shower heads are easy to install and are available in most hardware or bathroom stores. It may take some time to get used to the decreased flow, but your water bills and expenses will thank you in the long run.
Tip 3: find and fix your home’s hidden leaks
While some leaks are easily noticeable, such as those from bathroom taps and toilets, other leaks are more difficult to uncover. Your first indication may be a sudden increase in water bills, or you may choose to take the time to observe your water metre while not running any taps, water-requiring appliances or flushing the toilet. If your metre continues to rise, even slightly, it would not be far-fetched to assume you have some sort of leak. In this event, you may wish to reach out to your chosen plumber Cape Town company to help you identify the problem, as some leaks occur where the untrained eye cannot find them.
Most hidden plumbing leaks have to do with pipes located inside walls. However, some hidden leaks occur due to the seals that hold your bath tub or toilet to the floor become loose. The moisture from these fixtures, considered to be hydro-heavy, can drip into the flooring below them – resulting in sagging and other issues. Another sign that you are experiencing leaking in your home may be the appearance of mould.
You may notice mould or mildew appearing around your home, which can be a result of moisture becoming trapped within your walls as a result of a leaking pipe. When you notice these stains, it is fair to assume that there is some sort of leaking issue nearby. Should this occur, it is best to get in contact with your go-to plumber Cape Town company to address the issue, as sometimes entire walls will need to be removed and replaced to solve the problem.
Tip 4: prevent build-ups in your drains
It’s easy to ignore the drains in our home, whether out of laziness or fear many of us cannot decide. Neglecting drains is a sure way to get clogs and resulting damage. In order to keep drains in acceptable working conditions, as well as prevent build-ups all together, many DIY buffs advise pouring a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar into drains at least once a month. Drain cleaner is to be avoided unless the situation is dire, since most of them contain harsh chemicals that can eat into your pipes and systems, as well as cause harm to the environment.
People with longer hair may experience drain clog-ups more frequently, since hair washing tends to send stray hairs down the drain where they bind together to form clumps in the shower or bath drain system. To prevent this from happening, think about purchasing strainers over the drains. When it comes to the kitchen sink, leftover food items and liquids can also cause havoc – especially when cooking grease is poured down the drain.
When grease solidifies, it often sticks to the insides of the pipe and builds up significantly over time. Alternatively, consider pouring the leftover grease into a metal can, allowing it to cool and solidify before disposing of it in the bin.
Tip 5: regularly check your toilet
The toilet is one plumbing fixture that uses a large amount of water. This fact alone should drive us to ensure that it’s in good condition. Unfortunately, like drains, it is easy to avoid paying too much attention to the toilet except for when it is time to clean it. Some indicators of a toilet with a problem is a strange gurgling noise coming out of the fixture – which indicates a potential issue with a main drain. Living in an older home with a main drain system made of clay increases the odds of this occurring.
As roots grow underground, they place pressure on pipes, and in some cases penetrate them. This is what can make the toilet produce gurgling sounds. Should you notice this in your home, do not hesitate to contact your regular plumber Cape Town company for professional assistance. Leaving the issue too long can result in the main drain breaking altogether.
When it comes to checking your toilet for leaks, an easy method is to drop some food colouring into the water tank. Should you notice the colouring seeping into the bowl within 15 minutes, you may have a leaking issue. Unless you are experienced in fixing toilets, we advise that you reach out to your local plumber to avoid worsening the issue. Fixing the problem quickly will help to prevent unnecessary water waste and any resulting bills.
Tip 6: upgrading your fixtures
As previously mentioned, homeowners of older homes are more likely to experience plumbing issues. Many will have to fork out thousands in the long run as a result. If you find that your water bill after moving into an older home is rather outrageous, and you find numerous leaks and problems, you may wish to consider replacing old plumbing fixtures for newer, more efficient ones. If you decide to give this a bash, it is strongly advised that you have your trusted plumber Cape Town professional come to your property and offer you some insight before you begin the process.
Some plumber Cape Town companies will offer to assist in the parts-ordering process as well as the installation when the time comes. After the process is complete, there is a strong chance that your water fees will stabilise. Further, with new fixtures, the risk of frequent leaks declines significantly.
Choosing Plumbing Ways as your trusted plumber Cape Town company
With years of experience and a plethora of excellently executed projects, Plumbing Ways offers clients professional, efficient and timely services. Our affordable rates make plumbing solutions possible for those with a tight budget. In addition, we are available 7 days a week with the same rate, meaning that should you experience a plumbing emergency, we are there to provide assistance and support during stressful experiences.