At Lorenz, we've dealt with plumbing for more than 45 years, so we've learned much about plumbing and water usage firsthand. If you opened your water bill and were shocked or frustrated at the total amount due, you might look closer at your water usage. Most utility bills show your past usage compared to your current usage. Still, if the current water consumption is higher than usual, consider some of these causes.
In the summer months, it can be much drier than spring, which is a cause to need to pull out the sprinkler and garden hose to water the grass, flowers, and plants. Obviously, filling a swimming pool can use a large amount of water. Whether you're filling a kiddy pool on the weekends for the kids or an inground pool for the season, this can have a huge impact on how much water you use.
A dripping faucet waste lots of water. Most experts say that a dripping faucet can waste TWENTY gallons or more of water a day. Oof! If you want to stop the dripping, you must first turn off the water supply to the faucet. Hopefully, you have one located at the faucet; otherwise, you may have to turn off your water at the main shut-off to repair or replace the faucet.Here are a few blog resources on where that can be found: https://lorenzphac.com/got-a-burst-pipe-turn-off-your-main-water-valve-in-two-steps/ https://lorenzphac.com/where-is-that-water-shut-off-valve/
Then, disassemble the faucet and check the washers and gaskets for damage. If they are worn or damaged, replace them with new ones that can be found at hardware stores. There may be other issues with the faucet, such as a damaged valve seat or worn-out O-rings. In this case, it may be best to call a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.
Running toilets can be another costly way to waste water. If you are like most people when you use the restroom, you walk away after flushing and washing your hands, not noticing if the toilet is running. But the toilet may continue to cycle the water through over and over, causing it to run non-stop and waste water for hours. A toilet bowl that keeps running might seem like a small problem. However, a toilet leak can cause your water use to go up by a lot over time. Leaky toilets are one of the most common calls that we receive. One way to prevent this is to stay a few extra seconds to make sure the toilet handle doesn't stick in a sloped-down position. If it is still running, it could be due to a deteriorated or defective flush valve, also known as a flapper ball, at the bottom of the toilet tank. If it does not make a tight seal, water will leak, allowing tank water to flow into the bowl and down the drain.
Another cause for a running toilet could be the chain, which may have fallen off as they rust over time, or the chain could be too loose or too tight. Adjust the chain so it has a slight amount of slack when the flapper valve is closed. If this gets too complicated, call your friends at Lorenz, and we can solve the running toilet problem.
Another common cause is a broken hot water heater. A leaky water heater can use more water than it needs if it doesn't work right. If you suspect your hot water heater may be leaking, it's important to act quickly and contact your friends at Lorenz. A plumber can inspect the system and determine if there is an issue with the water heater that needs to be addressed.
Aside from the obvious things, your water bill may also be affected by less obvious things that you might not notice. Take, for example, washing machines that leak. They can be sneaky ways to waste water. Even a small leak that doesn't seem like much can waste a lot of water if it's not fixed for a long time. This is bad for the environment and will also cause your energy bills to go up in an obvious way. Regular repair checks are necessary to catch these problems early and make sure your washing machine works well and helps save water.
But plumbing problems inside your home aren't the only thing that can make your water bill go up. There are also important things that happen outside. An irrigation line leak, which often goes unchecked, can cause a lot of wasted water, especially in homes with a lot of greenery.Sprinkler systems are often found in homes with lots of greenery outside. They are a quick and easy way to make sure your plants and yard get enough water. But if a sprinkler system isn't working right, it can cause a lot of water to be wasted. A broken sprinkler head or a leak in the system can cause water to be used when it isn't needed. This can cause your water bill to go up.Also, irrigation systems that aren't set up right can cause your plants to get too much water, which wastes water and can hurt your plants. So, your sprinkler system needs to be checked on a regular basis. Check for any obvious signs of leaks or damage, make sure the spray heads are working right, and change the watering plan based on the season and weather.In the end, it's important to keep an eye on the plumbing inside for problems. But don't forget about the effect of things like irrigation lines and sprinkler systems. Keeping these systems in good shape will help you take care of your outdoor oasis without causing a sky-high water bill.
In the same way, a leaky water softener system can cause a sudden rise in water use. It can also lead to higher water bills and even possible flooding if left unchecked. To avoid these issues, be sure to keep up with regular maintenance for your water softener system and change any worn parts that may be causing the issue. Doing so will help ensure you get clean, soft water without worrying about wasted water or extra costs.
These leaks can be hard to find and can slowly drain your money if you don't fix them right away. For this reason, it's a wise idea to check your home's plumbing system on a regular basis so that you won't be surprised by your water bill. Or give your friends at Lorenz a call at 417-863-1122.
Hidden leaks can be the worst type of problem to have. Not only do they cost you money in water usage, but they can cost much more in water damage. Unfortunately, just like their name suggests, many times they are hidden and can take some investigating to find. This is where our experience and expertise may be able to lend a hand and help you find the issue.One final way to help determine if you have a water leak somewhere is to find your water meter located out in your yard and pull the lid off the pit to see if your water meter is showing flow. First, you will need to make sure everything in your house is turned off, and nothing is running. Once everything is turned off, your water meter should not be spinning or showing any water usage, which hopefully that's the case. If not, then most likely, there is an issue somewhere.
Okay, so this isn't directly related to wasting water. Still, we wanted also to mention that backed-up water and clogged drains can be another plumbing frustration. Drain Cleaning and jetting can be a significant improvement to your plumbing system. Learn more about drain cleaning and jetting here: https://lorenzphac.com/drain-cleaning-springfield-mo-jetting-camera/
You might even be wondering, what in the world is jetting? A jetter is a high-powered heavy-duty hose with a specialized nozzle that breaks up and flushes out sludge, grease, lime deposits, and other icky stuff that sewer machines and augers may be unable to remove. You probably don't want to think about all the stuff that is going down your drains, but over time food, grease, hair, and soap scum can build up, causing the drain to not function properly.
Of course, we recommend trying a plunger first to dislodge the blockage, but if that doesn't work. You can call a professional plumber to see if snaking the drain or jetting the drain would be best. If you are finding clogs in the same sink over and over, you might consider putting a drain strainer in it to keep from hair and food consistently clogging it up. And when it comes to kitchen sink clogs, we find it is usually due to putting too much food down the drain. Potato peels, egg shells, rice, and bacon grease can be especially harmful to your kitchen pipes. We highly recommend putting food in the trash instead of down the drain. It will save you money in the long run.
If you have an unusually high water bill, you probably have a leak, or your water consumption has changed. But, if solving these problems gets to be more than you can handle, we are available for those emergency plumbing problems 24/7. Sometimes there can be more complex and challenging things to repair, like hidden pipe leaks, low water pressure, and frozen pipes during the winter, so we recommend calling a professional plumber to resolve these issues. Professionals have the expertise and tools needed to diagnose and fix problems quickly and efficiently. One important thing to note as it relates to frozen pipes is to shut off your water immediately. The quicker you can shut off the water, the less damage it will cause to your home.
Maintaining your plumbing isn't difficult, but it does require you to be aware of your home. Using your senses like smell, sight, and sound can help prevent future problems.
You've got your friends at Lorenz Plumbing Heating and Air to help if you have trouble. We've been in the plumbing industry for over 45 years. You can trust us to get to the bottom of your running toilet, leaky faucet, clogged drain, and busted pipe problems. Contact us here https://lorenzphac.com/contact-us/ or by calling 417-863-1122.