One of the things I always like to mention when talking about utility bills is the word ‘overpayment’. We don’t think about our utility bills most of the time, and when we do, we accept that the utility bill is just what it is. But you may be overpaying much more than what’s necessary for your home. I don’t think any of us likes to overpay, so let’s look at how little issues with our plumbing fixtures could really be costing us each month.
If you pay for water, a dripping faucet—even if it’s just a drop every second—can add up to over 2,000 gallons a year. To get a better idea, there’s actually a pretty cool downloadable app that tells you how much water is being used by tapping your screen with the same timing as the drip. A lot of people don’t know about this, but if a dripping tub or sink faucet is using hot water, your water heater has to fill up and heat however much water is used. One drop per second is about 5 gallons per day. Imagine filling the water heater with 5 gallons of cold water that then has to be heated, even though you’re not actually using it. You’re not just using extra water at this point—you’re having to overpay on your electric or gas bill, too.
When we say a toilet is running, we don’t mean in the literal sense. It just means that the water is continuing to fill up or going into the overflow. A running toilet can use over 10,000 gallons per year, which gets very expensive if you’re paying for your water. Even if you don’t pay for water, a constantly running toilet or dripping faucet can damage the septic system. Septic systems are not made to receive a continuous amount of water. Instead, they’re only made to accept a few gallons at a time from a flushed toilet or from water going down the drain. Constant water will be enough to flood and leech out, or simply saturate the septic system and never give it a chance to dry.
Scale buildup on the water heater (e.g., an electric element with calcium buildup) is another area that causes homeowners to overpay their utility bills. On average, it leads to paying 30% more than what the bill should actually be. If you have one or two of these little plumbing issues going on in your home, you’re going to be overpaying way more on your bill every month. That’s real money you could be saving in your pocket.
We live in an area where energy is priced pretty reasonably, at least when compared to the rest of the country. Conservation might not be as much of a hot topic for us, but it’s definitely something which we should all be aware. I’d recommend people get their plumbing inspected no sooner than once a year, but no less frequently than every 3 years. Every 2 to 3 years is usually a good enough schedule. HVAC systems need to get checked twice a year, though, because they go from hot to cold depending on the season.
Diamond Club members can call to schedule an appointment for these inspections at no charge. Otherwise it will range from $150 to $200 depending on the situation. Our Diamond Club schedule is pretty full right now, so it’s definitely a good idea to call as soon as possible to set up an appointment. Reach out to the team at Wisler Plumbing by contacting us online or calling 540-483-9382.