4 September 2019 | Posted in preventative maintenance, problem solving | By

Cut down on hot water

One of the simplest yet most overlooked strategies to reduce water usage. Since water heating is one of the largest energy expenses in the average household, using warm water rather than boiling water for stuff like showering and doing the dishes can actually make a big difference in the long run. There is an option to explore setting your hot water system on a tariff. Where it will heat up during off-peak times (i.e while you are sleeping). To do this, you would just need to contact your energy provider.

Hot water system

One of the biggest complaints we hear about in terms of water wastage is the time it takes to deliver the hot water to the tap in use such as the shower/kitchen. The time in delivery is different for numerous reasons, the position of the actual HWS, have the pipes been lagged and so forth. Unfortunately, there are limitations that can be done cost-effectively when the plumbing is all existing. In some instances, a reticulation system can be installed so that the retic pump slowly reticulates the hot water around the house continuously so that when a hot tap is turned on, the hot water comes out hot straight away so less water is wasted. There are systems in both gas and electric that are instantaneous and will predominately only use power/gas when a hot tap is used. These can save in utility costs also whilst saving water.

Upgrade your appliances

Opting for energy-efficient models of household appliances can also save us hundreds of litres of water per year as well as hundreds of dollars! When buying any appliances, always research different brands and their energy ranking to make sure you are getting the most energy-efficient option (within your budget). Look for the water rating label on all products regulated under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme (WELS). The label is designed to help you quickly compare the efficiency of different products, the more stars, the more water-efficient the product/appliance is. You can also search your existing products/appliances on the below website to check what their WELS rating is: https://www.waterrating.gov.au/. A three-star WELS-rated showerhead can help save more than 50 litres every time you shower. It’s well worth doing your homework when it comes to efficient appliances.

Fix those leaky taps!

You know that tap that has been leaking just a tiny bit, not enough to bother you too much to call a plumber? Do you know how much water that seemingly innocent leak is wasting? A leaking tap/toilet can waste up to 20,000 litres per year. The cause is often just a faulty washer, worn-out seat in the combination, or something straightforward to fix (for a professional). Arranging to have a licensed plumber repair those leaky taps sooner rather than later will save significant amounts of water and money over time.

Practice water-friendly habits

Here are a few tips for being more water conscious in the home:

  • Consider how mch you ACTUALLY need. Do you really need to do half a load of laundry? Wait until it is full.
  • Same with the dishwasher, only use when it is full.
  • When preparing meals, wash your vegetables in a partially filled sink rather than under running water.
  • Don’t overfill the water in the pan/pot. Don’t overfill the pan with water for only a small amount of food.
  • Aim to cut your daily shower by half. Limiting your showers to 4 minutes or less can save around 24 litres of water every day! (4 minutes is long enough to practice your audition for the voice, ok!)
  • Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth.
  • Collect greywater or drain-waste from your shower, spa and other appliances (not toilets) for re-use in your garden or lawn. i.e while you are waiting for the shower temperature to get comfortable, collect this water excess in a bucket.

Gardening tips:

  • Use a broom or rake to clean your driveway, rather than a hose.
  • Only water the garden when necessary
  • If it is damp 2 cm down below the surface, it doesn’t need watering
  • Adjust how much water you give your plants according to the seasons
  • Opt for Australian Natives, these require less watering.

Pools

If you find that you constantly have to top the pool up with water, perhaps the pool may have a leak. Pools do evaporate and require topping up because of this reason but most leaks in pools are not visibly noticeable and can go unchecked. If concerned that you may indeed have a leak, why not try the bucket test. Fill a bucket with pool water, leaving a gap approx. 3cm from the top and place this on the first step of your pool. Then mark both the water level on the inside of the bucket and outside. Then leave this for a period and monitor. Should the water level that’s marked on the outside of the bucket is lower than the marked inside, you will most likely have a leak and should be investigated further.

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