Make a big impact with a little effort

On October 1, California began its fourth consecutive drought year, and we’ve beaten all the records for driest three-year period in the state’s history. And as you are well aware, all state residents are required to reduce their water consumption by 15 percent of their 2020 totals.

The more water we save, the more we have in the years to come. In addition to meeting the state’s mandates, saving water also means saving money.

So what can you do in and around your house to conserve water?

Fix Indoor and Outdoor Leaks

That occasional drip from your faucet doesn’t seem like a big deal. But even small leaks like dripping faucets or running toilets can add up to major water loss and money literally down the drain.

If your main water line has a leak, we will be happy to repair that for you as quickly as possible. Water main leaks can cost homeowners big bucks in water usage. And having your water shut off while waiting for the repair is a huge headache.

If you suspect you have a water main leak or a leak in an irrigation line, we will happily refer you to a trusted leak detection company or landscaper, respectively.

Fixing indoor and outdoor leaks can save between 27 and 90 gallons of water every day, according to Save Our Water. Save Our Water is a statewide water conservation program created “to make water conservation a daily habit among Californians.”

Sinks and Showers

Taking showers that last five minutes or less may be more of an aspiration than a reality. However, showering with a water-efficient showerhead can save 12.5 gallons of water per shower. For a family of four, that’s 50 gallons of water a day!

Another seemingly small step to save water is to turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. While my kids might prefer foregoing brushing their teeth altogether, simply turning off the water when you aren’t using it can save up to 8 gallons a day per person, according to Save Our Water.

Between shorter showers and turning off the water when brushing and shaving, a family of four could save more than 80 gallons of water a day.

Faucet aerators and water-efficient showerheads

As I mentioned in the last tip, showering using a water-efficient showerhead can save several gallons of water per shower per day. Swapping out a shower head is a good do-it-yourself (DIY) project. You can pick up the showerheads and some Teflon tape at your favorite home improvement store.

Or, we can replace your current showerheads with high-efficiency ones as an add-on service while we’re on a service call at your home. Our big yellow trucks are stocked and ready, but you should still mention that  you’d like us to install water-efficient showerheads before we show up so we can make sure we have the supplies and parts for your specific situation and give you an estimated cost.

Aerators maintain your water pressure while reducing the amount of water that comes out of the faucet. Installing water-efficient devices on all your faucets and showerheads is a pretty quick and inexpensive way to conserve water and save money in the long-term.

By installing aerators in all your household faucets, you can save three-quarter of a gallon per minute. One of our technicians could easily install aerators for you, but I’m almost certain this is one DIY project you can handle on your own.

Recirculating Pumps

Most of the time, we are all looking for ways to stay OUT of hot water with our spouse, our boss, our coworkers, or even our dog.

But when it comes to literal hot water, the sooner it starts flowing from your faucet the better. A hot water recirculating system can make this dream a reality for you.

Barnett can install a recirculating water pump in your home today, and you can have immediate hot water at all of your faucets tonight! Yes, even the water coming from the sink or tub that’s the furthest from your hot water heater will be hot almost instantly! You’ll save money on water usage and heating costs.

High-Efficiency Toilets

Flushing water down the toilet can seem like a waste (Ha!), and to some degree it is. Replacing your old toilet with a high-efficiency model can save between 6 and 35 gallons of water every day.

Granted, you may not need a new toilet at the moment. But it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind when you’re ready to replace one. Since the state began mandating low-flow toilets in 2014, it’s likely you have one or more in your home already. But as we all know, technology changes quickly. Toilets built today will be more efficient than even ones installed 20 years ago.

If you are interested in upgrading one or more of your toilets, one of our skilled technicians can install them for you. You can either pre-purchase toilets at your favorite home improvement store or we will bring the toilets to you.

Clothes and dishes

It’s true: Running the dishwasher uses less water than hand washing, but only when you wash full loads. The same holds true for washing a full load of laundry (although I doubt anyone is attempting to hand wash entire loads of laundry).

Save Our Water says washing a full load of dishes can save between 5 and 15 gallons of water per cycle. And washing a full load of clothes saves between 15 and 45 gallons per load.

Many area water districts and agencies offer rebates for Tri-Valley residents who install high-efficiency appliances. Searching for current appliance rebates is as easy as typing the name of your water agency + the word “rebate” into your browser’s search bar and hitting return.

What questions do you have about conserving water? We’ll be happy to answer them and ensure you have the solutions that are right for you and your family. Give us a call at (925) 872-0805.

Here’s my personal promise to you: When you call with a question or to schedule an on-site estimate, there will be no pressure. No obligation. We will not sell you a plumbing solution you don’t need or want.

Thanks for letting us be your trusted plumber.

Phil Barnett
President of Barnett Plumbing & Water Heaters