Plumbing is a major cost to homeowners. This is true whether you are undergoing construction or simply looking for ways to reduce your monthly utility bills. This guide will touch on ways to save money on plumbing and help you to run your home more efficiently.
The first section will touch on ways to save money when contracting out or completing work to your plumbing system. The second section will highlight tips and tricks to save money on a day-to-day level.
Plumbing and Construction
Like any aspect of construction, if you understand as much as possible about the plumbing fixtures, processes, and procedures, you will be able to make more intelligent decisions during the construction process. The internet is full of free articles, eBooks, and videos on plumbing repairs and installation and educating yourself should be the first step in the process.
The next step should be to identify the issue. This can be done by consulting an expert (or even a friend in the industry if you are lucky) to review the scope of the work. Understanding the work involved in the project could save you significant time and money; particularly if the issue or project is something that could be handled easily without professional assistance. To ensure you are able to find exactly what you are looking for, take all disassembled parts of your project or issue to the hardware store when replacing a part. Many faucets, toilets, and other plumbing accessories have varying parts by make and model and knowing exactly what you will need is imperative in not spending money on the wrong item.
When looking for a plumber to assist with your project it is crucial that you shop around and receive multiple quotes. Many plumbing companies use online coupon and discount sites to promote their services as well. Another good practice is to mention a referral from a friend or family member when hiring a plumber as they will typically give you some form of beneficial financing.
Despite the urge to get the cheapest plumber possible, it is extremely important to hire qualified, efficient plumbers. Read reviews online and make smart choices because it will be much more expensive in the end to have a cheaper plumber come to your property multiple times than it is to have a more expensive plumber come to your property once. On this same note, it is particularly important to have your plumber fix multiple problems (or potential problems) in one visit. This means you will need to be organized with a maintenance checklist and a full understanding of the job(s) that needs to be done. Many plumbers will offer free inspections before the work commences which will allow you to make sure that all your issues or projects are dealt with at the same time.
Plumbing Tips to Save Money Day-to-Day
The most important tip that you can take away from this section is to always call a plumber when you find a leak in your home. Leaks almost always get worse over time and fixing the cause of the problem straight away will save you limitless stress and money. Water damage in a home can result in mold, mildew, and even structural damage and there is no reason to avoid bringing in a professional when your property is at risk.
Make sure that none of your faucets have drips as these small drops of water can quickly add up to a pool of money come utility bill time. When tightening any threaded joints within a plumbing fixture, be sure to not over tighten. A good rule is to tighten as much as you can with your fingers and then give it one quarter turn with a wrench afterwards. Over tightening these joints can lead to more leaks in the future.
Other items to consider as regular “plumbing maintenance” included clearing slow drains, fixing running toilets, fixing kitchen leaks (faucets, strainers, garbage disposal, etc), having your septic, sewer, and storm drains inspected yearly (to avoid back-ups or blockages), and checking your water pressure periodically. High water pressure can put undue stress on your home’s plumbing system.
Water use and water heating can be one of the most costly aspects of the plumbing in your home as well. Be sure to use low-flow shower heads in all of your bathrooms to reduce the amount of water you use. You could also consider having your yard go brown in the summer time and turn off the sprinkler system. In terms of heating your water you could convert your hot water tank to a flash-heater, or alternatively (and less costly) you could purchase a hot water tank insulating wrap to make your tank more efficient.
Know When You Need A Professional
Real Simple states that in plumbing there are some jobs you can do and some jobs that you cannot do. Understanding the difference between these two types of jobs will save you more money than anything else. Paying someone a professional wage to do a job that you could’ve done with a $10 part is a perfect example of spending too much money on plumbing. Alternatively, attempting a do-it-yourself project and causing damage to your home, or making an issue out of something that could’ve been fixed easily by a pro is equally as costly.
About Brent Black
Brent Black is the General Manager of Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating in Vancouver, BC. He is dedicated to making sure plumbing and heating problems are fixed, no matter what the time of year or where in the Greater Vancouver area. Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating has been providing residential and commercial plumbing services to Greater Vancouver homes and facilities since 1945.
If you need to call a professional check out Get Assist, they’ll help you find a plumber who can get the job done.