Besides electricity, water is the most expensive utility used during the summer – if you have a pool and sprinkler system, it can be THE most expensive. There are obvious ways to try and keep a handle on your water bill. Being diligent about fixing leaks and running toilets helps a lot! (Fun Fact – a running toilet can use 4,000 gallons of water a day, that is money down the drain).
Another way to help reduce water usage is to install a PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve). You may be wondering how much water a PRV can save, for a family of four it will save 30 to 40 THOUSAND gallons of water per year. On the low end, that is 7500 gallons per person, per year. Multiply that by the number of tenants in your building and that number can be staggering. The water pressure coming into the building varies by city, but for a typical 3 story apartment building, a pressure of 50 PSI is all that is required for good water flow in most cases. Plumbing code requires installation of a PRV when the incoming PSI exceeds 80. Installation of a PRV is relatively inexpensive and with the money you are saving on your water bill, it will practically pay for itself.
Water heater leaks often start out very small but can turn into a very large problem. Having your water heater inspected by a licensed plumber yearly, (like those at All Climate Mechanical) can help to prevent water heater failures. Inside the water heater is an Anode rod, the anodes purpose is to help collect iron and minerals. Over time the anode will corrode to the point where it is no longer working to protect your water heater. When this happens the iron and minerals collect at the bottom of the water heater tank, causing it to rust and eventually fail. Anodes should be replaced every 3 to 5 years. Anodes are made up of aluminum, magnesium or zinc. Your water type will determine which type of anode rod would be best for your water heater. Your water heater should be flushed at least once a year (more often if you have no water softener and hard city water). Flushing the water heater can help rid the tank of sludge and sediment and premature failure.
A properly running, non leaking water heater will not only save you money on your water bill, but your gas or electric bill as well. If you have sediment build up on the bottom of your water heater, your burner has to heat through the sediment before it can heat the actual water, thereby increasing your gas or electric bill.