Texas Summers: How to Stay “Cool” Without Running Up Your Water Bill

When you think about the hot Texas summers and energy usage, your initial thoughts are not always about how to better manage your water bill. Many people take water for granted and do not really think about different ways they could stop their water bills from skyrocketing over the summer months.

Let’s take a look at some different money-saving tips and suggestions that could potentially reduce your water bills, not just during the scorching summer days, but also year-round.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

While it might sound funny since it is summertime and you may not use much hot water, your water heater still needs some maintenance and care. Consider turning down the temperature on the water heater during the summer months. You should also insulate the water heater to help stop heat loss.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Replace Traditional Water Heaters with Tankless Models

If your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life—between 10 and 15 years old—consider a tankless water heater replacement instead. The hot water is heated on demand, and you will run less water waiting for it to heat up.

Maximize Your Dishwasher

Modern dishwashers use a fraction of the water it takes to do dishes by hand. Plus, you only need to scrape off excess food and no pre-rinsing is required before loading the dishes. You should also only run the dishwasher when it is full.

Store Cold Drinking Water in the Refrigerator

Instead of running the tap until the water flows cooler, keep several pitchers and eco-friendly water bottles full and stocked in the refrigerator.

Switch to Low Flow Faucets and Fixtures

Replace water faucets and shower heads with low-flow models that use less water.

Install Aerators on Faucets

Aerators help reduce the flow of water but maintain the current water pressure.

Cool Off with Showers Rather Than Baths

A cool shower uses less water than filling up the bathtub.

Reuse Graywater

Save the water from cooking, bathing, or leftover drinking water and use it to water plants, shrubs, or your grass. You can even collect water in the shower as it is warming up.

Cooling Off Outdoors

It can be tempting to play in the sprinklers to cool off. However, this is a big water waster and will run up your bills. A much better solution is to cool off in a swimming pool because, once it is filled, you only need to add water periodically to maintain the right level.

Swimming Pool Maintenance

Swimming Pool Maintenance

For pools with filtration systems and pumps, you should inspect these for leaks and fix any you find.

Watering Grass, Plants, and Shrubs

If you use our tip to save your graywater, you should not need to water as often. For automatic sprinkler systems, make sure watering heads are working correctly and not over-spraying into the road or sidewalks, and only water for about ten minutes every other day.

For more tips and suggestions on how to reduce water usage, water heater repairs and replacements, and whole home plumbing solutions, please feel free to contact Met-Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

When to Tell Your Water Heater to Kick the Bucket!

You probably don’t think of your water heater on a daily basis, but it labors faithfully in the background, creating the steaming water that pours out of your tap for showers, laundry, dishes and more. It’s only when something goes wrong that the water heater intrudes into daily life, and at that point, you start wondering what the heck to do pretty quickly.

The main question is this: Can your water heater be repaired, or has it given up the ghost? Is it time to tell it to kick the bucket, or can you still salvage some meaningful years from this important investment?

These are good questions all. Before you set aside time and money to call in a plumber, therefore, it’s helpful to understand the issues at stake. What are the signs of trouble? What parts can be repaired, and what signals the end of the road? And lastly, what should you call in a plumber for?

Trouble in the Air

When your plumbing breaks down, it’s usually pretty obvious. A pool in the basement, a rumble or tick when there shouldn’t be one, or an icy shower at six a.m. are unpleasant wake-up calls that indicate something is wrong.

One of the main signs? If you notice the water heater leaking, which never happens when the appliance is shipshape. Another is when you simply can’t get hot water, when there isn’t nearly as much as there used to be, or when the water pressure drops significantly. If you notice any of these plumbing-related problems, it could be due to a number of factors. These include:

  • A burner or heating element fails
  • A loose drain valve, which is one of the most common causes of water heater leaking
  • A pipe or valve gets blocked by buildup or debris
  • The thermostat breaks
  • The pilot light on a gas heater goes out
  • A circuit trips
  • The thermocouple comes loose
  • The water heater simply outlives its useful life

This last occurrence cannot be overcome, and we will discuss that in later sections. First, though, which of these issues can be repaired so that you can hang on to your appliance for a bit longer?

Can It Be Repaired?

Luckily, it’s easy to replace or repair many of these parts. Valves, circuits, thermostats, thermocouples and other parts are typically quite inexpensive, ranging from $10 to $40 or so, or possibly a bit higher depending on the exact type of part you need. The water heater repair service cost to install parts, examine thermostats or relight pilots is also relatively inexpensive, usually ranging from $100 to $200 or so, depending on your individual water heater’s requirements.

If you want to avoid the occasional water leak or loss of hot water, one of the best ways to ensure this is by flushing the tank once a year to get accumulated sediment out of the system. When you do this, it’s less likely that a piece of sediment will break off and block a valve or pipe, which is one of the main reasons for a water leak. Plus, your water heater will work better, saving you money. You can do this during your water heater repair appointment, or during an annually scheduled maintenance call.

Water Heater Repair

Feel free to get in touch or request a quote for water heater service so you can get back to the life you’re used to living, hot showers and all. Of course, sometimes it’s not as easy as a repair. Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s just time to tell your water heater to take a hike.

Sorry … That Water Heater’s Done!

Conventional water heaters have a lifespan ranging between 10 and 13 years or so. If you experience a problem after or around that time, you can try to repair it, but it’s more than likely you’re going to need to call a plumber and get a replacement.

Even if your heater could theoretically be repaired, it’s sometimes necessary to replace it anyway to ensure it matches building codes specifying everything from the size of the vent system to the types of drain pipes to the water heater mount. Your plumber can walk you through these issues to help you make the best decision. You will also need to settle on many other choices as well, such as:

  • Will you get a conventional, tankless, heat pump or solar water heater?
  • What brand will you choose?
  • Do you want it to meet Energy Star efficiency standards, which can qualify for a federal tax credit?
  • How much are you able to pay?

Again, plumbing companies such as MET Plumbing can help walk you through these and other questions, so you can make the best possible decision about your new water heater. Feel free to give us a call today to learn more about your options and how we can help. Just pick up the phone and dial 281.599.3336 and we’ll set up an appointment for you right away so you can get back to the life you want to lead … hot showers and all.