12 Great Ways To Save Money On Plumbing And Water Bills
The recent increases in the cost of living have put a big squeeze on everyone’s finances, as wages fail to keep up. The Bank of England says the recent increases in energy bills, which are set to be three times higher than they were a year ago, will drive inflation – the rate at which prices rise – even higher. With that in mind, we thought we would publish a helpful guide on some ways you can save money on your plumbing and water bills at home. Hopefully, this list of tips will help.
1. Make sure your taps are properly turned off
It might seem like a small, negligible thing but one dripping tap can waste up to 15 gallons of water per day. As you can imagine, this very quickly adds to your water bills over time. If your taps continue to drip or leak after being turned off, you should investigate and get them repaired.
2. Find and fix hidden issues
Hidden leaks can be a nuisance that slowly adds to your water bill. For example, a toilet that continually drips or refills every 20 minutes could waste up to 7000 gallons per month. As well as leaks, you should keep vigilant for any other issues with your drainage and plumbing systems. If you aren’t careful, these could turn into major problems and damage may need to be repaired by professionals at a substantial cost. One of the easiest ways to ensure there are no insidious hidden problems developing in your drainage system is to arrange a CCTV drain survey, which we can help with.
3. Try to avoid drain blockages
Blocked drains can be another headache that takes lots of time and money to sort out. We would recommend trying to avoid blockages in the first place, which involves avoiding putting the wrong sorts of items down your drains and performing proper maintenance. We’ve written guides on what not to put down your drains, and would recommend checking these out.
4. Get your hands dirty
Some simple DIY skills can be hugely beneficial when it comes to saving money around the house. For example, a simple drain blockage can often be solved using a few household items. We’ve written various guides such as this one, which can help with DIY unblocking of drains. You can also look at learning how to perform simple maintenance on your home plumbing systems, such as the boiler. This could save you large amounts of money on plumber callouts and help you keep your home in shape going forward.
5. New plumbing considerations
When getting new plumbing systems installed in your home, there are a few important things to think about. Firstly, the layout. You want your pipes and plumbing systems to be laid out in a way that makes maintenance easier and prevents unnecessary wear. You should also think about the material, as plastic pipes are a good cost-effective option. Make sure pipes are fitted by a trustworthy professional too, or you could be faced with further issues down the line.
6. Consider lowering the temperature of your boiler
A reduction of just 5°C on your boiler (e.g. from 60 to 55 degrees) could save you a whole 5% on your energy bill. It generally doesn’t make that much difference to the heat of your water, so it is an excellent way to save money.
7. Use the right products for DIY unblocking
Whilst DIY drain unblocking can be pretty straightforward, it is important to use the right products. We always recommend starting with basics, such as baking soda and vinegar before progressing to stronger chemicals. If you use the wrong chemicals, they could end up lubricating and blockages, making them harder to remove in the future. Additionally, some strong chemicals can generate heat and cause damage to pipes, or even melt them.
8. Wash your clothes efficiently
When it comes to washing clothes, you can save a lot of money right off the bat by selecting a slightly lower temperature. This usually doesn’t affect the end result, as modern laundry products tend to work well at low temperatures. It is also a good idea to try and wash more clothes in a single load. Drying machines can be very expensive to run, which is why we recommend using outdoor laundry lines or indoor drying racks to dry clothes if possible, as this costs nothing.
Do bear in mind though, that drying clothes indoors can make the interior of your house more humid, so you may need to use a dehumidifier. If you absolutely need to use a drying machine, you could consider getting some “dryer balls.” These sorts of products are designed to increase the efficiency of your machine.
9. Consider a boiler upgrade
If you have a very old or inefficient boiler, it might be a good idea to upgrade it. This could save you a lot of money on energy bills. A boiler is a very big investment so you will need to research first as to whether this is right for you. There is also a government scheme called the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) which was launched in 2022 to help people pay for new boilers. This can give a grant of up to £6000 towards the cost of a new boiler, and more information can be found here.
10. Use less water wherever you can
There are many ways to reduce your water usage, and this may be particularly useful if your water bills are metered (explained later on in this blog). Options include shorter showers, turning off taps while brushing your teeth, and even steaming vegetables when cooking. Steaming is a great way to cook, as it uses much less water than boiling and the end result is usually healthier and tastier, as the boiling process tends to sap flavours and nutrients from food. Another surprising tip is to turn on the dishwasher. Dishwashers can often wind up using less water than just washing dishes by hand, especially if the dishwasher is completely full up.
11. Look at how your water bills are collected
Even though it is usually impossible to choose your water provider, you can choose how to pay your water bill. You can either pay using a water meter that measures the amount of water used or pay via a standard (unmetered) tariff. Whichever option is cheaper depends on how much water you use, as a standard tariff is usually based on the size of your property. If your water usage is low enough, a metered water supply will wind up being the cheaper option. One rule of thumb for working out whether this can save money is “if there are more bedrooms in a home than people, consider getting a meter.”
12. Help is available
Help can be available to save money on plumbing and water bills. For those who are on a lower income or certain benefits, water companies might also offer discounted bills. You could potentially have up to 90% taken off your water bill, so it is well worth enquiring if you think this could apply to you. In addition to this, there is also a range of freebies available in partnership with water companies and Save Water, Save Money. Gadgets available include lower flow shower heads, tap inserts, shower timers, garden hose nozzles, and cistern bags for toilets. More information can be found here.
We’re living in a difficult and uncertain time at the moment, where saving money is becoming more and more important than ever.
We hope that this ‘Save Money On Plumbing and Water Bills’ guide has been helpful.
Q: How can I save money on my water bills?
A: There are several ways to save money on your water bills, such as fixing dripping taps, avoiding drain blockages, using efficient washing and drying methods, considering a boiler upgrade, and using less water wherever possible.
Q: How much water can a dripping tap waste?
A: A dripping tap can waste up to 15 gallons of water per day, which quickly adds to your water bills over time.
Q: What should I do if I suspect hidden leaks?
A: Keep vigilant for hidden leaks or plumbing issues and consider arranging a CCTV drain survey to identify any potential problems early and prevent costly damages.
Q: Can I perform DIY unblocking of drains?
A: Yes, simple DIY skills can help you save money on plumber callouts. You can use household items like baking soda and vinegar to unblock drains.
Q: How can I lower the temperature of my boiler to save money?
A: Lowering your boiler’s temperature by just 5 degrees can save you up to 5% on your energy bill without significantly affecting the heat of your water.
Q: Are there any eco-friendly ways to wash clothes and save money?
A: Washing clothes at a slightly lower temperature and using outdoor laundry lines or indoor drying racks can save money on drying machine expenses.
Q: Can I get help with upgrading my boiler?
A: Yes, there is a government scheme called the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) that provides grants of up to £6000 towards the cost of a new boiler.
Q: How can I reduce my water usage?
A: You can reduce water usage by taking shorter showers, turning off taps while brushing your teeth, steaming vegetables instead of boiling, and using dishwashers for water efficiency.
Q: How can I determine the best payment option for water bills?
A: Consider whether a water meter or standard (unmetered) tariff is cheaper based on your water usage. A metered water supply may be cheaper if your water usage is low.
Q: Is financial help available for water bills?
A: Yes, for those on a lower income or certain benefits, water companies may offer discounted bills, potentially reducing your water bill by up to 90%. Additionally, water companies may offer free gadgets to help save water.