Why & How to Track Household Water Consumption

There are many important reasons to track household water consumption. Indianapolis area families use water in many different applications at home, meaning there are also many different ways to use less. Sometimes, your household consumes more water than you realize, which is a sign of potential trouble you only learn when you track household water consumption.

Families that track household water consumption have increased awareness of how water is used and ways they can conserve. When leaks occur, sometimes you only discover the problem when you track household water consumption. If you don’t do it, you miss out on an important clue that can help you avoid serious water damage.

Mr. Plumber knows how important it is for Indianapolis families to track household water consumption. We explain the compelling reasons why and how the data collected helps you make better decisions regarding your family’s water usage. When you need an Indianapolis plumber to help you work through your findings, whether it be a leak or the desire to upgrade your plumbing fixtures, please give us a call!

How Homeowners Benefit When They Track Household Water Consumption

Here in Central Indiana, residents have access to an abundant supply of clean water – but that’s not the case for many people across the globe. Regardless of our ample water supply, it is important that we practice water conservation in our everyday lives. When we waste water at home, we deplete resources available to others, including animals and plants that require it for their survival. Our wastewater must undergo treatment to be used again, for which the process adds damaging emissions to our atmosphere. It’s much easier to conserve than to under the damaging effects of water waste.

One helpful measure in your mission to reduce water waste is to track household water consumption. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average American uses about 88 gallons of water a day at home – over a month’s time, a family of four consumes more than 10,5000 gallons. Just thinking about all the ways you use water at home, it sure doesn’t seem like the total could be so high – every water-consuming application you perform at home adds up.

You need to track household water consumption to best understand how your family uses water and what you are able to do to reduce that volume. In addition to helping you lower the volume of water consumed by your household, the data gained when you track household water consumption helps you lower utility expenses and avoid one of the biggest wasters of water in the average home – leaks.

Leak Detection

In many cases, Indianapolis area homeowners don’t know they have a major water leak until they receive a high water bills. Or, they have a known leak but underestimate the amount of water this minor drip is able to waste. Leaks are the leading source of a water bill that is higher than normal.

High water bills can be the first indication of a plumbing issue, as not all problems cause water to pool on your floors or stream down from your ceiling – most are more subtle. It’s these hidden leaks that cause homeowners so many headaches, because they really are quite difficult to discover on your own:

  • Leaks between the toilet tank/bowl connection
  • Slab leaks
  • Leaks at the outdoor hose bibb
  • Irrigation system leaks

If you don’t track household water consumption or keep an eye on your bills, these problems are allowed to persist for quite some time. During this period, they rack up extensive water waste as well as significant damage to their homes. When you track household water consumption, you are able to recognize changes in your water use right away – if you cannot trace them back to a legitimate source, you know your plumbing system needs to be evaluated for leaks by a plumber.

Plumbing Upgrades

Plumbing fixture upgrades are a popular home improvement product. When you track household water consumption, the data helps you plan for the most efficient updates to your home. If your plumbing fixtures are several decades old, it’s definitely time for a change.

Upgrading plumbing fixtures provides automatic conservation benefits. Why? Because new fixtures are highly efficient and use very little water compared to their counterparts that were made in the last century. In the 1990s, the Energy Policy Act enacted flow rate and flush volume standards for plumbing fixture manufacturers, demanding improved efficiency for products on the market.

Since then, many manufacturers have voluntarily decided to increase the water conservation their products are capable. The EPA’s WaterSense labeling program recognizes plumbing fixtures and appliances that offer at least 20 percent better water efficiency than similar products available to consumers. This label helps homeowners more easily identify the products that will help them save the most water in household applications.

Thanks to the push for water conservation, plumbing products have continued to advance – but even still, room for improvement exists. Even if your home has some updated fixtures, new updates help you improve upon the volume of water you save. When you track household water consumption, you are able to see where water usage occurs in your home and determine if there are ways to lower it through plumbing upgrades as well as changes in your habits.

If all homes were outfitted with the latest water-efficient plumbing products, the Natural Resources Defense Council states an additional 35 percent improvement in water conservation and efficiency could be made. Are you doing your part?

Reduce Utility Costs

When you track household water consumption and make changes to reduce the volume of water your family uses, you create savings when it comes to your utility bills. Water utility providers typically bill by the amount of water received, expressed using gallons or CCF (centum cubic feet, which one centum cubic foot equals 748 gallons). When you consume less water, you pay for less water.

A reduction in utility expenses when you track household water consumption isn’t just for homeowners on municipal water – homeowners who use well water can still generate some savings even though they don’t have a water bill to pay. Since well pumps use electricity to move water from a source deep within the ground up to the home for use, reducing water consumption reduces the amount of electricity required to provide your home with water for use.

Tracking Your Household’s Water Consumption

To track household water consumption, Indianapolis homeowners make use of a few different methods. What’s best for your family depends on whether you want precise numbers or can work off an estimate, and whether or not you have the budget to purchase equipment.

Estimating Individual Consumption

Your water bill provides the total volume of water your household uses over a period of time. With this total, you can estimate the breakdown of water used by fixture or application. Usage calculators help homeowners determine a rough total of water consumed in the home to track household water consumption. These estimates provide you with a starting point to determine where changes in your habits and water use will make an impact on water conservation.

Water Monitoring Devices

There are numerous water monitoring devices available for homeowners to use and track household water consumption. Some devices measure the water use of specific plumbing fixtures while others monitor the total usage of the home.

Individual water monitoring devices fit on to the fixture’s supply pipe and keep track of your household water consumption through the fixture. Many of today’s water monitors are smart devices which connect to the Internet and send data to an app to track household water consumption.

Other devices connect to the home’s main water supply line and measure total water consumption throughout the home. With constant monitoring, these devices are able to detect water leaks that increase the volume of water moving through the plumbing system beyond normal consumption rates. 

For leak prevention, these devices provide valuable protection. Many are outfitted with an automatic shutoff switch controlled by the monitoring system. When abnormally high volumes of water are detected moving through your plumbing system, the switch is activated to cut water supply to the home and prevent water damage. For this reason, some homeowners insurance companies offer discounts to customers who purchase and install such devices.

Improve Household Water Conservation with Mr. Plumber

Mr. Plumber is here to provide Indianapolis area homeowners track household water consumption and make improvements to their plumbing systems that save water and benefit the environment. If the data after you track household water consumption points to a leak, our plumbers use advanced methods to pinpoint hidden leaks and make repairs to restore the condition of your plumbing system. If you need plumbing service, contact Mr. Plumber today to make an appointment for a licensed plumber to service your home.