## Dripping taps and the cost!

How leaking faucets cost real money in wasted water:

Do you know how much money a leaking faucet will cost you? You can find out. Of course it will depend on the cost of your water, which you can also find out. A search on the web will lead you to a number of water leak calculators. Knowing the volume and the cost as well, you will arrive at the real cost.
I used one such calculator, provided by a Georgia government agency. I told the calculator that I had three faucets dripping at a rate of one drip per second. I was all a lie, of course. I have no drips and would fix one as soon as I found it. But here’s what the drip counter said. If the above conditions were true, I would be wasting:

259,200 drips per day;
which would be 64 liters per day;
which is also 17 gallons per day;
which would be 6,248 gallons per year;
and those gallons of water could provide 124 baths per year.

Not being satisfied with these statistics, I opened the default calculator program on my computer and calculated that such a volume of water would flush an old-school toilet about 1,800 times, or one of those new ones that don’t work all that great about 3,000 times or more. That’s a lot of flushes.
This how-much calculating is fun. Try it for yourself. Here are some average water use per event numbers. These vary, of course, according to type of device used and other factors.

But just for fun:

A shower uses about 2 gallons per minute. A bath may use 50 gallons or more. Tooth brushing uses about 1 gallon of water. Washing of hands uses 1 gallon. Shaving takes about 1 gallon. A dishwasher needs 20 gallons per load, while hand-washing dishes requires 5 gallons. A clothes washing machine averages 10 gallons per load. You can do your own calculations to figure how many showers, clothes washings, and so forth that your leaky sink may be costing you.
Another cost to consider is the damage the leak may do. Water running down the drain is pennies wasted. Water leaking onto the floor or into the walls may cause thousands of dollars in damages.

In addition, there is the cost to the community to maintain facilities to provide the water. Out of all the water cost calculators that I found, none took into account the cost to citizens to provide and maintain water facilities. That cost I have no way of adding in at this time.

I will briefly state that a person of sound environmental conscience might also consider the needs of wildlife when contemplating water wastage. A deer, I am told, needs from less than one gallon of water a day up to eight gallons or more, depending on climate and other factors. If the thought of thirsty deer doesn’t bother you, how about a dry steak? Cattle need lots of water, each requiring up to twenty gallons or more a day, depending again on climate and other factors. Think about it.

And if you do get worked up about the constant drip, drip, drip, or are stricken with conscience pangs about wildlife wasting away, or if you are planning a barbecue and want a drippingly juicy mouth-watering steak, what should you do? You can attempt to fix it yourself. If you have tools and talent, that might be the easy way to go. If you are not gifted in the home-improvement arena, or just don’t want to do it yourself, you could call a plumber. It shouldn’t cost all that much, and you will be blessed with peace and a clear conscience.
All right, now we get down to the penny pinching. How much does that drip cost you, in real dollars? Ok, remember, it varies with your cost for water, which varies with location. It’s not that simple. But, since I know you won’t be satisfied without a dollar figure, here’s a guesstimate.

Using the Georgia water calculator, and expensive California water, those three dripping faucets might cost you three-hundred dollars or so per year. Or that would be about one-hundred dollars per faucet. If you live on cheaper water, it could be much less.

So the cost isn’t really in the pennies. It’s in the potential for damage and the annoying sound of drip, drip, drip. Add to that the weight of a conscience burdened by the thought of deer with tongues hanging out, panting for water, or juicy steers loosing valuable moisture content. Now you have enough reasons to fix that leak or get it fixed by a pro. Then pat yourself on the back, take a nice shower, and go enjoy that steak with a clear conscience.

## Your Furnaces and Boilers in Calgary

Your furnace/boiler is just like everything else: it needs a little TLC (tender, loving, care) in order to function at its full capacity. But more than likely you’re probably like most people and avoid dealing with your furnace until it suddenly stops working. The problem with this is that you end up spending unnecessary dollars on costly repairs or replacements.

So, don’t do it. Don’t deny your heater what it needs to function effectively and efficiently all year round!

Annual Furnace and or Boiler Inspection Includes:

• Thorough cleaning of burners and all air ports
• Oiling of the motor
• Thermostat operation test
• Testing of safety limits-low water, flow switches, temperature limits, roll out switches
• Draining of the expansion tank
• Examination of all parts to ensure they’re working properly including blower blades and belt, check dampers, and replace filters (forced air system)
• Verification of leaks in pipes, flue, and firebox
• Cleaning of the stack and smoke pipes
• Performing a water analysis on boiler water

An Uninspected Furnace/Boiler Can Leak Deadly Gases

Keep in mind that a yearly furnace inspection should always be conducted by a professional technician and experts say the best time to have this done is the beginning of the winter season. It’s essential that you have this done because an uninspected furnace that burns oil or gas can leak carbon monoxide which is deadly. In fact, it has been reported that nearly 200 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning!

You can also regularly clean your furnace if you don’t want to pay for ongoing maintenance. Dirt is the biggest enemy of your furnace and can waste fuel and drastically lower efficiency. If you’re going to clean the dirt out on your own make sure you remove waste from the filter, blower and motor.

To book an inspection call us at 403-279-7554 or book online.

## Unplugging Toilets – Hints

Another thing that is certain in this life—besides death and taxes—is the fact that someday you will need to unclog a toilet. Many items can clog your toilet or the plumbing in your bathroom including hair, toilet paper, and yes, even razors, jewelry, or if you live in my house, toys. You do not need to call a plumber every time your toilet clogs up. In fact, there are some very simple tricks you can use to unclog the toilet yourself. A rule to follow here is never flush the toilet more than once when you see that it is clogged. This can easily cause the toilet to overflow, and if you are not prepared, you will have a huge mess in your bathroom!

HOT WATER AND DISH SOAP
One of the most common and easiest ways to loosen a clog in your toilet is by squirting some dish soap into the toilet drain, followed by a large bucket of hot water. This works by raising the temperature of the water surrounding the clog, and may loosen whatever is clogging your pipes enough to let it go free. The dish soap also gives a bit of lubrication during this process. Once you have done this, and the clog is gone, dump another bucket of hot water down the toilet to remove any excess gunk that might have built up in your pipes.

PLUNGING
Plunging is probably the most common way of unclogging a toilet. I can honestly say that I use this method at least once a day in my household. Unfortunately this does not work if the clog is caused by something hard like a toy, but if you know that the clog is either caused by toilet paper, hair, or something else, reach for the plunger! Make sure there is water covering the ball end of the plunger. If there isn’t enough water in the toilet to do this, you will need to add more water. This will create a better seal and allows for more pressure. Use the plunger firmly and once the water leaves the toilet bowl, you can safely flush the toilet again to make sure the clog is fully removed. After you have plunged the clog away, dump a bucket of hot water down the toilet to release any excess debris that may clog the toilet in the future.

SEWER SNAKE
Another option you can try if neither of the above worked for you is to use a sewer snake. Sewer snakes are coiled wires that can easily move through the pipes of your household plumbing, loosening anything that may be clogging it up. What you need to do is insert one end of the snake into the toilet and work it through until you have reached the clog. When you cannot go any further, twist and push the sewer snake until you break through whatever is clogging the pipe. Once the water begins to drain out you can simply flush the toilet again to remove any excess debris.

If these suggestions don’t work give us a call at 403-279-7554 or book online.

## The Beginning

Today marks the beginning of the Baker Plumbing blog. It will be intended to bring the world of plumbing, heating and construction to the masses. We certainly feel that it’s a fascinating world with a lot of unexpected surprises.

• Baker Plumbing