Pay Less on Your Water Bill With These Helpful Tricks

When you are trying to cut costs in your home, you are best to target the variable costs, because your efforts will directly impact your bottom line. One such cost is your water bill. With a little planning and commitment, you can ramp up your water conservation efforts and save a great deal of money.

Not only does being mindful about water use help to reduce your water bill, it helps to reduce your water footprint. You get to save money and help the planet at the same time. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Identify Plumbing Leaks

Small plumbing leaks may not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to water waste, they sure are. It doesn’t take long for those tiny drops to add up to a big water bill. That’s why you never neglect any plumbing leaks. Get them fixed as soon as you discover them.

Seeing moisture on a pipe or pooling water will obviously signal a leak, but there are other signs that are more subtle. Keep on the lookout for rising water bills, low water pressure, mold growth or sounds of rushing water in the walls.

Use Grey Water for Your Plants

Grey water is water that has already been used (i.e. for washing or for cooking). The matter in that water isn’t ideal for cooking or drinking, but it is ok for other uses, like your plants. Collect your cooking liquid and mist it on your plants.

Another use for grey water is to flush your toilet. You can collect the water from your shower and use to flush the toilet naturally, which will cut down dramatically on your water use.

Head to the Carwash

Your plumbing is one of your home’s components that ages and will have to be replaced over time. How quickly it needs to be replaced depends a lot on what you do to make sure that your drains are in good shape. Drains and pipes will break and/or corrode. If you get in the habit of removing the problem-causing buildup, then you give your plumbing greater longevity, saving you money in the long run.

You’ll also get the benefit of lower water bills, because there is nothing impeding water flow, reducing your water waste.

Stop Clogs

A slow-to-drain clog is a real pain, but it can also cause bad smells to spread through your home. Getting your drains cleaned regularly can help minimize residue so that you never have to worry about the inconvenience of a clog.

Don’t put it off too long. The longer you wait, the longer before you begin to see the benefits of drain cleaning.

It might not seem like a priority, but if you want to take great care of your home with little effort, scheduling a drain cleaning appointment is an excellent idea. This one act of preventative maintenance will help to reduce clogs, improve water quality and extend your drain pipe lifespan.

Typically, a drain clean might start with a look through a camera through to the drain, particularly if you’ve been experiencing clogs. This will help the technician recognize what might be causing the blockages and let them know how to approach it best.

Want to learn more about the benefits of drain cleaning in Berkeley, CA? Here is what you need to know.

Reduce Unwanted Noise

If you hear squeaking or cracking coming from your drain pipes, then you’ve got an annoying problem. The good news is that this problem is easily fixed. The noise is being caused by buildup in your pipes. As the water rushes through the narrowed opening, it makes a squealing or cracking sound.
A simple clean of the drains will eliminate the residue and the noise, all at once.

Start the Year With Free Flowing Water

Surely you are aware of how important clean, clear and abundant water is to have on hand for your family? If you’ve got clogged or dirty drains, your water flow may be interrupted. The water may be less than clean as well if it is flowing continually through a number of impurities.
Do your family a favor and start 2018 out on a fresh foot- with clean drains.

Money Saver

Your plumbing is one of your home’s components that ages and will have to be replaced over time. How quickly it needs to be replaced depends a lot on what you do to make sure that your drains are in good shape. Drains and pipes will break and/or corrode. If you get in the habit of removing the problem-causing buildup, then you give your plumbing greater longevity, saving you money in the long run.

You’ll also get the benefit of lower water bills, because there is nothing impeding water flow, reducing your water waste.

Stop Clogs

A slow-to-drain clog is a real pain, but it can also cause bad smells to spread through your home. Getting your drains cleaned regularly can help minimize residue so that you never have to worry about the inconvenience of a clog.

Don’t put it off too long. The longer you wait, the longer before you begin to see the benefits of drain cleaning.

Winter Maintenance

Want to have a happy, healthy winter season while protecting your home and family at the same time? Put some time aside now before the cooler temperatures arrive to tend to a winter preparation checklist.

We’ve compiled a list of tasks that will keep your home safe, warm and energy efficient this season in Berkeley, CA.

Check Insulation

Insulated HomeThere are a number of things that you can do to make sure that your home is energy efficient this winter, like getting your furnace tuned-up.

However, one of the best ideas is to ensure that your home is well insulated. Start with your windows.

Are any panes cracked? If so replace them. Replace any loose seals around the frames. Look for open spaces around your doorways. You can level the door with weather stripping to prevent air from escaping.

Heat rises, so make sure that your attic is airtight. Place insulation tightly against the walls and roof. It’s common for it to move out of place during the summer and fall in the wind. Inspect for rips and water damage as well. Also, make sure that the entry to your attic is well sealed.

Pay Attention to Ventilation

Although some moisture is good in your home (to keep the floors in good shape and keep your hair and skin in good shape) too much moisture can present challenges with heating.

Avoid having furniture too tight against the wall in damp rooms. You don’t want to restrict air flow. Damp spaces are harder to heat. It’s worth considering a ventilation system.

As a more low-tech solution, crack a selection of windows every day for a few minutes to keep air flowing.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke Detector CheckProtect your family from the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning by attending to your detectors.

Clean them out of dust and debris. Test the buttons to make sure that they are operating properly and install new batteries.

And remember to never paint over the detectors. They simply won’t work as well, making it harder to detect if there is an accidental fire occurring inside your house ... threatening the safety of your loved ones.


Take the guesswork out of buying a new home by doing your house hunting with your eyes wide open. Your home is probably the biggest purchase that you’ll ever make, which means that due diligence is the name of the game.

There is a lot that can go wrong with housing components, many of which can be pricey to repair. You are well advised to know what you are getting into so that you can budget accordingly to make your home a wise investment. Here is a guide to help you assess your home-to-be.

Check All the Switches

Can you imagine that you moved into your new home in Berkeley, CA on a hot summer’s day, only to realize that the Air Conditioner doesn’t work when you turn it on?

Not only is that going to make you uncomfortable, but it could also add a substantial cost that you weren’t expecting.

That’s why you turn everything on and off when you are looking for a home to make sure that everything works. This includes all lights, A/C, furnace, fans, and appliances (if they are included with the sale).

Insulation is Important

It’s not as exciting as a thoughtful floor plan or nice finishes, but having a well-insulated home should be on your housing wish list.

That’s because a well-insulated home is going to be the difference between paying a lot or a little on your heating and cooling bills.

Insulation essentially acts as a barrier against the heat or the cold outside (depending on the season). The most important places in the home to be insulated are exterior walls, the attic, the basement, garage walls and around the foundation.

The Importance of a Property Inspection

If you are anxious to get the ball rolling to own your prospective home, it can be tempting to skip the property inspection.

Even if you deem it a nuisance or an expense that you don’t need, rest assured: this is one of the best investments that you can make in your potential home.

Having a licensed professional do a property inspection lets you get a full snapshot of what you are getting into.

Most of the problems that are more expensive to fix and threaten a home’s structure or basic comfort are not readily obvious to the untrained eye.

Discovering problems in advance of a purchase can let you make a well-informed decision before you purchase. It can also help you amend your offer if necessary and budget for repairs in the future.

A Guide to the History of Indoor Plumbing

In our modern-day Berkeley, CA community, we pretty much take our indoor plumbing for granted. But have you stopped to wonder about how your plumbing came about?

Like many of our home’s components, indoor plumbing began as a solution to a problem and evolved over the years, becoming better.

Here is a guide to the history of indoor plumbing.

The Early History of Plumbing

In about 3000 B.C. the first network of pipes was built in the Indus Valley Civilization (today known as India). This network of pipes was built of copper. The buildings that these pipes serviced had drains and wells.

They even had septic tanks for their bathrooms, which is similar to what we’ve still got today. In Crete in ancient Greece, the first flush toilet was invented under King Minos. Also built under King Minos’ reign was a complex rain-harvesting system that also had underground drainage.

The Next Stages

In ancient Egypt, they built bathrooms right into the pyramids. They believed that the dead still needed many of life’s essentials, which is why they supplied food and fairly elaborate bathrooms in the tombs.

A few centuries later in ancient Rome, some of the biggest accomplishments in plumbing history were achieved, when they built their extensive network of aqueducts, which supplied fresh water on a large scale throughout the city.

Also notable from the Roman era, was the use of heated water for Roman private and public baths, which served both a sanitary function and a function of status in their society. They also used lead pipes, which did a great deal to improve sanitation in the city.

The first indoor toilet is credited to Queen Elizabeth’s godson, Sir John Harington in 1596. In 1664 King Louis XIV ordered the construction of a lead pipe main sewer system, but it was many years before Versailles actually had indoor plumbing. Marie Antoinette, during her days of opulence didn’t even have toilets.

This lack of toilets goes to show exactly how essential indoor plumbing is not just for convenience, but for sanitary reasons. There were hundreds of guests and servants on hand on any given day in Versailles, with no “facilities” to use. The end result was a high concentration of people using hallways, the outdoors or personal commodes that were dumped collectively, creating a notoriously awful odor around the palace.

Eco-Friendly Plumbing Today

The next stage of evolution in plumbing has to do with water conservation. In the last few years there have been advances in eco-friendly plumbing.

Some of these include dual flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and motion activated faucets. Choosing these fixtures can help you save money on your water bills.

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