This sudden cold spell has taken me off guard somewhat. I was born with the very British affliction of not being able to cope with extreme weather conditions. Hot, cold, wet, windy, it doesn’t matter, as soon as we’re out of mild, grey territory, I lose all feeling in my fingers, or something burns. I was planning on bringing you some tips on how to save on your heating bills this week, although with these sub-zero temperatures, there’s no way I’m going to ask you to turn the heating down, so I’ve thrown a curve ball and focused on water bills instead.
Charlie Mullins is the MD of Pimlico Plumbers, the UK’s biggest independent plumbing firm. He is Britain’s most famous plumber. When asked to describe himself on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire, he said “I don’t back down from things, I don’t sit on the fence, and I’m always right”
In other words, after what is possibly the most long winded intro in the history of Curb Your Consumerism, he’s the perfect man to give you some no-nonsense advice on how to lower your water bills, so that’s what I asked him for.
Charlie’s top tips on how to lower your water bills:
1. Install a water efficient shower head. This will help you save on water and energy bills, due to the need to heat less water.
2. Install a thermostatically controlled shower valve which will save water by delivering the required temperature instantly.
3. Reduce your showering time – every minute you cut from your shower can save up to nine litres of water.
4. Check for dripping taps. Changing the washers can significantly cut your water bill by hundreds of litres a year, and in the case of hot taps save on energy bills too. A dripping tap can waste more than 2000 litres of water a month.
5. Update your toilet cistern to a duel flush system – ten half flushes saves enough water for a five minute shower.
As a quick and very cheap alternative to this, you could install a HIPPO system in your toilet cistern. The HIPPO is a small plastic bag which can easily be fitted into your cistern. Water is retained in the bag, helping to save water every time you flush. The HIPPO saves up to three litres of water with every flush.
6. Have your water meter checked to make sure you are only paying for the water you are using.
7. Make sure your hot water thermostat isn’t set too high. The higher the temperature of your hot water the more cold you will waste to cool it down to a safe, usable level.
8. Check your property for overflowing toilets and water tanks.
9. Check for leaking pipes by reading your water metre before you go to bed and then again in the morning. If there has been no water usage overnight, but the reading has changed, you may have a leaking pipe. Seek advice from a plumber.
10. Next time you buy any appliance that uses water, make sure you check the water efficiency rating – a washing machine rated AAA or higher can save 50 litres per load, and can also be used at a lower temperature to save on energy bills.
About Pimlico Plumbers:
Pimlico Plumbers are London’s leading domestic servicing and maintenance company, with over 100 dedicated service vans and 150 engineers serving London from vans with premises that are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Pimlico Plumbers have more awards to their credit than any other company in the industry and they are the only London company to have twice won ‘National Installer of the Year.’