From a Desert Plumber: Three Tips to Help Customers Save Water

Customers will appreciate efforts you take to help them cut back on their water bill

From a Desert Plumber: Three Tips to Help Customers Save Water

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Being a plumber in Phoenix, Arizona, means you understand firsthand the scarcity of water in the desert. The city gets only 7.57 inches of rain per year, making it one of the driest areas in the country.

The lack of water means that customers are keenly aware of the importance of conserving water and many look to their plumber as a key player in their water-saving efforts.

Here are a few things I’ve learned during my 20-plus years as a plumber in the desert that can help you communicate with your customers to help them save water.

Get a New Toilet

A customer’s toilet is one of the most common culprits of water waste in the home. This is even truer if your client lives in a home 10 years or older or has a family.

Older toilets, which are still commonly used, waste 3 to 4 gallons of water per flush, according to the United States Geological Survey. Old toilets, along with a typical family of four using the bathroom multiple times a day, can add up on a water bill. Let your clients know that indiscriminate flushing can cost even more on their bill in places like Arizona and California, where low rainfall and drought are common.

The most obvious suggestion to make to clients is installing a new toilet. A low-flow toilet can be a good place to start. Low-flow toilets only use a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush and come in a variety of different options. You can recommend a dual-flush toilet, letting the client know that the dual-flush option can use as little as 0.8 gallons of water if they are only disposing of liquid waste.

Purchasing a brand new toilet can be an expensive request, but customers will save money in the long run. In some cases, installing a low-flow toilet can pay for itself within a year. Many cities in Arizona offer a rebate for residents who install a low-flow toilet. These rebates exist in many other states across the country as well, so I would recommend becoming familiar with your area’s rebate programs. Be sure to check city, county and state government websites for information. The client will thank you for the extra effort.

Recommend an Aerator​

Letting your client know about simple fixes to faucets and shower heads can do wonders for the water bill.

All new faucets have aerators and water restrictors on them, but many old faucets and shower heads don’t have these water-saving innovations. Informing your clients about the benefits of installing an aerator is a simple step in helping them save water. Replacing the aerators in faucets and shower heads can save a family up to 700 gallons of water per year, according to the EPA. Aerators are also a very cheap option, with some costing as little as $3.

It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but you would be surprised by the number of clients who have never heard of water-saving faucet fixtures. Inform them that there is more they can do to save water with their faucets besides simply turning them off.

Suggest a Water Conditioner

Too many customers and plumbers default to water softeners. But the maintenance and cost of operation for a softener are sometimes not ideal for a customer. 

Water conditioners don’t use electricity and require no maintenance aside from a yearly filter change. Conditioners also save the clients water because they do not require water to backwash out minerals.

A conditioner will cost your client more money up front, but in the long run, they are going to save because they are not buying gallons of salt over the years. They will also save time not having to make trips to the store or worrying about maintaining the unit. Once a client understands the benefits of a conditioner over a softener, many opt to go for the more convenient option.

About the Author

Nelson Salas is the owner of Amigo Rooter and Plumbing in Goodyear, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. He has worked as a master plumber in Texas and Arizona for over 12 years.



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