SW JOHNSON  Restoration Services                
Call 973-769-8201 for information.  My name is Steve, the owner of SW Johnson. I have been involved with many restoration projects.  I am now working out of my shop doing restoration projects, mostly automobiles. If you need light welding or any mechanical work done, please contact me. Thank you
Steve J


This new energy crisis has pushed me to the edge not because the increase price of gasoline but more because of the energy we use in our homes. $4-5 per gal of heating oil and the rising cost of electricity has blown my budget away .
My thought is that I have to heat my home, I have to run the oven, the washing machine, the pump that pumps our water and quite honestly, I don't need to drive as much. What I am saying is that you can control the amount of driving we do, of course with the exception of getting to and from work. You can consolidate your trips to pick up the kids, hit the grocery store and the post office all in one shot. You can slow down and develop better driving habits to increase gas mileage. At the same time, you can also figure out ways to tighten your house, use less electricity and heat.
I am going to start my conversation with leaky toilets and sinks. When you have a leaky faucet or toilet, it takes water from your pressurized system (water pumps) which needs to be refilled or pressurized. This means more water from the city or runnng your pump to re-pressurize the system. Do you know how much it costs to run that pump for an hour? It costs approximate $3 per hour to run most water pumps. Most of the articles I have read talk about how much water is wasted, and all I can think about is how much it costs to pump the wasted water! $3 per hour seems pretty small but how many hours a day does the pump run?

We always talk about leaky faucets and leaky toilets wasting water. Wasting water is important but with energy prices on the rise you can take it one more step. What is the cost of a leaky toilet? Overtime your toilet runs to re-fill the tank it will cause your deep well pump to cycle to restore the pressure in the line. I am talking about the houses that are not connected to a town water supply although you will still pay more as your water usage goes up. The department of energy has a table showing the estimated wattage used for most household appliances and the formula to figure out how much it actually costs you each month www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/appliances/index.cfm/mytopic

Here in Northern NJ, most of the houses have deep water pumps and we pay a premium for our electricity (approximately .20/KWH). The problem with these slow types of leaks is that the energy used for turning the pump on is much more then the cost of the pump running. It is more expensive and more wear and tear on the pump for it to come on every 5 minutes or so throughout a 24 hour period. In other words when you take a shower, or run your washer the pump comes on and stays on.

So the question is what is the cost of a leaky toilet? Based on the department of energy guide, the average pump uses 250 - 1100 watts/hr. This is a pretty wide margin but you have to remember that the pump will use more at start up so I will use something in the middle, lets say 600 watts per hour.

Lets say your toilet leaks so that it has to re-fill every 5 minutes. This may not drop your water pressure that much so maybe your pump comes on every 10 minutes and runs for a minute to re-pressurize the system. This means your pump will come on approximately 144 times per day. If it is on for one minute that is over 2 1/2 hours per day. After using the formula from the Dept. of energy, you will spend about $8.64 per month on one leak. If you hire a plumber you will pay $$ per hour to have this repaired or you could go over to your local hardware and buy a complete kit and rebuild it yourself. If you have a little bit of experience working on things in your home, you can do this. Shut off the water and follow the instructions that come with it.
You could hire a handyman to do this. Most toilets that I encounter take about an hour to rebuild with a cost of less then $50 in parts. It is really worth doing if you think about all the wear and tear on the pump and the water that is wasted as well as the cost of wasting it. This also applies to faucets also. Most can be fixed with a $20 part or less from the hardware store and most people can do this. But I always recommend calling your friendly neighbor hood Handyman!