A PLUMBER has revealed how a little-known trick to use when running your taps could help you to slash your energy bills.
TikTok user thesharmaniacs regularly shares his best hacks on the social media app where he has more than 900 followers.
A plumber has shared his tip for running the hot tap
In a recent video, the plumber explained how households are pouring money down the drain by waiting for the hot tap to heat up.
It comes as energy bills soar to £2,500 for the typical household meaning many will be worried they about their energy use.
The handyman runs a tap and puts a timer on his iPhone, showing how it took 30 seconds for the water get warm.
He said: “Many of you wash your hands with the hot tap, and by the time you’ve finished, the water’s still not warm.
“As soon as you open your hot tap, the boiler comes on and it’s heating up the water as it’s going through.
“If you’re finished washing your hands after 30 seconds – and you’ve not felt any of the hot water being produced – you’ve just wasted 30 seconds worth of gas.
“I’ve worked out that it’s between 3p and 6p every time you wash your hands.”
The plumber recommends washing your hands straight away, with soap, rather than waiting for the tap to heat up.
And some experts say that washing your hands with cold water and soap leaves hands just as clean as hot water.
According experts at Utilita, you also can cut your bills just by turning the hot water temperature down.
You don’t need your hot water to be above 50C, and for every degree above that you’re wasting £4 a year.
That means if you turn it down from 70C to 50C you could save £79 off your annual bill.
How can I check my hot tap settings?
First you need to check what kind of boiler you have – you can do this by looking at the operating manual.
The type of boiler you have will affect how you change your hot water settings.
You will either have a combi, system or regular boiler.
If you have a combi boiler with an eco mode, make sure it’s set to this as this will stop your water overheating.
If it doesn’t have an eco mode, you will need to check the two dials on the boiler.
One controls your central heating, which you can leave, and the other sets your hot water tap temperature.
Turn the second dial down to 50C.
Households with system or regular boilers can still turn down the temperature, but every control panel will vary.
You’ll have to check your operators manual for more information.
Both of these systems include a water tank, so you’ll also need to check the minimum heat requirements on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Hot water storage cylinders should store water at 60C or higher to prevent Legionella bacteria growing, which can make you sick.
You should always contact a qualified Gas Safe engineer if you are not confident in making changes, or if you have any concerns with your boiler.
Once you’ve turned the temperature down, you can test it with a thermometer as it comes out of the tap.
How else to save money on your bills
A cheap way of putting on the heating is by only turning the radiators on in the rooms you are using.
How much you can save varies on a number of factors, such as how big your house is and what energy tariff you are on, for example.
But savvy saver Scott Dixon told HOAR he’s saved £490 from just turning the heating on in his lounge.
A classic money saving energy bill trick is to turn your thermostat down by one degree.
This can shave as much as £100 off your bill.
Putting foil behind your radiator could save you £20 a year, according to British Gas engineer Joanna Flowers.
Hot air will be reflected and circulated around the room.
What energy bill help is available?
In October, all households started to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment is dished out by your energy supplier and is split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
A £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households this month.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over the state pension age.
Millions of households are also in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.
There are also plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it’ll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF’s energy customer support fund
- E.on’s energy fund
- Npower’s energy fund
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
- Ovo’s debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power’s hardship fund
There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.
If you’re in debt there are plenty of services you can take advantage of and they offer free and friendly advice on how to manage debt.
Most of them can offer you free guidance and help in person, over the telephone or online.
- Money Advice Service – 0800 138 7777
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
- StepChange – 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
They can also help you take the next steps if you need a debt management plan (DMP) to tackle your debt or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). These are agreements for managing multiple debts.