It’s no wonder that water conservation and plumbing go hand in hand. Excessive water use, leaks, drips, and improperly installed plumbing fixtures can send money down the drain.
Did you know that more than half of your total water use is spent in the bathroom? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, around 70% of our water is used indoors, with the bathroom being the largest consumer.
Luckily, there are ways to cut your water use and maintain an efficient plumbing system. Here are some ways to conserve the precious resource that is water and save money on your water and water heating bills.
1. Consider low-flow fixtures and dual-flush toilets
Cut down on your toilet water usage (up to 30% of your total water use) by replacing your older toilets with low-flow models, which use around 1.6 gallons per flush compared with “regular” toilets which use around 3.5 gallons per flush.
Dual-flush toilets use about 0.8 gallons of water for liquid waste and approximately 1.6 gallons for solid waste. For a low-tech solution, you can try installing toilet dams (filling quart-sized milk containers with water or pebbles to prevent from floating), which displaces the water in your tank so that less water is used per flush.
Low-flow faucets and water-saving appliances are great ways to remodel the home while saving water at the same time. Contact OnTime Service to learn more about the toilet and fixture options available to you. Make sure you hire a professional plumber to install these components.
2. Replace your faucet aerators
Faucet aerators optimize the water flow by mixing air in with the water. Faucets without aerators generally have flow rates between 2-5 gallons per minute. Your faucet aerator will add air to the water flow, reducing the water output without affecting
Typically, an aerator will reduce the flow to 1.5 gpm, but there are some models that can get it down below 1.0 gpm. Learn more on this faucet aerator guide. Learn how to clean or replace a faucet aerator.
It is important to clean your existing aerators because debris and sediment can gather over time, causing a potential water health risk.
Schedule a professional plumbing inspection at least once a year to keep your drains and plumbing system clear and help spot potential plumbing problems.
3. Spend less time in the shower and install a low-flow showerhead
You can save around 150 gallons of water every month by cutting your shower time by just 1 or 2 minutes. If you are bold enough, consider taking cold showers. That will certainly reduce time spend in the shower. You can also save water in the shower by installing a low-flow showerhead.
Although current federal standards require showerheads to flow at a rate of 2.5 gpm or less, many older homes have showerheads that use a lot more than that. Low-flow showerheads start at 1.6 gpm and go down from there. You won’t notice a major difference since the water droplets will be larger, retaining more heat, offering you the illusion of a more abundant shower. In addition to the water savings, you will also end up cutting your heating costs for the water by about 10-15%.
To lower your water heating bill, reduce your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees (there’s a temperature dial on the water heating unit). Many homeowners waste money and risk burns and scalding when the water heater is set to 140 degrees or higher.
4. Consider investing in a tankless water heater
Tankless water heaters provide endless hot water at a fraction of the cost by only heating water when it’s needed. Speak with a professional plumber about tankless models if you are doing new construction, remodeling, or need to replace your gas storage water heater.
5. Fix your leaks
Around 10% of all homes in the U.S. have plumbing leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day (EPA). The most common leaks come from faucets and toilets, but they could be lurking in other areas of the home as well.
To inspect your home for plumbing leaks, you will need to locate your main water meter and look at the leak detection dial. If you don’t know where your water meter is, now is a great time to find out. Contact your local plumber if you are having any difficulties.
Some other basic water-saving tips include turning the water off when brushing your teeth and washing your face and plugging the bath before turning the water on.
Learn more bathroom and kitchen plumbing maintenance. For 100 ways to conserve water inside and outside the home, visit wateruseitwisely.com.
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