DID YOU KNOW ABOUT 45% OF YOUR WATER USAGE ORIGINATES FROM THE BATHROOM?
Studies show you can reduce your indoor water usage by almost 30% with water-efficient fixtures such as toilets, dishwashers, and clothes washers. In the meantime, here are some water-wise habits to help you conserve water and money.
Everyday ways to save water
First, we will look at quick and easy ways to save water in the bathroom.
- When brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face, you can save between three and five gallons of water each minute your faucet is turned off.
- If water runs in the basin while shaving or brushing teeth, it probably amounts to at least one gallon per minute, most of it wasted. If you pull the stopper, you’ll use one-half gallon or so of water for adequate razor rinsing.
- Dripping faucets or an invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute can total 15 gallons a day. That equals 105 gallons a week or an impressive 5,460 wasted gallons of water per year.
- There are inexpensive ways to help you save water too. Showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilet flappers can help you use water more efficiently.
- Stop flushing bits of trash. By using a wastebasket, you’ll save gallons of water that normally go down the drain.
- Toilets installed before 1980 use 5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Toilets installed between 1980 and 1993 use 3.5 gallons per flush and toilets installed after 1994 use 1.6 gallons. You may qualify for a rebate if you are considering replacing your toilet.
- To save water and recycle water at the same time, you can fill a plastic, quart-sized milk container with water and put it in your pre-1994 toilet tank, away from the operating mechanism. The jug can displace 10 gallons or more of water a day. Do not use a brick to displace the water. Bricks disintegrate in water and can jam plumbing lines. The bottles can hinder the flushing mechanism and cause you to double flush so make sure to put it away from the mechanism and tweak the amount of water in the jug. Double flushing wastes more water than you would save.
- Can you hear your toilet when it’s not in use? A small leak can greatly increase your water bill. To check for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank, then wait 10 minutes. If you see color in the bowl before flushing, you have a leak, which should be repaired immediately.
- Replaceable parts such as flappers and washers or seals inside the refill valve may last several years. There are factors such as water treatment processes, toilet bowl cleaners, and high water pressure that can cause parts to disintegrate much more rapidly. The flapper needs to be replaced if you get black “goo” on your hands.
Bath or Shower
- Did you know a typical bath takes about 40 gallons of water? You can save water by using the minimum amount of water. Close the drain first and fill the tub only 1/3 full and remember to plug the tub before turning on water because the initial burst of cold water will be warmed later by adding hot water.
- Limit the length of your shower. Reducing showering time by 1 minute can save 1,000 gallons of water a year.
- If your showerhead uses 3 or more gallons of water per minute, it is ready for replacement. A water conservation showerhead flows at a rate of 2.5 or fewer gallons per minute. They may be stingy with water, but they can still feel luxurious. The most advanced showerheads on the market—the ones with pulsating massages and precisely controlled temperatures—are usually low-flow nozzles.
- If you can shower with a showerhead that uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute, why should you use up to 7 gallons just to wash your hands in the sink? That’s exactly what you are doing unless you’ve installed inexpensive faucet aerators in your bathroom and kitchen taps. Aerators that supply 2.5 gallons per minute should be fine in the kitchen and a 1-gallon-per-minute aerator in the bathroom will provide plenty of water for handwashing, teeth brushing, and filling a drinking glass.
Check with your local utilities departments to see if they offer rebates.
Feel free to call or contact Emory Garland Plumbing if you would like to know about any current rebates. Ask about a plumbing inspection and we will be happy to help you find ways to save water!