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October 1, 2010
Despite knowing water conservation is of the utmost importance, many people today are still not taking the appropriate steps to conserve water. When less than 1% of the water on Earth is potable, being smart with your water use is not only good for all of us, it also means you're saving money.
At Pippin Brothers, our team of plumbing technicians are experts at helping you conserve water and save more on your water bill. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
Use a low-flow showerhead. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans now use an average of 100 gallons of water each day and this increasing demand is placing a significant strain on water supplies and distribution systems. Installing a low-flow showerhead can cut water consumption by up to 50-70%. If you're not sure whether your existing showerhead is of the low-flow variety, time how long it takes to fill a one-gallon bucket of water. If it takes less than 20 seconds to fill the bucket, you should switch out for a more efficient showerhead.
Install a tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters contribute to what is called, "standby loss" since a tank of water (typically 30-80 gallons) is heated whether it is used or not. Installing a tankless water heater can eliminate this waste in energy because it is only heating the water that is being used as it is being used. Two of the best benefits are that a tankless water heater can heat water more efficiently and for less money than a standard tank water heater, and can provide endless hot water so you never run out even if multiple people take showers back-to-back.
Install an Insta-Hot water heater. If you have a traditional water heater, but still want the benefit of instant hot water in your kitchen to make tea, hot chocolate, instant coffee, broth or soup, etc., you can install a smaller instant hot water heating device under the kitchen sink and have a instant hot water faucet mounted at the sink. Think about how much water is wasted when you wait for the water to warm up while you're running your kitchen faucet or time and energy wasted heating up a cup of water in your microwave. Installing a small instant water heater underneath your kitchen sink can help you conserve a great deal of water and energy by providing instant hot water when you turn on the tap.
Monitor your water bill. Regularly examine your monthly water bill and water meter for unusually high use. Spikes or increased water use over time might indicate a leak. If you suspect a leak, a full plumbing inspection is recommended to help you identify and repair any possible problems in your home plumbing system.
Switch to energy efficient toilets. Replace older water-wasting toilets with newer, high-efficiency toilets and save thousands of gallons of water each year. The best models use 1.6 gallons or less per flush, where older water-guzzlers can use 5 to sometimes seven gallons of water per flush!
Install water-saving aerators. Installing or replacing existing sink aerators with energy efficient models can help you conserve a great deal of water, while still maintaining good water pressure. Standard aerators dispense around 2.2 gallons per minute while energy-conserving models dispense around .5 gallons per minute. This saves you more than 70% water and energy a year when you use your sinks.
Switch to a high-efficiency washing machine. According to the EPA, traditional washing machines use roughly 41 gallons of water per load compared to a high-efficiency washer that uses less than 28 gallons. The EPA also suggests that you can maximize savings with both varieties of washers when you only wash full loads of laundry using the appropriate size selection on the washing machine.
Turn the water off. While aerators and low-flow showerheads are helpful, it's even more helpful to turn the water off when you're not actually using it. Brushing your teeth, lathering up in the shower, or washing dishes in the sink are all instances where the water should be turned off until it's time to rinse.
Making some or all of these changes for your home can help you cut down on wasted water and show you drastic savings on your water bill. Remember every home is different, so if you want to know what changes are best for you and your home, contact Pippin Brothers, your plumbing professionals.
Do you have a specific plumbing or water-saving question? Ask an expert online today!