We all want to work to help save the environment when possible…not to mention trim down our water bills. Do you think you could trim your water usage by 25%? There are many ways to cut water usage in your home that make a big difference but which are barely noticeable to any residents. And for the DIY crowd, many of these steps can be fully implemented without the aid of a plumber. Here are a few simple areas where you can cut water usage.
The average shower uses one-third as much water as a bath. Limit showers to six minutes or less and replace your old showerhead with a low flow model. Certain showerheads can save 1.5-2 gallons of water per minute – a savings of 1 to 4 GPM over conventional showerheads. Many low-flow showerheads offer a superior water pressure so you won’t even know the difference.
Replace your old 3.5 gallons per minute faucet with an efficient news one that only spews out 1.5 GPM. We know that fancy new faucets are expensive so if you like your old faucet, you can replace the aerator on it that will restrict flow to 1.5 GPM or even all the way down to 0.5 GPM. Oh and listen to your parents and don’t let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth!
Many of the newest ultra-efficient toilets use only 1.28 gallons per flush. Toilets made after 1993 use only 1.6 GPF but toilets older than that waste at least 3.5 gallons with every flush. You can spend a lot of money replacing old toilets or you can remove the guts of your toilet tank and replace them with a new dual-flush converter that will cut your water usage down to 0.8 GPF for liquid waste and 1.6 GPF for solid waste. Many hardware stores carry these converter kits and include easy-to-follow instructions. Still too complicated and expensive? Find a brick and gently place it inside your toilet tank. The brick will displace up to a half gallon of water and so you’ll get the same flush power but use less water.
Wash only full loads if you have an older top-loading washing machine. Be sure to adjust the size setting on the machine so that it doesn’t overfill with water. If you have a newer front-loading water efficient machine, it will likely weight the load and use only the water needed to complete the cycle.
One of the largest sources of water waste is leaks. Leaks can occur at any time, and in places you never would have expected. Fix leaks immediately – even slow leaks in places like basements, underneath sinks and toilets. You’ll notice an immediate change in your water bills. If you notice a ripple of water in your toilet bowl, that’s a water leak. Most toilet leaks can be fixed by replacing the toilet’s flapper valve.
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