Water is a precious resource, and most eco conscious people are aware of the importance of saving water. Many consumers make the decision to try to have a more environmentally friendly home, but you may not be aware that there are some simple plumbing upgrades that can have a significant impact on your water consumption.
Faucet aerators are the best way to reduce water consumption for everyday home and business use. They can also reduce mess and noise and appear to increase the water pressure. One of the best things about faucet aerators is that they are amazingly inexpensive, offering ridiculous benefits for such a small outlay. High efficiency aerators can reduce the water flow down as low as 0.5 gallons per minute, but this is achieved without impacting the performance in either the bathroom or kitchen.
Dual Flush Toilets:
Even the most efficient of modern toilets can still use 1.5 gallons a flush. An older model can be even more thirsty, requiring as much as 5 gallons for a single flush, depending on the design and age. Dual flush toilets can dramatically reduce water waste as users are provided with options. The latest models tend to cost approximately the same as a conventional toilet model, and they are just as simple to install. This means that it is very easy to upgrade your existing toilet to a dual flush model and immediately see a drop in your water consumption.
Hot Water Recirculation Pumps:
There is a massive amount of energy and water wasted in homes every year, just waiting for the water coming out of the tap to heat up. Hot water recirculation pump systems ensure that you don’t need to run the water for endless minutes to enjoy the right temperature coming out of your faucet.
This type of system involves installing a circulator pump, which constantly circulates a little hot water through the pipes between the water heater and the furthest fixture and back again. This means that the water in your pipes will always be hot and there is no water wasted when you turn on the tap. Although it is possible to install a recirculation pump yourself, it is quite a simple installation for a professional plumber.
Pressure Reducing Valves:
A Pressure reducing valve or PRV could be easily installed on your main water line. Most homes only require a water pressure of 35 psi, but many homes are actually supplied with water at a pressure greater than 70 psi. Reducing the water pressure should not have a negative impact on your showering, water using appliances or faucets, but it can save a massive amount of water. You would need to check your water pressure to ensure that you would benefit from a PRV, but it is quite a simple install for an experienced plumber.
Finally, you can reduce your water consumption simply by upgrading your showerheads. A standard showerhead will use approximately 2.5 gallons per minute. This can be reduced by 30% by upgrading to a performance showerhead. This could save hundreds of gallons in a typical family home in just a month, without having an impact on your shower experience.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.