Clever ways homeowners can conserve water
Perhaps you’re feeling the urge to help out the environment, starting at home. Or maybe you’re starting to take notice of a rise in your water bill, slowly increasing every month. With a limited amount of fresh water on the planet, water conservation is an important subject that affects the lives of everyone, and whatever the underlying reason, there are a variety of ways to begin conserving water at home that will be beneficial to both the Earth, and to your wallet.
While some of these tips will be more involved than others, the important point to note about conserving water is that the effect is cumulative, so every step is another step in the right direction. With that in mind, here are some clever water saving devices for your home that can help conserve water, and that you may not have considered yet.
Changes to the Shower
In general, showers are much more efficient than baths, taking up around 10–15 gallons of water per five-minute shower, compared to around 70 gallons per bath. To take the water conservation to the next level, there are several water saving devices for showers, as well. A low flow, or aerating, shower head can be installed, to cut down on the overall amount of water used during a shower by mixing air into the water’s stream from the shower head, limiting the overall water used while showering. There is a bit of noticeable water pressure drop in the shower head after installation, which is by design of the water head, and indicative that the shower head is working.
Additionally, consider installing a water cut off nozzle. This water saving device sits between the shower head and the pipe and is used the halt the flow of water while lathering in the shower. Once the nozzle is flipped on again, the water resumes flowing, without any temperature fluctuations, so it will continue being hot and steamy.
Changes to the Toilet
No matter what, the toilet will see regular usage in a home. While a water-conserving toilet, such as a low-flow toilet, is one of the strongest choices to help cut-down on water usage through flushing, there are other devices to retrofit regular flow toilets as well. For instance, installing a dual flush trigger onto a regular flush toilet will help by limiting the amount of water used for flushing, depending on what is being flushed. The dual trigger uses a pair of buttons in lieu of a handle — the first releases a lower amount of water, while the second is used when full flushing power is required.
Another addition that can help conserve water in the toilet is with the installation of an inflatable toilet tank bag. Once inflated, the bag sits inside the toilet tank, forcibly limiting the amount of water used to fill the tank, and cutting down on the water flowing through the pipes after a flush. While looking at the toilet tank, it’s also a good idea to check the rubber seal connecting the tank to the bowl. If this seal is older, or lose, and the toilet is running more often than it should be, then the toilet is using up water unnecessarily. Using a toilet tank dye tablet, or food coloring if you have it on hand, can help you identify if the tank is leaking through the rubber seal, as the dyed water will begin tinting the water in the toilet bowl, signally that it’s time to replace the rubber toilet tank seal.
Changes to the Home
Stepping outside the bathroom, there are larger water saving devices that can be installed throughout the home, as well. A grey water diverter can be installed that will collect and recycle the used water from the dishwasher, shower, and washing machine, to be re-used for these same tasks. Once installed, though, homeowners will need to be more mindful of the substances they use for washing dishes, clothes, and themselves, as certain soaps and detergent agents can contaminate the water, making it unable to be recycled.
On the higher end, investing in high-efficiency appliances cuts down on the water used for everyday cleaning tasks. Ensuring that your appliances are ENERGY STAR certified, or carry the EPA WaterSense label, means that your machines are certified to be more water and energy efficient, which will start to be reflected in both your energy and water bills as they see more regular usage.
Conserving water seems like a major task that’s difficult to accomplish, and requires a plethora of special tools and techniques. In reality, more than anything, it requires a conscientiousness about how, when, and why water is being used in your home. By taking a few extra steps to install devices that partially limit the flow of water, and by only using water when necessary, without being frivolous, then we will all begin seeing big gains in water conservation.
If you’re looking for more tips on how you can employ more practical water conservation methods at home, or if you need assistance with the installation of any new device or appliance, the experts at Duane Blanton Plumbing are available to provide guidance by phone at (815) 781-2567, or reach out online through the online scheduling portal.
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