How much water do you use? Well, if you’re in line with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stats, you probably use more than 300 gallons a day. If it seems like most of that goes to your outdoor sprinkler system or is a result of watering your garden bed, think again. Seventy percent of residential water use happens indoors.
So where is all of that water going? A whopping 24% goes to the toilet, 20% goes to the shower, 19% goes to indoor faucets, 17% goes to the clothes washer and 12% goes to various leaks. Sure, that seems like a lot. But, you don’t have to keep up this type of usage. What can you do to reduce overall home water usage? Check out the ways that you can cut your use and your water bill.
Your home’s toilet (or toilets) win top honors as the top water users. Obviously, you can’t just stop using these fixtures. No one wants to go back to the 1800s and install a pit in the ground-style outhouse in their yard. So, what can you do to cut down on your toilet-related water costs?
To start with, you can get a new, low-flow toilet. Older toilets can use as much as six gallons of water each time you flush. In addition, they may not function as well as newer models. Wear and tear may cause leaks that you don’t even know about, which only adds to the high water usage.
Toilets with the EPA’s WaterSense label are certified as water-efficient. These have met the EPA’s strict criteria for performance and the ability to cut down on water usage. A low-flow toilet typically uses somewhere around 1.28 gallons per flush (specific models vary in exact water consumption). Switching to one may save you 25% or more when it comes to your home’s total water usage.
After the toilet, your shower uses the second highest amount of water in your home. One way to reduce shower water usage is to install a low-flow showerhead. This project is a fairly easy fix that is also low cost. If your showerhead was made before 1992, it’s likely that you’re using more water than you have to. These typically used water at a rate of 5.5 gpm (gallons per minute). Newer showerheads cut that stat down below 2.5 gpm.
Along with using a low-flow showerhead you can save water by doing the obvious-taking shorter showers. It’s easy to drift off during a warm shower and forget just how long you’ve been in the water. Set an egg timer in the bathroom that dings when it’s time to get out, or install a shower timer that cuts the flow after a specific amount of time.
Sinks and Faucets
That drip, drip, drip of your kitchen faucet is costing you. Seriously. A leaking faucet at one drip per second can waste 1,661 gallons of water a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That will cost you up to $35 annually.
If you hear or see a leak, it’s time to call the pro in-immediately. A professional plumber can locate the source of the leak, diagnose the problem and fix it correctly.
Living in dirty clothes isn’t an option. You could waste quarters at a laundry mat, but it’s much more convenient to have a clothes washer at home. Like other water-using appliances, older model clothes washers are much less efficient and may cost you much more in the long run.
Even though your older washer still gets the job done, it’s using water and energy at a higher rate than a new one would. The majority of agitator top-load washers that were manufactured at least 18 years ago use more than 40 gallons of water just to wash an average-sized load of laundry. Newer models can use as little as 13 gallons to clean your clothes. That’s a major difference that comes with a noticeable savings.
Whether you have a leak that’s costing you money or you’re ready to make your plumbing more water efficient, call Cleary Plumbing for professional help.