Plumbing Tips for Saving Water
Minnesota’s growing population uses water faster than some aquifers can replenish. We all know the importance of saving water but do you know how to do it?
When it comes to conserving water, the focus is usually on the outdoors. However, it’s also possible to save a considerable amount of water by focusing on indoor water usage. Plumbing systems are often overlooked when it comes to saving water, but they account for a significant amount in most homes. In fact, if you add up all the faucets and showerheads in your home, they likely account for more than half of the total indoor use of water. Toilet leaks, dripping faucets and showerheads, and other plumbing issues can waste a lot of water without you even realizing it.
Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your home’s indoor water usage and cut back on your water bill as well as your outdoor usage at the same time.
How to Save Water in Your Home
Change out your showerhead with a water-saving model
Perhaps the most obvious place to start cutting back on water usage is with your showerhead. Most showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), but there are models that use as little as 1.5 GPM. Switching out your old showerhead for one of these models can significantly reduce your indoor water usage, and it’s easy to do. For maximum savings, choose a low-flow showerhead that has an Energy Star label. Not only will they use less water, they will also cut down on heat loss during showers, which helps to lower your electricity bill as well.
Use Faucet Flow Reducers
Another way to cut back on water usage at your faucets is to replace the flow reducer or “pop-off” valves with a flow reducer. These devices can reduce the flow rate of your faucets by as much as 50%. If you do a thorough check of all faucets in your home, you will likely find some that are running constantly without need, wasting a significant amount of water. A flow reducer can help fix this problem. In addition to reducing flow, these devices can also help reduce the noise level of your faucets, making them a good option for homes with children or pets. Unfortunately, flow reducers are not suitable for all types of faucets. If you are not sure how to proceed, you should consult a plumber before attempting to replace your flow reducers.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are one of the best things you can do to conserve energy!
The average tankless water heater can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your utility bills. Most tankless water heaters are considered 95% efficient, whereas standard water heaters are only 70% efficient. That means 95 cents out of every dollar spent with your tankless water heater goes toward actually heating the water and only 5% is wasted smoke, unlike the 30% that a tank water heater wastes.
An easy way to waste a significant amount of water is to have a leak, but many homeowners are not even aware of this problem. Most leaks are caused by worn or corroded pipes, but they can also occur at connections between pipes, such as a toilet’s supply line or a faucet’s supply tube. Leaky faucets are particularly common, with one study showing that a startling number of faucets have leaks. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to detect a leak and have it fixed, but you have to know what to look for.
When you are done with your indoor fixtures, be sure to turn off the water. Many homeowners forget to do this, and it can result in a significant amount of water waste. If you have a dishwasher, be sure to use it. Many people do not turn them on because they think they are wasteful. However, new models are highly water-efficient and can save you as much as $80 a year on your water bill. To reduce the flow in your bathroom and kitchen faucets, install flow restrictors in your toilets and faucets. By doing so, you can cut back on indoor water usage by as much as 25%.
Saving Water is Easier with a Dean’s Club Membership
A major benefit of our Dean’s Club Membership is access to Dean’s professional plumbers. During your annual plumbing evaluation, we evaluate the plumbing system in your home and provide you with information that allows you to maintain, update, and save both money and water!