Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

More Water-Saving Plumbing Ideas

Recent headlines from California have highlighted the dire need for water in the country’s western states. In the Greater Cincinnati/Dayton area, where rainfall is a regular event, our water management concerns generally focus on how to lower our municipal water bill.

According to Consumer Reports, “About half of the water you use every day goes down the bathroom drain. Toilets are the biggest water hogs, followed by showerheads and faucets.” In our home, daily use of washing machine, dishwasher, and summertime lawn sprinkling cause our water bill to significantly increase. Add a spouse, two teenagers and two college-age kids that love long, hot showers, and it’s clear why water-saving tips are today’s topic.

Water-Saving Toilets… Are They Worth It?
As one who grew up with a “high volume” toilet, moving to a water saver model has been a challenge (not too-mention using the 1-ply TP that seems to help the low-volume water-flushing process). If one has to flush multiple times, what’s really being saved? In our case, we have chosen to retain our older models and seek water reduction opportunities elsewhere. For example, we check our toilet tanks for leaks about once a year by placing food coloring in the tank, waiting several minutes, and seeing if it dribbles down into the bowl.

If a low-flow toilet is important to you, Consumer Reports suggests the models below as good options for “flush power”, quietness, and value:

• St. Thomas Creations Richmond Eco 6123.218 – $350
• American Standard Champion 4 Max 2586.128ST.020 – $240
• Glacier Bay N2428E – $100
• Aquasource AT1203-00 – $100

One last point on toilet maintenance for both low and high-flow toilets: Don’t flush what you didn’t eat. Toilets have limitations, too.

Improved Showerheads and Faucets
Because we recognize our inflexibility in the toilet area AND we want to be environmentally supportive, we’ve chosen to save water by replacing our high-volume showerheads and taps with low-flow versions. We like this approach, especially with our shower-loving kids around. Not only do WaterSense showerheads help lower our water bill, they also reduce wear-and-tear on our water heater (an energy saver).

Calculate your usage
Use the simple calculator below to estimate how much water, energy, and money you can save by installing WaterSense labeled products in your home or apartment:

Click here to calculate your water usage