The growing international concern about potential limits on resources has stimulated a quest to find ways to reduce our impact on the planet. As plumbers, we’re no exception. We’ve gone green and it could mean more money in your pocket.
When you get down to it, green plumbing is simply minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency. These are the same actions that save money. Think about it. You can save money and save the planet. Who can argue with that?
Are You Leaking Money?
Water leaks in the home can be deceptively wasteful. A slow drip can cost you 15 to 30 gallons of water per day!
This may not sound like much, but it adds up. A 30 gallon per day leak wastes 11 thousand gallons a year. A leak as small as 1/16th of inch can cost you nearly 1,000 gallons over the course of a day.
An estimated 14% of household water is accounted for by faucet and toilet leaks. One of the most common sources of water leaks are worn washers o-rings in sink faucets. If the faucet drips after you’ve closed it, shut off the water to the faucet, disassemble it, and replace the worn components. If you aren’t comfortable tackling this or if the faucet still leaks, give us a call. We rebuild and replace faucets every day (you might want to check out some of our new designer faucets)
The source of the most leaks is your toilet. Toilets often waste hundreds of gallons of water per day, undetected! Leaks occur when parts are worn, obstructed, or out of adjustment. If the water level of your toilet bowl is too high, water will leak out the overflow valve.
If the fill valve, located below the water line, becomes worn, your toilet will leak similar to a dripping faucet. This is difficult to detect visually. We typically use dye tests to detect it
The ball valve/flapper is another common source of toilet leaks. Often debris or irregular mineral deposits become trapped between the drain lip and the flapper.
Are You Flushing Money Down The Toilet?
Toilets installed before 1994 use 3.5 to 7.0 gallons of water per flush. Replacing an old toilet with a low flow model can save between 8,000 and 22,000 gallons per year.
When the legislation mandating low flow toilets was first enacted into law, some manufacturers were caught unprepared. They rushed low flow designs into production. To be honest, some of these weren’t very good. Low flow often meant no flow and the toilets earned a bad reputation.
Today, toiletology (i.e., the, er, science of flushing) has improved. Today’s low flow toilets work well.
If you have an older toilet, upgrading to a low flow model will save you thousands of gallons of water annually. If you have one of the first low flow models, replacing it with one of today’s designs may not save water, but it will save frustration and mess.
Can You Cut The Flow And Save Some Dough?
Low flow isn’t limited to toilets. You can reduce your home’s water consumption dramatically with low flow showerheads and faucet aerators. Older faucets may use 3 to 7 gallons per minute. Aerators can reduce that to o.5 to 1.0 gallons for bathrooms and 2.2 gallons for the kitchen sink.
The best aerators either break the water stream into a series of laminar flow water jets or inject air into the water stream. The result is less water usage from a higher velocity stream of water with less splashing.
Older showerheads deliver 5 to 10 gallons per minute. This compares to low flow models that provide 2.5 gallons per minute.
When you reduce water usage with low flow aerators, you also cut your hot water requirements. Aerators save water and energy.
Call us at 415-360-0560 to upgrade your home’s plumbing, while reducing your water usage. It’s good for the planet and good for your wallet at the same time!