Water is truly our most precious resource! It is easy to take clean, accessible water for granted, but it is important to be water conscious and work together in conserving our local water reservoirs. In order to help you do just that, we’ve complied a list of over 30 plumber-approved tips!
Clothes Washer Water Saving Tips
Wash full loads of laundry instead of doing smaller, partial loads. This will help the machine be more efficient. If the laundry has a sensor or water saving feature built-in, make sure you are using it.
Consider installing an Energy Star washer. If you don’t already have an efficient machine or you need to upgrade, be diligent when shopping and consider the efficiency ratings. The newest clothes washing technology can save an astonishing amount of water without having to sacrifice getting the clothes clean!
Watch out for laundry room leaks! One interesting feature of the water and drain pipes for clothes washers is that they are usually housed in the same enclosure known as a washer box. Many times, these are engineered so that if a leak develops on one of the water valves inside the box, it drains down into the clothes washer drain pipe instead of causing damage to the house. While a great feature, it also makes it possible for small leaks to go unnoticed for a long time.
Kitchen Sink Water Saving Tips
When washing dishes by hand, fill your sink basin with water instead of continually running the faucet. Even if the stream is small, you would be surprised at how many gallons this adds up to in a very short time.
Instead of filling a sink basin with warm water, thaw your foods overnight in the refrigerator. Although it takes a bit more planning ahead, it is a great way to save both water and overall energy usage.
Don’t food waste down the garbage disposal, compost it instead! When putting food waste down the garbage disposal, it is necessary to keep the water running in order to make sure that the food sludge doesn’t clog up your drain lines. So why not just compost instead?
When cleaning vegetables in the sink, don’t just let the faucet run. Instead, put just enough water in the sink basin first and wash your veggies with that.
If you have leftover ice from drinks or an ice chest, use that to water plants instead of just dumping it outside or down the drain. This is a great way to get double use out of ice and save water.
Fix dripping kitchen faucets! While it is easy to put off a dripping faucet, it wastes a significant amount of water over time. Many newer reputable manufacturers cover replacement cartridges. If the faucet is older or deteriorated, it may make more sense to simply replace it with an upgraded low-gpm faucet.
Dishwasher Water Saving Tips
If your dishwasher is on its last legs, consider installing an efficient dishwasher. Technology has made massive advances in enabling dishwashers to clean more thoroughly with significantly less water used.
Wash dishes in the dishwater instead of by hand in the sink. Now this only applies if you have a newer, water-saving model and you use it properly. With this setup, the dishwasher is actually a much more conserving way of washing dishes than the average by-hand method.
When using the dishwasher, only run full loads. Even modern dishwashers with water-saving sensors are more efficient when cleaning one full load of dishes instead of several smaller ones.
Limit pre-rinsing when loading the dishwasher. Along with being more quiet and more efficient, modern dishwashers are very effective at cleaning residue off plates. By skipping the almost compulsive pre-wash washing, you can save a lot of water by just scraping plates.
Keep your eyes open for dishwasher leaks. Another downside to keeping outdated dishwashers is that they can leak in devastating ways. Because dishwasher leaks often are hidden underneath the appliance, they tend to travel under floors and cause extensive damage before they are discovered.
Bathroom Faucet Water Saving Tips
Install water-saving aerators. Faucet aerators are mostly installed at the very tip of the water spout. They cause turbulence and introduce air bubbles into the water to create a softer, less splashy stream. Many older faucet aerators can be replaced easily with a universal aerator that actually uses less water.
Upgrade to Watersense rated faucets. When it comes time to repair or replace your bathroom faucet, shop for one that has a high efficiency rating.
Don’t just let the water run! When shaving, brushing teeth, and lathering up your hands, there are often times where the water is left to simply run down the drain. Instead, shut off the water and turn it back on only as needed. Add a little water to the basin to rinse your razor instead of doing it under running water.
Pay attention to leaky faucets. A slow drip can be easy to ignore, but you’ll see it on your water bill! Many bathroom faucet leaks can be resolved by replacing the cartridge.
Shower Water Saving Tips
Install a water-saving shower head. Nobody likes a wimpy shower, but low-flow doesn’t always mean low pressure. There are some great shower heads on the market which save water while maintaining a great showering experience.
Take shorter showers. While it may seem obvious, this is probably one of the easiest and most significant things you can do to save water by simply adjusting your daily habits. With many newer homes coming equipped with tankless water heaters that don’t run out of hot water, it is easy to spend a lot of time and waste the water unnecessarily.
Taking a short shower often uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. The reverse is true, however, if you take really long showers. A 2.5 gallons-per-minute shower head will blow through 50 gallons with 20 minutes of run time.
Fix shower leaks proactively. It is easier to ignore a dripping shower head than most other fixtures because they are often tucked away behind a shower curtain or back in a corner shower. However, those slow drips add up bigtime. Sometimes, you are able to tell a cartridge failure in advance when the handle gets stiffer than usual to turn on and off.
Toilet Water Saving Tips
The biggest way to save water when it comes to toilet usage is to invest in a quality, Watersense rated toilet. These toilets use less than 1.28 gallons with each flush and can flush over 1,000 grams of waste! Before replacing your old 3+ gpf toilet, make sure you don’t have a cast iron sewer system, though!
Make sure your toilet is adjusted properly. The height of the overflow tube, the height of the float, and the timing of the flapper are the key adjustments when it comes to water-efficiency. If these are off, water may be wasted through the overflow tube or too much water may be going down into the bowl with each flush.
Don’t dispose of things down the toilet. Many people use the toilet to dispose of things other than human waste and toilet tissue paper. Not only does this increase the risk of clogging and cause issues with the wastewater treatment plant down the road, it also simply wastes water. Use the toilet for only what it is intended for; everything else goes in the trash can.
Check for leaking toilets. This is a big one! Toilet leaks are one of the biggest causes of wasted water in the home. Because a toilet leak is almost unnoticeable from the outside, it can go on for a very long time. Learn how to do a dye test on your toilets and make sure to check them on a regular basis.
Water Saving Tips For The Whole Home
Install a recirculating pump. If it takes a long time to get hot water at the kitchen faucet or at the shower, then there is probably a long distance that the water has to travel from wherever your water heater is located to the faucet. A recirculation pump keeps the hot water moving through the system so that you don’t have to wait. More convenience – more water savings!
Repurpose the extra water. If a recirculation pump isn’t a good option for you, try to capture that extra water instead of just putting it down the drain. Then you can use it to water plants or for other purposes.
Install a smart water monitoring device. New products on the market like the Flo by Moen and the Phyn can intelligently monitor your water usage, let you know how much water different fixtures are using, detect leaks early, shut off the water remotely, and more!
Take a closer look at your water bill. If there is a sudden increase in water usage over last month without you using more water, it may be an indication of a leak in the yard or a slab leak.
Look into reducing your water pressure, even if it isn’t required. In some north DFW cities like Frisco, there is a requirement to install pressure reducing valves (PRVs) on all new houses built after 2002. This is due to the high water pressure present in parts of the city. Water pressure should be between 40 and 80 psi. The higher the water pressure is, the more water all of the fixtures will use.
Water Saving Tips For Outside The House
Instead of washing off things with the pressure of a water hose, use a broom or leaf blower instead. If your cleaning task requires water, try a sponge and bucket instead of using the garden hose. It is almost always better at saving water.
Optimize your irrigation system. Although the scope of this article doesn’t cover irrigation (and Legacy Plumbing doesn’t offer irrigation services), this is an important part of water conservation. Check out the EPA’s Watersense website for more information about how to make sure you are watering your lawn wisely.
Minimize pool evaporation and leaks. Again, Legacy Plumbing doesn’t service pool equipment, but this is another important factor to consider when it comes to minimizing water waste. Watersense has actually developed a certification for pool covers which can prevent water loss through evaporation. It’s also important to keep up with maintenance and take care of any pool leaks.
Hopefully this list gave you some fresh ideas on how to start conserving water today! If you need help with a dripping faucet or have questions about plumbing fixtures, water monitoring devices, or recirculation pumps, just give us a call at: (972) 801-9798.
We look forward to serving you!