Environmentally-friendly options have grown to dominate just about every industry. Everywhere you look, they are available. The plumbing industry is no different. When it comes to the plumbing industry, the most common environmentally-friendly option is a low-flow option. There are low-flow toilets, sinks, and showers. In the simplest sense, they are fixtures that use less water than their traditional counterparts. They also include some innovations to make that a little less noticeable. Here’s how they work.
Low-flow showerheads are some of the most popular changes. A traditional shower head is limited to 2.5 gallons per minute. A low-flow showerhead is often half that flow rate. To make it not seem like you’re getting half as much water, low-flow heads often have more holes for spraying water. They also inject more air into the stream. So you end up with the same amount of coverage but with half as much water.
There are also low-flow toilets. A typical toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush. A low-flow toilet can use about 1.2 or 1.3 gallons per flush. That might not seem like a very significant difference, but it can add up to several gallons per day. Oftentimes, the design of a low-flow toilet has to be a little more precise than a traditional toilet. Older toilets used three, five, or even seven gallons per flush. They didn’t need much innovative design to ensure that they flushed completely. A low-flow toilet has to be carefully designed. Early models didn’t work as expected and gave the entire category a bad name. New low-flow toilets work as well as traditional toilets and save you money.
A low-flow sink often involves a sink faucet that sprays a sphere of water. A traditional faucet releases a column of water; however, most of this water is wasted down the drain. A low-flow sink sprays a jet of water that is a higher pressure but contains less water. Since it’s higher pressure, it can clean just as well as a greater volume of water. Many homeowners who have low-flow sinks have reported washing their dishes just as well as they ever did but with less water. A typical kitchen faucet uses about 1.8 gallons per minute. A low-flow kitchen faucet uses about .5 gallons per minute.
If you want these benefits without making a drastic change, you can often have a plumber install a low-flow aerator. This injects air into your fixture without requiring you get an entirely new fixture. Ask a professional about one.
Boiling water taps have become the not new thing for people to get for their homes. They have been popular for years in restaurants and are just catching on for domestic use. They probably won’t replace a simple teapot any time soon, but they’re still growing in market share.
What Is It?
A boiling water tap is exactly what it sounds like. It is a faucet that dispenses boiling water when you turn the nozzle. Typically, they sit right next to your standard tap. Instead of room temperature water or water from the water heater, you get boiling water. They’re incredibly convenient if you want to make tea or need to scour a pan. They also save some water since most people fill up their tea pot with more water than they actually need.
Most critically, they save a lot of time. Many of them bring you boiling water instantly. Some of them might take a few seconds to heat up. That just depends on how your particular tap works.
How They Work
A boiling water tap is installed on your counter over your sink like a standard faucet. It’s then connected to a tank underneath the sink. The tank is typically very well-insulated. The tank is basically an electric or a gas kettle that holds water and heats it. Some models will heat water to boiling and then hold it in the insulated tank until you need it. These often will turn the heating element back on when you turn the tap. The water won’t stay boiling hot in the tank perpetually, but it will be closer to boiling when the heating element comes back on. That means it will be easier to heat and save you some energy.
Other boiling water taps work more like a tankless water heater. They are connected to a water line and have a heating element built into them. When you turn the tap and water flows, the heating element comes on. The heating element is intense enough that the water is almost instantly brought to boiling temperature. They’re nearly instantaneous.
The benefits of a boiling water tap are mostly that you can save a lot of time. You don’t have to wait for a pot of water to boil; that can drastically reduce cooking times. You can also see some reduction in your energy usage if you use a lot of boiled water.
A professional plumber will need to install a boiling water tap if you would like one.