Many homeowners are rethinking how much water they use in their homes. They’re making considerations based on the environmental impact of using excess water as well as the simple cost of running all that water. To that end, many are turning to low-flow fixtures. These are plumbing fixtures that use less water than traditional fixtures to hopefully achieve the same results. There are a few different kinds of low-flow fixtures, though.
Old toilets used as much as five gallons of water to flush. Except for very old homes, those have pretty much disappeared. The new standard for toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush. Research indicates that each person flushes the toilet about five times per day. So, that’s eight gallons of water used each day per person. That’s a significant amount of water. Some newer low-flow toilets use as little as a half gallon of water to flush the toilet. Many of them have two different settings. There’s a reduced water flush feature and a full water flush feature. That can cut your water consumption by several gallons every day. For a household, it could be as much as a dozen gallons of water saved each day.
Low-flow showerheads work in one of two ways. Some of them use smaller and more numerous openings. They spray thinner jets of water but many more of them to achieve the same amount of water coverage while using less water. More complex showerheads actually inject water into the flow. So, that will space out the drops of water somewhat while providing them with more force. It will feel like more water because the water is less dense.
Standard showerheads use as much as five gallons of water per minute. The average shower is eight minutes long. That’s forty gallons of water for an average shower. Many people shower much longer. A low-flow showerhead will consume between .5 and two gallons of water per minute. That could cut your water consumption by more than half.
Low flow sinks are typically paired with an aerator. An aerator injects air into the flow of water much like the aerated showerheads. That will allow you to get your dishes clean without using as much water. The water pressure and the spread of water is more important to cleaning dishes than the sheer volume of water.
Any of these can reduce your environmental footprint and save you money in the long run.
Homeowners are contacting plumbers to find the most efficient possible plumbing fixtures. These fixtures include things like low-flow toilets and low-flow showerheads. There are also some other very interesting developments that have been growing in popularity. Plumbers have been installing low condensation toilets, insulated pipes, and smart pipes. These efficient fixtures are some of the most high-tech fixtures that plumbers are installing. There are also some fixtures that are not necessarily more water efficient.
Touchless and One-Touch Fixtures
Touchless and one-touch fixtures have been popular with commercial applications for a very long time. Business and public restrooms have used touchless toilets, faucets, and paper towel dispensers for a long time. Homeowners are just now getting in on it. Touchless fixtures use motion detection technology to determine when to turn on and off. You wave your hand under a faucet and the water comes on. You simply walk away from a toilet, and it flushes. These features make it easier to use plumbing fixtures. They also help to reduce the transmission of germs. If you touch fewer fixtures, fewer germs will be transmitted. That’s especially helpful if someone in the house is ill.
One-touch fixtures are common as well. Instead of turning a handle to turn a sink on and off, you simply tap the faucet itself. This makes it easier to operate the fixture when your hands are full.
Raincan Shower Heads
Raincan shower heads are designed to more closely mimic rainfall. That means they offer a wide surface of water that seems to fall as opposed to water that sprays out of the shower head. Since they offer wider heads, they can cover more surface area while using less water. The angle also means that you can cover more surface area, so you might not need to shower as long. They have been shown to save water and can save you hundreds of dollars in water usage each year.
A traditional toilet uses holes around the rim to introduce water into the bowl and flush. A cyclone shower head uses jets inside the toilet bowl to create spinning water. The cyclone action flushes away waste much more efficiently than rim holes. They also use much less water.
Some people are choosing to install hand dryers in their home so that they don’t have to continually buy paper towels or wash hand towels. Some modern, high-tech hand dryers actually dry your hands faster than towels with less waste.