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.