conserving water facts
Part of a home energy audit is checking for ways to conserve water . The audit goes beyond electrical use and insulation levels, water use is included because it is a valuable resource that needs protecting and because water cost money and because hot water cost even more money.
Conserving water facts number one:
- When you use hot water you pay for the water plus the heating of the water.
One conserving water fact that I would like to bring to your attention is the fact that we pay both for the water we use and for the water we waste. Yes, it’s a simple fact and I realize you are fully aware of the situation. However, being aware of the situation and doing something about it is too often very different animals.
Answer this conserving water facts question: How long does it take you to shower?
Being a proud and diligent person, you answer that it takes 4 minutes to shower. But, does that include the time the shower runs while the hot water finds it’s way to the shower nozzle? “Well, no”, you answer. Then the truth comes out, you shave while the shower runs. So now your 4 minute shower turns into 9 minutes worth of running water.
How much shower time did you pay for in water and hot water? The 4 minute shower time or the 9 minutes warm-up and shower time. How many of you ladies out there shave your legs while the shower runs hot water down the drain?
Conserving water facts number two:
- Water costs the same whether you use it or not. You pay exactly the same for the water in your clothes washer and for the water running unused down the drain while you brush your teeth.
conserving water facts
Most water utilities have a basic fee that covers overhead and then they tack on extra for the metered water volume you actually use. My water bill is about $45 dollars in the winter and about $140 in the summer when the wife thinks saving the thirsty flowers is more important than the budget. The realization that we pay the same for the water we use and the water we waste brings new efforts to save water.
The two new drip lines down each side of my house give evidence to the fact that I am trying to get every drop of water where it can be used and restrict putting water where it won’t be used – like on the gravel driveway.
6 months ago I installed a sink aerator on my kitchen faucet that has a shut off lever and a swivel head. I really like it and find I am able to save water by turning the flow of water off at the aerator instead of the main handles. This is particularly handy when you have a two handle faucet and you want warm water. By turning the water off and on at the aerator, the water temperature is preset.
Conserving Water Facts number Three:
- Faucet aerators reduce the flow of water from a faucet and save water. The aerator is a screw-in insert right at the outlet of the faucet.
Most faucets have threads that will receive the aerator simply by screwing it in. If you already have an aerator on your kitchen and bathroom faucets, check to see if the flow rating is stamp on them. To be energy efficient, the aerator should be rated at a flow of 1.0 gallons per minute or less.
Inside the aerator is a number of fine screens that the water flow must pass through. If you find that over time the flow of water is slowing down to a dribble, check the aerator screens and see if sand or corrosion has started to fill the gaps.
If you want to really save water and energy and you have a household of teenage offspring that know how to camp out in a shower, install a kitchen faucet aerator as a shower nozzle. I will guaranty showers will be shorter and water consumption will be down.
Speaking of shower nozzles, have you seen the nozzles that have a head that looks like a prize winning sunflower. The shower nozzle with the greatest flow that I have had the privileged of testing – sprung forth with a very healthy 3.2 gallons per minute. I have an old gallon milk jug with the top cut out. With the water turned on all the way, I hold the plastic milk jug under the flow and time how long it takes to fill the jug. When the jug fills up in 19 seconds, you know you have a gully washer.
Conserving Water Facts Number Four:
- Installing a new shower nozzle that is rated at 1.5 gallons per minute will give you a great shower and save water. Most older standard show nozzles were rated at 2.5 gallons per minute and often did not provide as much usable water as a new 1.5 rated models.
To get the most out of your new shower nozzle, install a shut off valve right at the shower nozzle. This will allow you to turn the flow of water off while you search the shower floor for the soap and then turn it back on with the same temperature setting. Honestly, how about this – wet the body down and turn the flow of water off at the nozzle. Grab the soap and lather up. Turn the flow of water back on and rinse off. Conserving water Facts number four could be a real winner.
I bet that 10 percent of the homes I visit for an energy audit have a pan full of water sitting under one of the sinks in the house. 5 percent of the time it’s a water line that is leaking, 5 percent of the time it’s the drain. People do seem to get use to seeing a pan under the sink. When the pan gets full it’s simply dumped down the drain.
For those sinks that have pans under them and the leak is in the drain line, then dumping the pan full of water down the sink requires quick replacement of the pan so some of the same water can be captured again. This is called the capture and release method of
controlling a leaky sink.
Conserving Water Facts Number Five:
- Leaky water lines waste a lot of water and energy and the leaks that do the most damage are ones you usually don’t see unless your looking for them.
shower shut off
Most of us have a water meter out near the sidewalk in front of our home. By lifting up the cover on the meter, you can turn a valve and shut the water off to your home. What would happen if you went out to the water meter and shut the water off and the meter was still turning. Usually a water meter is sensitive enough to show evidence of a steady drip.
Water can drip under our floors and go unnoticed for years. Slowly dripping and slowly being absorbed by the ground, the leak continues until we get suspicious and go looking for it. It’s easy to find a leak under the floor, just crawl around under there until you get wet and look up. You will probably be under a bathroom or the kitchen area and will have little trouble pinpointing the actual leak.
I can witness to the fact that leaks occur underfloor and go unnoticed for years. While I am under a floor checking insulation and heating ducts, I too often run into a wet spot. The plumber is called out before the duct sealing boys. It just works better that way.
Remember, saving water is the same as saving energy, especially if you save hot water. Hope you found some savings in the Conserving Water Facts and I hope your teenagers get along with that kitchen aerator in the shower OK.
Thanks for stopping by Detect Energy, please come back soon, but I won’t leave the light on for you…