You might be wondering what being green has to do with plumbing. Green plumbing is actually very important. Our natural resources are limited, not only in California, but around the country and abroad. Conserving water can help us with our reservoirs, but can also help with air pollution and other resources such as electricity, gas and coal. The average family of 4 uses about 150,000 gallons of water a year! By conserving water and utilizing green plumbing, we can cut down on the amount of water we use. Every gallon we don’t use reduces the use of fossil fuels used in conjunction with water consumption.
So what is green plumbing? Green plumbing is really about using energy saving appliances and low-flow fixtures. It is estimated that if everyone in America used green plumbing, we could prevent 91 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year!
Here are a few green plumbing ideas and facts that will show you how you can conserve energy without disrupting your personal comfort:
Toilets use 26 percent of the water in a home. The new low-flow toilets have a powerful flush and save about 70 percent or 3.72 gallons of water than regular toilets. These new green toilets fill up sooner and are generally quieter. You will also see savings on your water and sewer bills.
Energy Star Appliances
Doing laundry uses up 22 percent of your water in your home. By using a washer and dryer that is ENERGY STAR approved, you will saving huge amounts of water. The new appliances are also easier on your clothes. Just remember to always wash full loads. Soon, new technology will let you recycle your washing machine water for use in toilets and irrigation in your yard! Dishwashers use 1% of water a household. Pre-rinsing dishes before running them through the dishwasher uses the same amount of water as washing the dishes twice, so only do this if absolutely necessary. If you always have to pre-rinse, it may be time for a new dishwasher! Always make sure that a new dishwasher is ENERGY STAR approved.
Who doesn’t love a long hot shower? But unfortunately, showers use of 17 percent of water in a household. Traditional shower heads deliver only 1.6 gpm, while the current standard for low-flow heads is 2.5 gpm. A good low-flow shower head will feel good at both high and low pressures. By installing a low-flow shower head rated at 2 gallons per minute, you can save 6 gallons over a regular shower head! You will not only save on water, but also on the cost of heating the water for your shower.
New faucets use 2.25 gallons of water per minute, but there are ones that use only .5 gallons. Installing one of these faucets can save tons of water over time and you won’t even notice a difference. Another tip to save water is to turn off your water from the time your start brushing your teeth to the time you rinse. Doing this will save 300 gallons of water a year per person! North County Plumbing can give you information about a recirculation system or a point-of-use water heater that will have the water hot within seconds. We can also install sensor faucets that turn off automatically whenever they aren’t in use.
It is hard to believe, but leaks around your home account for about 14 percent of water usage. Toilet leaks are the biggest offenders, with faucets and showers close behind. Irrigation systems can also be problematic. Whether you already have a low-flow toilet or not, always make sure your toilet is operating efficiently. A leaking toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water a day! Two signs of a leaky toilet are: 1) the toilet sounds like it’s flushing by itself or 2) the water comes on in the middle of the night by itself.
Here are some useful tips you can also do in your home to become more green:
-Install a water filter and drink from glasses or reusable bottles. Commercial businesses can install a hydration station that filters water and disinfects the water when dispensed.
-Clean your dryer vents
-Install a garbage disposal if you do not already have one. There are disposals that now run on water so no electricity is used!
-Install copper pipes. Copper piping is a natural choice for green plumbing because it lasts a long time and is maintenance free.
-Install smart irrigation products. These can measure water in the soil and adjust watering times to suit the needs of the soil.
-Recycle everything and anything you can.
-Upgrade your heating system using the most efficient model possible.
-Turn your computer off when not in use.
-Use low-voc paints when doing any painting.
If you need help with any green plumbing, give North County Plumbing a call. We are here to help!
North County Plumbing has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!
If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Save Money and Water with High Efficiency Toilets“