Here in California, there is no natural resource more precious than water. For many years, many Californians took water for granted. However, the prolonged drought, intense wildfires, and declining reservoirs here in the state have led many homeowners to rethink their choices and start making water-efficient upgrades to their home. Here in Fresno, more and more people are taking steps to conserve water by lowering their personal household use and switching to more efficient fixtures and appliances.
In this article, we’ll review some of the best steps you can take to save water at home. By doing so, you’ll not only play your part in conserving water for our future, but you’ll also lower your utility bills. For more information about making plumbing upgrades and repairs in your Fresno home, contact the team here at Allbritten.
Conserve water by upgrading your home’s plumbing
The best way to conserve water is by using less of it every single day. By making water-friendly upgrades to your bathroom and kitchen, you can reduce the amount of water you and your family use while showering, doing dishes, or using the bathroom. From there, you’ll be able to watch the water savings really add up.
Install low-flow showerheads
A daily shower is one of the biggest uses of water in the home. The average American uses about 17 gallons of water when they shower.
So, how can you cut down on your water usage while showering? Our recommendation is that you install a low-flow showerhead. These showerheads reduce the flow of water. Combined with limiting your total shower time to about 5 minutes, these showerheads can cut your shower’s water consumption down to 10 gallons—a major improvement over that national average.
Low-flow showerheads are available in most hardware and department stores. Look for those that are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program. Showerheads with this label are the best at conservation. Paired with a shower timer, a low-flow showerhead is one of the simplest and most-effective ways to cut your water use.
Replace your toilet
In most homes, the toilets are the largest users of water. If your home has older toilets that are original to the home’s construction, they could be wasting a great deal of water: older, standard toilets use about 3.6 gallons per flush! It’s highly recommended that you upgrade to a low-flow or dual-flush toilet. Low-flow toilets use about 1.5 gallons per-flush, which is half that of an older toilet. Dual-flush toilets are an increasingly popular option. They have two settings: one for a half-flush and one for a full flush.
If you’re thinking about replacing your toilet, be sure to talk to our plumbers here at Allbritten. We can help ensure that your new toilet will fit in your bathroom with your current pipes and fixtures. Our team handles the installation to ensure that the toilet is installed right and will start saving water right away.
Fix faucet leaks and running toilets
When it comes to dripping faucets and running toilets, it’s easy for busy homeowners to put off making the repairs until “later.” However, even small leaks can result in big water waste: a faucet that drips 20 times per-minute will waste more than a gallon of water every single day, adding up to nearly 700 gallons over the course of a year. A running toilet is even worse, as many can waste a gallon of water every hour! The USGS has a calculator you can use to determine how much water your leaky faucets are wasting in your home.
When you notice a faucet is dripping or a toilet just won’t stop running, call your local plumbing team here at Allbritten. Being proactive on these issues can greatly reduce water waste and lower your water bills.
Make water-wise choices
Once you’ve upgraded your shower and toilet and fixed any leaking faucets in your home, you can take further steps to further conserve water.
Capture and use cold water from the shower
Of all the water used while showering, a hefty percentage of it is wasted when you’re not yet even in the shower. Many homeowners turn on the shower but wait to get in until the water “heats up”—which involves the hot water traveling to the showerhead. During this time, all the cold water is being wasted.
An easy way to change this is by keeping a large bucket next to your shower. Collect the cold water from the shower in that bucket and then use that to:
- Water indoor plants
- Water outdoor plants
- Clean your floors
- Fill up outdoor pet water bowls
- Clean bathtubs or sinks
- Wash your car
Run the dishwasher or washing machine only when full
Your dishwasher and washing machine both use a large amount of water and energy. The fewer times you run each during the week, the more water and electricity you’ll conserve. Wait until the dishwasher or washing machine are completely full before starting the run cycle. In addition to helping you save water, this often helps both appliances run more efficiently: many dishwashers, for instance, are designed to run with dirty dishes in them.
The dishwasher itself uses about 25 gallons every run cycle, but homeowners often add to this water use by rinsing off dishes ahead of time. If you scrape dishes into the trash instead of rinsing them before loading, you can save up to 10 gallons of water.
If you have an older dishwasher or washing machine, you may also want to look into upgrading to a newer model that uses less water and energy. High-efficiency washers, for instance, use 40% less water than older models! A great place to start your search is on the ENERGY STAR website, which can guide you to appliances that use less (and wash your clothes better).
Replace your real grass with fake grass
Every year, billions of gallons of water are wasted on natural lawns in the United States. In a state like California, this helps contribute to drought problems. Replacing your natural grass lawn with a synthetic one will not just conserve water, but save you the effort and cost involved in maintaining a natural lawn.
Here are some other great ways to reduce your water use when it comes to your outdoor landscaping:
- Plant drought-resistant trees and plants: Ask your local nursery about local options and trees native to where you live. Typically, these grow better and use less water than non-native species.
- Use mulch around trees: Mulch prevents the rapid evaporation of water, allowing the tree’s roots to soak in more of it. This means you can use less water on the tree.
- Watering by hand: If you have a garden, it’s better to water by hand than to water using an automated system.
For more water-efficient plumbing upgrades, talk to our team
At Allbritten, our team specializes in plumbing installation and repairs. After all, we’ve been serving homeowners in Fresno since 1932. We’re the team to help your home save water and energy. For more tips and ideas on how to conserve, contact us today.