How to Make Your Home More Water-Efficient

by Matt Solis


Modifying bathroom appliances like shower heads can make your home more water-effient. Photo William Gotelli Plumbing, Inc. (2012)

Being more efficient with your home water usage is often as simple as making a few modifications to your water-using appliances. Low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets can save thousands of gallons and hundreds of dollars a year without sacrificing water pressure. Aerators can cut faucet water flow from three or four gallons per minute to as little as a half-gallon per minute.

Your plumbing contractor can also help you use your water more efficiently by suggesting ways to lessen your carbon footprint at a minimal cost. Ask your plumber to evaluate your whole plumbing system to see if there are any areas where water conservation could be improved.

To further minimize your home water usage, consider the following tips:

  • Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth; only turn it on when you rinse your brush. This can save up to two gallons every two minutes, which adds up over days and months.
  • Take baths rather than showers when possible, and shorten your showers by a few minutes.
  • Repair faucet leaks and drips as soon as you notice them.
  • Test your toilet for leaks by putting food coloring in the toilet tank. If it leaks into the toilet bowl (without flushing), the toilet is leaking. Repairing a leaking toilet can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per month.
  • Only run your washing machine and dishwasher with full loads.
  • Don’t overwater your lawn. Most lawns only need one hour of watering per week. To determine if your lawn needs to be watered, step on the grass. If the grass blades spring back, you can wait a day or two before watering.
  • Don’t automatically water your garden or plants without checking to see if they need water. You can also install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so it won’t run when it’s raining.

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