15 Ways to Save Water in the Home

Droughts are nothing new but more areas are struggling with water issues. Water conservation has become more important than ever before, even in areas where water seemed abundant previously.

Water conservation has many benefits most notably lowering your water bill, preventing water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers, and local watersheds. Whether you’re ready to reduce your shower time or replace your toilets, there are lots of ways to conserve water.

We have compiled 15 ways you can conserve water within your home and cut down your water bill. It can be a daunting task to conserve water but there’s no need to get overwhelmed. Simply make a few changes and you can end up saving up to a few hundreds of gallons of water each year.

15 Water Saving Tips

If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Sure this may not be for everyone, but toilets use the most water in the household. Save water by not flushing all the time! If it’s yellow let it sit. If it is solid waste flush it down.

Address Those Pesky Leaks. Whether you go DIY or hire a plumber, be proactive and fix those leaky faucets and rake in those water savings.

Don’t Use The Toilet as a Wastebasket. Sure, we all do it from time to time but don’t flush trash, tissue or paper down the toilet. You can waste up to five to seven gallons of water per flush.

Rinse your Razor in the Sink. First, fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water and cut down on water waste.

Don’t Let The Faucet Run While You Clean Vegetables. Fill your sink up or a pan with clean water and clean off your veggies.

Don’t Run the Hose While Washing Your Car. Only use the hose for rinsing your car. This simple tactic can save as much as 150 gallons when washing your car. For extra benefits, use a spray nozzle when rinsing your car for more efficient use of water.

Use a Broom, Not a Hose. When cleaning driveways and sidewalks use a broom instead of a water hose to clean your driveway.

Invest In A Watering Can. Rather than using a hosepipe which can waste up to 264 gallons per hour. Also, mulching your plants and watering in the early morning and late afternoon will reduce evaporation and save water.

Collect Your Shower Water. While you sit and wait for your water to heat up collect the cold water in a bucket and repurpose it.

Turn Off The Water. Turn off the water while you’re washing your hair. This alone can save you up to 150 gallons per month.

Plug The Bathtub. Before you even turn the water on, plug the bathtub before turning on the water.

Report Broken Pipes. If you notice broken pipes or leaky fire hydrants report it to your local water provider.

Join A Community Pool. Instead of building a private pool, join a community pool.

Compost Regularly. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.

Use Minimal Water While Cooking. When you are cooking food try to use as little water as possible. This also helps your food retain more nutrients.

Water Stress Conditions

Did you know that in 1990, 30 states in the U.S. reported ‘water-stress’ conditions. In 2000, the number of states reporting water-stress rose to 40 states. In 2009, the number rose to 45 states. There is a growing trend of water related shortages nationwide. By taking measures at home to conserve water not only saves you money, it benefits the greater community at large.

Water conservation at home doesn’t require you to incur any significant costs. You can take advantage of the tips above to reduce your water usage.

Toilet Tank Parts

Not knowing how your toilet works can be a major issue that can turn into a disgusting problem quick. It pays dividends to properly get acquainted with your bathrooms Most Valuable Player!

How Does a Toilet Work?

Often times we take having a toilet for granted. It’s easy to forget that not too long ago having a running toilet was a luxury. Let’s take a look at how the components of a toilet tank work should you need to diagnose an issue.

Bowl Siphon: 

Despite having no moving parts, the toilet bowl features a highly functioning design. The toilet bowl is attached to a pipe with a U-bend that leads into the sewer system. As water and waste leave the bowl on flush, air rushes causing the “flush” sound. The air coming into the bowl stops the siphoning process. The bowl is then refilled with water.

Toilet Tank
The toilet tank is located in the upper part of the toilet and holds about 2 gallons of clean water. More importantly, the tank can send the water fast enough through the bowl to activate the siphon effect and send waste down the pipe! By pushing the handle down, the tank system is activated causing water to dump into the bowl triggering the flush.

More On Toilet Tank Parts & Their Functions:

Flapper Valve: A flapper valve creates a watertight seal in the tank. This valve holds the water before and after a toilet flush. When you push the handle, the flapper rises and this allows water to flush out the waste.
Refill Tube: The refill tube is located above the overflow tube. When it is pushed down into the overflow tube it can siphon water from the tank into the bowl causing the fill valve to cycle on and off.
Float: There are two types of floats for conventional toilets. Older toilets tend to have a large plastic or brass ball that is connected to a horizontal rod. This rod is connected to the toilet fill valve. The other style of a float that moves up and down along the vertical pipe of the toilet fill valve.

Refill Tube & Overflow Tube
The refill and overflow tube work together to help keep water in the tank. The overflow tube empties directly into the toilet bowl below. The overflow tube refills the bowl after each flush.

Shut-Off Valve: The shutoff valve connects to copper plumbing pipes in one of two ways: compression fitting or sweat fitting.
Wax Seal: The wax ring on a toilet provides a soft, pliable seal between some of the harder components of a toilet system. Toilets are generally made of porcelain. The wax ring fits around the exit hole in the bottom of the fixture and rests on the flange. The flange sits atop of the drainpipe.

With this information, we hope you will be more confident addressing toilet issues that may arise in your home.

Water Saving Toilet vs. Regular Toilet

More than 47% of water use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom. Almost 25% of that water is being consumed by your toilet. Toilet use can vary significantly depending on their age. Older toilets use anywhere from 2.5 – 5 gallons all the way up to 7 gallons with every flush. However, federal plumbing standards now specify that new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons per flush.

Its true toilets account for the bulk of water use, by far more than any other water consuming product in your home. For example, you have an older toilet chances are it’s using a whopping 6 gallons per flush. You’re not only wasting water but you’re flushing your hard-earned cash down the drain.

Water Saving Toilet vs. Regular Toilet

So, how exactly does a high-efficiency toilet compare to a regular toilet?

New energy efficient toilets typically use about 1.6 gallons per flush. When you consider that your toilet may be flushed as many as 5 times per day you can easily use 15 – 35 gallons of water per day! With a high-efficiency toilet, you can save up to 28 gallons of water a week.

Over a year you can easily save up to thousands of gallons by simply converting your toilet. If for example, you have a large family then a high-efficiency toilet is certainly a must.

How much water toilets use per flush?

Type of Toilet Toilet Consumption (Gallons Per Flush) Average Flushes Per Day Estimated Gallons Used Per Person Per Year
Older 7 5 12,775
Older 5 5 9,125
Older 3.5 5 6,388
Regular 1.6 5 2,920
High-Efficient 1.28 5 2,336

Curious about how much water your toilet uses per flush?

Oftentimes, manufacturers will stamp their toilet’s water usage per flush on the inside of the tank. Or, you can find the water usage on the “neck” of the toilet bowl. If all else fails then determining the age of your toilet is the key to figuring out its water use. Plumbing standards passed in 1992 required that toilets use no more than 1.6 GPF, so if your toilet was installed prior to 1992, then it likely uses 3.5-7 GPF.

Conserving Water In The Bathroom

If you have an older toilet and buying a new one is currently out of the question then don’t worry there are other options to conserve water. You can convert your current toilet into a water-efficient toilet. You can use a water-saving kit or you can retrofit it. Our water-saving toilet kits have all the tools you need to convert your single-flush toilet into a high-efficient dual flush toilet.

20 Water Conservation Facts You Won’t Believe!

Why Should You Care About Water Conservation?

Currently, in America, we waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year. Often times it goes unnoticed it could be as simple as a leaky shower faucet or a running toilet. Which may not sound like much initially but these trouble areas can quickly add up.

Unfortunately, water is a limited resource and a growing worldwide population contributes to a growing global water crisis. Despite much of the planet being covered in water only 1% of it is usable. The rest is either ocean water or frozen. Water is a limited resource it is more important than ever to practice water conservation.

Water Sustainability Facts In The Home

1. A five-minute shower can use 25 to 50 gallons of water.

2. The average bath takes 36 gallons of water.

3. Shaving using a filled sink basin is approximately 1 gallon.

4. Outdoor watering with an average hose uses 10 gallons per minute.

5. Fix that leaky faucet! If left alone it can waste up to around 100 gallons of water a day!

6. An automatic dishwasher uses approximately 9 to 12 gallons of water while hand washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons.

7. In a year, the average American residence uses over 100,000 gallons of water.

8. The average faucet releases 2 gallons of water per minute.

9. At one drip per second, a faucet can leak 3,000 gallons in a year.

10. The first water pipes in the U.S. were made from hollowed logs.

Indirect Water Conservation Facts

When we think of water conservation and usage we rarely consider indirect usage from everything we eat, purchase and use on a daily basis.

I bet you didn’t realize up to 70 percent of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture purposes. That means everything we eat plays an important impact on our water supply. Oddly enough every manufacturing process also consumes water. Imagine things like computers, cell phones, and clothes have an impact on our water supply as well.

  1. More than 1,300 gallons are required to produce a 12 oz. steak.
  2. It takes about 37 gallons of water to grow coffee beans and process them to make just one cup of coffee.
  3. About 6,800 gallons of water is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four.
  4. Current growth rates of agricultural demands on the world’s freshwater resources are unsustainable.
  5. It takes .26 gallons of water irrigate one calorie of food.
  6. It takes 2.6 gallons of water to make a sheet of paper.
  7. It takes 924 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of rice.
  8. It takes 2,641 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans.
  9. It takes 52 gallons of water to produce one glass of pasteurized milk.
  10. It takes 39,090 gallons of water to manufacture a new car.

The Benefits Of Water Conservation

When we reduce the amount of water that gets wasted in our homes it helps protect wildlife and cut the energy needed for treating and pumping water for domestic uses. Better yet water conservation naturally yields way to reduce your household water bill.

It’s important to remember we can run out of water. Further excessive water usage takes a lot of energy, resources and time to purify and administer. For drought-stricken cities throughout the U.S., it may have to be pumped from hundreds of miles away. So, we at Water Saver believe if more people understand what goes into water, they’ll be more likely to conserve it.
How To Save Water In The Bathroom

Tackle Those Leaky Faucets and Shower Heads: According to a previous study, your leaky faucet could be wasting you 2,500 gallons of water per year. Implement a shower attachment that slows the flow of water so it doesn’t run while lathering. Making sure your faucets and shower heads aren’t leaking is a good first step to water conservation.
Turn Off Water While Brushing Your Teeth: I know what you’re thinking this is a no-brainer right..? Well, did you know standard bathroom faucets use 2.5 gallons of water per minute? By turning off the water while brushing your teeth you could save 5 gallons of water per day. You can potentially save hundreds of gallons of water per year.
Take Short Showers: We know how tempting it can be to those long hot showers during the winter time. But keep in mind that showers use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. By keeping your shower time to a minimum it saves a lot of water. Keep in mind bathrooms account for approximately 75% of the water used in our homes. By practicing water conservation in your bathroom you can dramatically save on your water bill each month.
How to Save Water in The Kitchen: If the bathroom accounts for 75% of the waste in the home the kitchen accounts for the other 20%.
Install an efficient low-flow faucet: Older faucets tend to flow at 5 gallons per minute. By simply getting a new faucet you can save 3.5 gallons every minute.
Stop Defrosting Food With Cold Water: This is very wasteful. Instead, plan ahead set your food out a day in advance in your refrigerator.
Save Water In The Dishwasher: Always run your dishwasher when it’s full. Even if you use a water efficient dishwasher it’s still important to wait until the appliance is full before turning it on. This is because the dishwasher always uses the same amount of water despite the size of the load. This is why you should only turn it on when you are running full loads.

On average 95% of the water entering our homes gets wasted. It’s important to remember water is not cheap or limitless. We have to use this natural resource wisely and diligently practice water conservation.

How To Save Water In The Kitchen

With the vast majority of our planet covered in water, it’s hard to believe we could ever have a scarcity. However, there are pockets of people throughout the world who experience water scarcity. People living in areas where water is scarce understand the importance of conservation. The good news is that we can get make a difference today by conserving water in the kitchen.

Everyday Water Conservation Begins In The Kitchen

When it comes to conserving water in the kitchen a few small steps can have a dramatic impact. Give these 10 best practices a try in your kitchen today to reduce water waste!

Always Run a Full Load In The Dishwasher

We get sometimes you just want to use your cereal bowl that’s currently resting in the dishwasher. But wait a minute before you press that button.

“The average dishwasher will use approximately 10 to 15 gallons of water per load.”

Remember dishwashers use their fair share of water, no matter how full they may be.

Don’t be fooled: A dripping faucet adds up!

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. I don’t need to fix that leaky tap just yet. It can wait until tomorrow… After all, it’s just a tiny drip. How much harm could it do?

Drip … Drip … drip

Besides being very annoying those drips can add up dramatically. For example, one household with 4 faucets that drip every minute could waste up to 138 gallons of water per year!

Invest in a Pitcher

Keep a container of drinking water in your refrigerator. A pitcher of water is ideal. With cold drinking water on hand, you’ll waste less than you would while waiting for the temperature to cool down.

Use The Right Amount of Water

When cooking, pay special attention to read the instructions. And only use the amount of water required. This reduces water waste while straining your food.

Repurpose Cooking Water

You can’t use just any type of cooking water. Only, unsalted cooking water (from pasta, potatoes or vegetables) can be repurposed to water plants. Of course, let it cool to room temperature first before transferring to plants.

Defrost that Food!

Zap your food in the microwave or let it thaw overnight. Avoid using running water to thaw your dinner.

Kick Your Water Bottle Habit

It takes 1.5 gallons to manufacturer one plastic water bottle (contents notwithstanding). Instead, get a water filter for your drinking water. This will help you save water in the kitchen.

Eat More Vegetables

Did you know it takes a considerable amount of water to produce agriculture?

In fact, agriculture is responsible for 80% of all water consumed.

Eating lower on the food chain is a good strategy for reducing the amount of water required to meet your dietary needs.

 

Ditch That Last Cup Of Coffee

Or, if satisfying your coffee fix is a must, opt for tea instead. Since coffee has one of the highest water footprints per pound! Think about this!

It takes about 37 gallons of water to grow the coffee beans and process them to make one cup of coffee.

Repurpose Raw Vegetable Waste

If you have space rather than tossing vegetable or fruit waste out, use it to compost!

Compost is spongy and absorbent. A hundred pounds of average soil (a 1×10-foot row tilled six inches deep) with a pound of compost mixed in will hold an additional 33 pounds (4 gallons) of water. Take the organic content to five pounds, and that hundred pounds of soil will hold nearly two hundred pounds (25 gallons) of water! Compost is an excellent way to increase the water holding power of root systems, which is vital to growth.

Do the environment a favor and give these 10 best practices a try to conserve water in the kitchen!

Recommended Reading: Water Conservation Facts You Never Knew Existed!

New Dual Flush Toilet Vs. Dual Flush Toilet Conversion Kit

Background on Dual Flush Toilet Conversion Kit:

Often taken for granted and underappreciated, the humble flush toilet is a major innovation . . .

The first consumer flush toilets started appearing in US homes in the late 1800s. Like many other plumbing appliances from that period, they really haven’t changed all that much since then because the original design is solid, reliable and proven – they simply work and have become the single most important sanitation devices in the modern world. Why would you consider a dual flush conversion kit? Traditional toilets were never intended to conserve water and quite the opposite, most older toilets are not water smart and are simply wasting water for each and every flush – up to several gallons per flush. It wasn’t until 1980, when concern for water conservation started rising to the fore front, did the low flow toilet or more commonly “dual flush” toilet arrive on the scene.

The first big change and future of all toilets is the modern water saving dual flush . . .

Now, all the major manufacturers including American Standard, Toto, Kohler and Mansfield offer a number of models and styles of dual flush toilets, some with the familiar flush handle and others with a European push button actuator. The lever handle models work just the same as a traditional flush handle toilet, but with one big difference . . . when the handle is toggled in one direction, it produces a water saving “Number One” half flush and then can be toggled in the other direction for a higher water volume “Number Two” flush as required. Similarly, the Euro-style push button actuator is split into a smaller button for those little “Number One” flushes and a larger button for higher water volume “Number Two” flushes. Whichever model you choose, all of these newer dual flush toilets can save up to 67% of the water use over standard single flush toilets. But does this mean you have to replace your older toilet? What re the pros and cons of using some kind of dual flush conversion kit?

 

The cost of toilet replacement vs. fitting a dual flush conversion kit:

The cost to replace a perfectly good standard flush toilet with a new dual flush toilet is high . . .

While a new dual flush toilet costs from about $150 to $250 to buy and does not seem like a big investment for the desired water savings, there is much more in the total replacement cost to consider. First of all, removing and replacing a toilet is fairly major and messy job, best done by a certified plumber. The floor mounting may have to be modified for the new toilet footprint and then the old floor “donut” seal has to be carefully removed and replaced with a fresh one to ensure a leak-proof toilet-to-floor connection. Then the new toilet water line may require different fittings and/or rerouting, followed by any additional floor or wall caulking and then possibly some paint touch up. Most plumbers charge in the neighborhood of $250 for a basic install and if any complications arise with the floor or wall, that cost can go up considerably.

Finally, but certainly not to be discounted, is the fact that putting a perfectly good toilet into the landfill is environmentally unsound and simply does not make sense.

 

Dual flush conversion kit results:

Achieve the exact same results at a much lower cost with a dual flush conversion kit . . .

Most modern dual flush toilets still work on the exact same principles as the original old style toilets that are probably in your home right now. The real change in water efficiency is inside the tank compartment where the simple “flapper valve” has been replaced with a modern dual-float piston valve that provides the dual flush functionality.

The good news is that these same dual flush valve components used in the newer dual flush toilets are in fact available in dual flush conversion kits that can be retrofitted to existing older toilets. Even better for the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) type, a dual flush conversion kit is no harder to install than any other regular flush kit (such as the Fluidmaster kits) and yet achieves nearly the same water saving results as a new toilet and at a fraction the cost. There are many articles and videos on the web that explain how to replace a flush valve and how to convert to a dual flush toilet using a dual flush conversion kit. Note again that most of the dual flush components used in new dual flush toilets are EXACTLY the SAME from the SAME manufacturers and built to the SAME standards as our retrofit kits.

Keep your perfectly good toilet in place and simply upgrade it yourself using a dual flush conversion kit – get the same water saver results for a fraction the cost and save a toilet from the landfill!