The bathroom uses the most water inside the house. You save money on electric and water bills when you reduce water consumption in your household. This article explores ways to reduce water consumption in your bathroom and save money.
Reduce baths, take showers
The average bathtub in the US holds about 58 gallons of water. If you took a bath daily you would spend over 20,000 gallons per year. Multiply this by the number of households in the US to get a picture of how much water goes into bathing. If you want to reduce water consumption in your house you have to reduce the number of baths you take, period. Save those long and refreshing baths for special occasions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that you spend about 8-10 gallons when you take a 4-5 minute shower. Substitute baths for showers. Skip showers when you do not feel dirty or use alternative ways to clean up – such as using dry bathing shampoo or hygienic clothing.
Do not fill the bathtub all the way when you take a bath. Use less water when bathing your kids or pets.
Take care of leakages
Leaks waste a lot of water, and sometimes you may not even know that you have a leakage. Always check and replace any faulty gaskets, faucets, or washers. Check if your toilet is leaking. Put food coloring inside the tank. After several minutes check the bowl to see if the water inside has the pigment you put in the tank. If the water inside the bowl changes color, you have a leakage. The most common problem would be a loose flapper in this case. Sometimes even new toilets leak if the flapper is loose. The toilet flapper is the thin rubber plastic valve inside the toilet. It is attached to a chain. The chain pulls this valve up when you flush the toilet, allowing water to enter the bowl from the tank and flush the content away.
Install water-saving appliances
You may need to replace some of your appliances to reduce water consumption. Get faucets, showerheads, and toilets that help conserve water. We are talking about low-flow toilets, auto-detect faucets that shut off automatically, and showerheads with a shut-off valve to turn on or shut off mid-shower.
Eco showerheads have nozzles that mix air into the water to create a well-pressurized, well-controlled shower.
Put tap aerators on your faucets to control water flow. Tap aerators are little gadgets with many tiny holes that attach to the sprout of your faucet. They reduce the speed of water flow from the faucet.
Do not flush facial tissues or dental floss
Throw these towels into a waste basket and dispose of them appropriately later. These facial towels can clog your toilet drainage system because they take a long time to disintegrate. Clogged pipes will lead or water wastage (plus a huge bill from a plumber if you can’t fix it yourself).
Adjust the water pressure
Water pressure controls the speed at which your water flows from the faucet or showerhead. If the pressure is too high, you may waste several gallons of water as you adjust to the right one. Adjust the water pressure to your liking to prevent wastage when the pressure is too high. Call a plumber to do this or DIY. You may need to install a water pressure regulator.
Turn off faucets when not in use
Always turn off faucets when they are not in use. For instance, do not leave the water running when brushing your teeth or cleaning your face.
Catch and recycle shower water
Whenever we step into the shower, we waste several precious seconds as the water warms up. We let the water drain away without a second thought. The wasted water may not seem much but the wastage becomes considerable over time. Place a bucket at the bottom to catch the water and recycle it after showering. Use it to water plants or wash the toilet.
Turn off the water when not in use
Turn the shower off while lathering, shaving, brushing, or washing your hair. Use this simple technique;
- Turn on the water to get wet
- Turn water off while you are lathering
- Turn on to rinse the soap
- Repeat the process
Hang towels to dry instead of washing them
Washing towels every time you take a bath can consume a lot of water. Hang these towels to dry after a single use.
Reduce the number of times you flush the toilet, especially if you haven’t had a number two. According to Time magazine, we could save over 187 million gallons every year if we peed in the shower.
Consider installing a low-flow toilet
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), toilets are the biggest water drains in the US, accounting for over 30% of overall water usage in an average American household. Traditional toilets use up to 7 gallons of water with every flush. Consider replacing the old toilet with a more efficient and modern low-flow toilet. A low-flow toilet uses about 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
How low-flow toilets work
Low-flow toilets use pressure assistance and gravity to get rid of waste. The water inside the toilet tank is held there under pressure. When the valve opens, the pressure (and gravity) push the waste down the drain.
Low-flow toilets are expensive to install and maintain. It could also be an issue when living in a rental.
If you cannot replace your old toilet with a low-flow one, try retrofitting the old toilet with a cistern displacement device. Fill a plastic bottle with water and place it inside the toilet tank. The bottle displaces water in the tank and tricks the toilet into using less water. It might not save much – probably just a gallon per flush – but this can go a long way over time.
What are your best tips to save water in your bathroom? Let me know in the comments!