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Typically, the first step to limiting your water use or living a more sustainable life is to invest in a low-flow showerhead. What makes a showerhead low-flow is the amount of water that it expels per minute. The average shower head releases anywhere from 3 to 8 gallons per minute, while a low-flow one uses as little as 1.5 gallons per minute.
We've all seen the bit on the hit comedy, "Seinfeld," where everyone in Jerry's building has flat hair because the new low-flow shower heads don't provide enough water pressure to wash away their shampoo. Many people are under the impression that investing in a shower head like this will have a negative effect on their water pressure. While this may have been true back when that episode aired in the '90s, that isn't the case anymore. Here's what you should know about modern low-flow showerheads and water pressure.
Aerating vs. non-aerating
There are two types of low-flow showerheads, both of which make a point to ensure that users get to enjoy ample water pressure. These are aerating and non-aerating. Aerating showerheads expel a mix of water and air, so the flow of water stays constant. Non-aerating showerheads maintain their pressure with pulses. However, while the pressure stays constant in aerating showerheads, the water temperature can be affected, dropping the temperature between 5 and 15 degrees, so it may not be the best choice for people who like a hot, steamy shower.
Test it before committing
Most showerheads have multiple settings, some of which offer more pressure than others. If you're not sure if your shower head is low-flow or not, you hold a 1-gallon bucket beneath your showerhead, turn the faucets to the setting you would normally use, and see how long it takes to fill up the bucket. If it takes fewer than 24 seconds, it's not low-flow. If you purchase a new shower head that is low-flow, but it doesn't seem to have the pressure you desire, chances are simply changing the setting to a stronger stream will be all it takes for a satisfactory flow.
There is a host of ways to conserve water in your home or business. Low-flow showerheads play an important role and with today’s modern, well-engineered low-flow showerheads, you won’t sacrifice comfort or quality when taking a shower.
A clogged drain is a real hassle, whether it's in the kitchen or the bathroom. If you want to keep using your plumbing as usual, that clog has got to go. However, you may not want to have harsh chemical drain cleaners in your home. Children and pets may get into them and present a serious hazard. But you may also want to minimize the amount of chemicals you put into the environment via the water supply cycle. If that's the case, follow these tips to learn how to unblock drains the eco-friendly way!
Try using a plunger first
Using the proper kind of plunger for your drain - and yes, there are plungers that are appropriate to use on a sink. They are usually red rubber and have a shallow suction cup. Plunging the drain may be all you need to do. The suction could force the clog away, leaving you with a clear drain.
Turn to baking soda
After the plunger method, your drain may not be totally clear. If this is the case, pour a cup of baking soda down it and then 3 cups of boiling water. This can resolve clogs nicely, but if it doesn't, there are still other tricks to try.
Vinegar and baking soda may bring elementary school science projects to mind, but in reality, they make a great combination for cleaning drains. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, and then half a cup of white vinegar. You can also heat the vinegar first or follow up the combination with boiling water if it's a really stubborn clog. Some homeowners also swear by adding just a little lemon juice to the mix.
One note: Don't turn to a chemical drain cleaner after you use this method - there could be adverse reactions within your pipes when you mix all these items together. Instead, if your drain still isn't clear, call a plumber or use safe drain clean products from Roto-Rooter.
One of the best ways to save water in the home is to switch to green plumbing appliances. In the past few years, a wide variety of sustainable fixtures have become available, including water-saving showerheads.
Most of the mainstream eco showerheads on the market are low-flow fixtures that are intended to reduce water consumption levels. For environmentally-conscious consumers, the appeal is fairly self-evident. Likewise, property owners interested in cutting back on their water bill have some financial incentive to install an eco showerhead.
But for many consumers, the immediate reaction to thee devices is skepticism. For one thing, do they actually save that much water? More importantly, will they get me clean as quickly as an ordinary showerhead?
Let's take a look:
How they work
There is a variety of eco showerheads on the market that all claim to reduce total water consumption and cut back on utility bills without sacrificing shower pressure, one model of eco showerhead known as the EcoCamel Jetstorm "injects air directly into the water stream." Despite the fact that it dispels approximately 2 gallons per minute (which is well below the maximum allowable GPM of 2.5), the inclusion air propulsion is intended to keep the shower feeling like it delivers a full-force stream that'll clean you off.
A competing alternative to the EcoCamel is the PulseEco. As implied in the name, the PulseEco saves water by pulsating 30 to 40 times per second. Supposedly, this uses half the amount of water a regular shower would, but the pulsing is fast enough that there is no discernable difference in pressure.
It's worth noting that even with the 2.5 GPM cap in place, many homeowners and tenants continue to use older showerheads that may have been installed long before they actually moved in. The GPM of these older fixtures may be closer to 3. If they were manufactured in the early to mid 1990s, this number can jump up to 5 GPMs.
Most eco-friendly showers are designed to deliver more than enough water pressure to get you clean. However, some customers who have reviewed low-flow showerheads have made claims that they do not work well at all in home that have relatively weak water pressure. In these cases, it's advisable to try to save water in other ways, such as taking shorter showers and turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave.
However, if you're determined to enjoy a long, relaxing shower experience but without the waste, and you just can't seem find a showerhead suited to your water pressures, contact your local Austin Roto-Rooter plumbing professional. There could be a reason for why your home's water pressure is weak. Our experts will be able to identify the cause and provide guidance for next steps.
Our earth has limited resources, and we must all do everything in our power to preserve them. It doesn't matter if you're 4 or 40 years old, there are many meaningful steps you can take to protect the environment. Here are a few water conservation tips for kids.
Turn off the tap
It is great if your little ones are excited to brush their teeth every night, but make sure they are turning off the tap water when they do so and not leave it running. It may not seem like a lot of water is being wasted during this time, but even little steps can go a long way. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if you turn off the water while brushing your teeth in the morning and at night, you can save up to 8 gallons of water a day! That comes out to about 200 gallons a month. Smart little steps like this add up quickly and are an important part of a household water conservation plan.
Wash the dishes correctly
Odds are your kids have a list of chores to do each day, one of those being doing the dishes. Make sure they're not wasting any water while scrubbing those dirty plates. Instead of letting the tap run, scrape the excess food into the garbage can first so your washing doesn't have to be so vigorous. If the food is stuck, fill the plate, pot or pan up with warm water, and let it soak for a couple of minutes. The hot water should soften the food and make it easier to clean.
Shower, don't take a bath
Although your kids might be used to taking baths, bathing uses up to 70 gallons of water. A shower, on the other hand, only uses about 10 to 15 gallons. Do what's best for the environment, and opt for a shower for your little ones to save water.
Whether you're a five-star chef or just a fan of instant mashed potatoes, you probably use a lot of water when you're in the kitchen. Water is absolutely essential in cooking and cleaning, but a lot of people aren't mindful of how much they use on a regular basis. Not only can water conservation lower your monthly bill, it can also help the environment.
So, what can you do to more efficiently use your water while in the kitchen?
One of the biggest wastes of water in the kitchen has to do with a tap running straight down the drain. There are a variety of reasons as to why people do this, and pretty much all of them can be avoided. If you like to wash your vegetables when you get them home from the store, you may want to simply put water in a bowl and reuse for each piece of produce. You'll be surprised how little water you actually need.
Another major reason people run the tap is to get the water up to temperature. While this is simply a reality of the situation, that water you use while the tap heats up doesn't have to go to waste. Use this time to fill up a pitcher that you can then use to water your plants or give to your pets once it cools down.
Washing dishes is by far the biggest water waster in the entire kitchen. Once more, it's not actually your dishwasher that's doing most of the damage. In fact, washing by hand is way less efficient than letting the machine do it. Washing your dishes by hand can end up using roughly 27 gallons of water. Relying on an energy-efficient dishwasher, on the other hand, will only require about 3 gallons. On top of this, make sure to only run the dishwasher when it's completely full.
That said, certain items simply cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher and therefore must be washed in the sink. If and when this happens to you, do your best to only use a few inches of water. Unless you're cleaning a large bowl or pot, you most likely won't need much more than this. What's more, avoid running the tap while you wash. A quick spritz at the end to get the suds off will do just fine.
While not a huge deal at first, leaky faucets can lead to a lot of waste if you let matters get out of hand. A tap that drips once per second will end up expelling more than 3,000 gallons of water every single year. Of course, having a leaky faucet for an entire year would probably drive you mad to begin with, but even a few months of dripping water can end up wasting more than you need to.
If your water bill is getting out of control or your leak just won’t stop contact your local Roto Rooter professional today.
In order to conserve resources and take care of the Earth, businesses and homeowners alike have made efforts to go green and be more environmentally friendly. However, some are certainly making a bigger impact than others. Kingwood and other cities across the nation can learn from these efforts to pursue green initiatives. An easy way to do this is to make your plumbing more environmentally friendly.
Before going all-out for green fixtures, it's important to understand what you currently have. A simple water leak may be costing you money in the long run, and fixing this issue may go a long way toward being more eco-friendly. The average household can leak up to 10,000 gallons every year, amounting to 1 trillion gallons nationwide. Leaking valves, dripping faucets and worn toilet flappers are all common culprits in these situations, and they can be easily fixed without having to tear out or replace the entire fixture.
Traditional toilets and shower heads waste a significant amount of water. 27 percent of the water consumed in a home is used by toilets, with some older models utilizing 7 gallons per flush. Homes would benefit from replacing these toilets with low-flow ones, which use about 2 gallons per flush. Similarly, low-flow shower heads reduce water consumption from 5 to 8 gallons per minute to 2.5 gallons or fewer, while still delivering optimal shower pressure. These models have significantly improved over time to provide a positive experience, save money and conserve natural resources.
If you chose to install a low-flow shower heads, you will be saving money in two ways. First, the amount of water you use while showering and second, the amount of energy you are using to heat up the water for your steamy shower.
Homeowners have the option of being more eco-friendly by using alternate sources of water, like rainwater runoff, for irrigation, flushing toilets and washing cars. This is a creative way to use natural resources and save in the long run. Greywater from baths, washing machines and showers can also be reused for these purposes. Although you wouldn't want to drink this water, it will be beneficial for making that garden grow without having to pump out water from the hose.
Water is one of our most precious resources, and by making plumbing more environmentally friendly, homeowners can help conserve it. For a consultation with your area plumbing expert, call Roto-Rooter to determine what other ways you can go green with your plumbing.
Water efficiency is extremely important but the people of Brooklyn already know that. Not only does cutting down on water use help you lower your monthly bill, it also lets you contribute toward a greener Earth. So what can you do to conserve water in the bathroom?
By far, the least efficient part of the bathroom is the shower. Although there really isn't anything like hopping into a long, hot shower after a tough day, these water dispensers are incredibly inefficient. Basically, the problem stems from how people use them. Most homeowners turn the shower on and sit outside, waiting for the water to warm up. Actions like this end up wasting quite a lot of water.
In fact, researchers at Berkeley discovered that, during the course of the average shower, around 30 percent ends up getting wasted.
So, if you want to cut down on your water bill, try taking shorter showers or less water pressure. If you're really dedicated, you should attempt turning the shower on to wet yourself, turning it off to soap up and then turning it on again to rinse.
Another problem a lot of people have in the bathroom is forgetting to turn off the sink after they wet their toothbrush. This is especially true if you're one of the people that gets bored while brushing and likes to walk around their house. Do yourself and the environment a favor and turn off that faucet before you get to wandering.
There's a misconception floating around that not flushing every time you use the toilet is unsanitary. While this may be true of bowel movements, avoiding a flush after urinating is actually a solid way to save water in your house. In fact, too much flushing can actually spread bacteria. Flushing can give bacteria enough momentum to get out of the toilet.
So, if you're really looking to save water, just let that yellow mellow. It's not hurting anybody, and you'll end up with a smaller water bill.
For more water conservation help, contact your Pasadena Roto-Rooter today!
Conserving water is always important, especially in the midst of a drought.
Because of this, every Texan should make an effort to reduce water use. Here are some tips that can help any homeowner in Sugar Land, Texas, reduce water use in the kitchen.
Don't let the water run
When you're washing dishes, you likely let the water run for a while to heat up. Most people prefer to wash their dishes in hot water because it melts grease and loosens up the bits of oatmeal stuck to the side of the bowl. But watching the cold water run down the drain is a waste.
Instead of discarding the cold water, consider capturing it to perform other tasks. Set it aside for later when you need water to boil pasta, or put it directly into your water pitcher. Save Water America noted that this will also reduce the time you let the tap run when you're thirsty for a cold glass of water.
If you find yourself waiting for long periods of time for the water to get warm, you may want to invest in a recirculating pump. These handy devices can be easily installed by your local plumber and are located under your kitchen sink, and there are two different types. One will push any cold water back to the water heater, and will only dispense water at the proper temperature. That means that the cold water never even leaves the tap. The second type will always have hot water at the ready.
You already know that water has many uses. But have you considered using the same water for multiple uses? Once you're done washing the dishes, you probably don't want to use it to cook dinner, but you can certainly use it as an alternative to highly toxic insecticides by creating an insecticidal soap spray.
Making one-pot meals will cut down on the number of dishes you need to wash after dinner. Plus, you can boil multiple things together to save water, rather than using multiple pots and excess water to prepare your dinner. For instance, if you are making a pasta primavera, begin with the amount of water you need for the noodles. Then add the vegetables and strain them together. Just be sure to capture that water for later use – you can soak dishes in it or use it to water your lawn.
Conserving water is just the beginning of making your kitchen the best room in your home. Check out some more of our tips to keep your kitchen spick and span and smelling good.
Five Easy Ways for Californians to Cut Water Usage
By Paul Abrams
California recently put into effect statewide mandatory conservation steps that established a goal of cutting water usage by 25%. That may sound difficult, and for households already in water conservation mode, it might be. However, for a typical residential home, there are many ways to cut water usage that make a big difference but which are barely noticeable to the residents themselves. Roto-Rooter’s ROTOGreen program makes it easy for homeowners to cut water usage. And for the DIY crowd, many of these steps can be fully implemented without the aid of a plumber. Here are five simple areas where you can cut water usage.
Take showers instead of baths. The average shower uses one-third as much water as a bath. Limit showers to 6 minutes or less and replace your old showerhead with a low flow model. We’re partial to the Niagara water saving showerhead. It uses only 1.5 gallons of water per minute – a savings of 1 to 4 GPM over conventional showerheads. The best part? This showerhead is so well engineered, you won’t believe you’re using a low-flow showerhead at all.
Don’t let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. Replace your old faucet 3.5 gallons per minute faucet with an efficient news one that only spews out 1.5 GPM. We know that fancy new faucets are expensive so if you like your old faucet, you can replace the aerator on it that will restrict flow to 1.5 GPM or even all the way down to 0.5 GPM.
The newest ultra-efficient toilets use only 1.28 gallons per flush. Toilets made after 1993 use only 1.6 GPF but toilets older than that waste at least 3.5 gallons with every flush. You can spend a lot of money replacing old toilets or you can remove the guts of your toilet tank and replace them with a new dual-flush converter that will cut your water usage down to 0.8 GPF for liquid waste and 1.6 GPF for solid waste. Home Depot and Lowes carry these converter kits and they have easy to follow instructions. Still too complicated and expensive? Find a brick and gently place it inside your toilet tank. The brick will displace up to a half gallon of water and so you’ll get the same flush power but use less water.
Laundry – If you have an old style top loading washing machine, only wash full loads. And if your laundry load is small, be sure to adjust the setting on the machine so that it doesn’t fill the machine with enough water to wash a full load. If you have a new style front load water efficient machine, it should weigh the load and use only the water it needs to get it clean but make sure your settings are optimal.
Finally, the single biggest source of water waste is leaks. Almost every home has at least one water leak someplace. Fix those leaks and you’ll see an immediate cut in household water usage. You can see faucet drips but toilet leaks can be stealthy and hard to detect. If you notice a ripple of water in the bowl, that’s a water leak. Most toilet leaks can be fixed by replacing the toilet’s flapper valve. Watch this video for step-by-step instructions for changing a flapper valve.
If you're looking for an easy way to go green at home, consider installing low-flow fixtures. Low-flow fixtures – including toilets, faucets, shower heads, and more – help conserve water by reducing your usage by 30-50% often without sacrificing quality or power. According to the National Resources Defense Council, low-flow fixtures include toilets that provide 1.6 gallons per flush or less, faucets that provide 2.5 gallons per minute or less, and shower heads that provide 2.5 gallons per minute or less.
Because low-flow fixtures conserve water, they can result in lower utility bills. Here are a few tips on installing low-flow fixtures:
Choose wisely. There are many low-flow options on the market today, but some are better than others. Look for low-flow fixtures with the WaterSense label, as these are certified by a government-run program. They're even more efficient than standard low-flow fixtures, and many states offer rebates for purchasing these products.
Replace parts, not the whole. If you can't afford a brand-new low-flow toilet or faucet right now, you can still create an eco-friendly home. Simply replace certain parts of the toilet or faucet you have right now – for example, the flapper valve, fill valve, or the aerator. You can still save a substantial amount of money in utility costs without the upfront investment, since valves and aerators have a relatively low cost.
Convert your toilet. Along the same lines, if you don't want to replace your entire toilet, it's not too difficult to convert your toilet to dual-flush technology. Since these water-saving, two-button toilets use up to 70% less water thanks to a quick flush option for liquids and paper, they can save a family of four up to 15,000 gallons of water per year!
Know when to call in a professional. Call your local plumber if you're wanting to do a major toilet, tub spigot, or bidet upgrade. But if you're just looking to replace parts and you're handy with a few tools, installing the low-flow fixtures should be fairly simple.
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