The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that, “Each American uses an average of 88 gallons of water a day at home.” In a year, the average family wastes 9,400 gallons of water from household leaks. Fortunately, there are ways to increase the efficiency of your plumbing system and significantly cut water costs:
1. Centralize the system.
Centralizing the plumbing system can help minimize pipe runs and make repairs and remodeling easier. Doing this may qualify the expense for a tax credit if you’re building a LEED-certified home.
2. Install a home-run plumbing system.
This type of system is built with individual plumbing lines that run from a central manifold to each plumbing fixture or water-using appliance. A home-run plumbing system may help the system deliver hot water quicker and reduce the time spent waiting for hot water in the shower. Compared to traditionally piped systems, home-run plumbing systems provide greater efficiency and adaptability.
3.Invest in dual flush low-flow toilets.
You’ve likely seen them in commercial buildings and when traveling abroad. Dual-flush and low-flow toilets use more water when flushing solid waste, reducing the need to flush twice; they are much more efficient than standard models and can help decrease water costs by about $100 per year.
4. Install air-admittance valves (AAVs).
AAVs are one-way, pressure-activated mechanical vents that “eliminate the need for venting pipes through traditional penetrations” and help improve drainage. AAVs help reduce maintenance issues by reducing material use and the number of roof penetrations.
5. Switch to WaterSense labeled fixtures and Energy Star certified appliances.
According to the EPA, WaterSense labeled toilets are 20% more water-efficient than standard models and can help a family save 13,000 gallons of water and $130 in water costs per year. WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets and aerators can help a family save $250 in water and electricity costs over the faucet’s lifetime.
There are many ways to increase your plumbing system’s efficiency, but finding the right materials to purchase can be tricky. Reach out to the 4 Eco Services team for recommendations and help with installation.