Is saving water really that important? Short answer: yes. Long answer: Yes, because not only is water conservation an environmentally-friendly practice, but it will also save you money!
The truth is, water is a precious resource, and unfortunately, less than 1% of fresh water is available for human use. This is why it’s important to learn how to save water in the bathroom (one of the most common places for water use), as well as other areas in your home.
Here are some water-saving tips to help you manage your water consumption in both the short and long term.
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Use A Water Meter
One of the easiest ways to both save water and manage water usage in your home is to invest in a water meter (if your home doesn’t have one already). This will automatically measure the volume of water used, and keep you informed on how much water your residential property typically goes through in a day, week, or month timeframe.
Locate Your Water Meter
Typically, your water meter is located somewhere near the front of your property or the curb. (It should be somewhere in direct line with your outside faucet). For some homes, it will be in an electrical box and/or a concrete box and accurately labeled with the words “meter” or “water.”
To take a closer look at your water meter, you will need to remove the lid with a screwdriver (carefully!). Take caution when you are opening your water meter as you don’t want to crack the lid.
Check Your Water Meter
In order to determine how much water you are using, be sure to understand how your city or local area measures water consumption. Many cities measure water in cubic feet (with one cubic foot being equal to about 7.5 gallons of water). Your charges will be based on the number of units (in cubic feet) used during your most recent billing cycle.
Read Your Water Meter
When you check your meter, you will look at the numbers (not the arrow, as that is only used for testing purposes). The numbers will show how many units were used. You’ll want to remove the last two numbers to get an accurate reading.
Using (and checking!) your water meter is a great first step because it can inform you about your water consumption and potential changes to make.
Lower Your Hot Water Usage in the Bathroom
Once you’ve used your water meter to determine your overall water usage, your next best step, especially with respect to how to save water in the bathroom, is to lower your hot water usage. This is one of the biggest energy usages in the home, so it pays to manage it well.
How can you do that? First off, consider upgrading to a hybrid model. The best hybrid water heaters will produce hot water with the lowest amount of energy.
You can also lower hot water usage by adjusting routines. One of the easiest ways, especially in the bathroom, is to opt for short showers rather than long baths.
However, if you prefer baths, one of the best tips is to stop waiting for the ‘perfect’ temperature! Instead of letting the water run (especially a bath!), plug the drain with a stopper and adjust the temperature as you go.
While you’re at it, check the thermostat on your water heater. If this is set too high, you’ll use extra energy maintaining that temp in the tank.
You’ll also want to think about timing your shower or bath with respect to what you have going on. This way you aren’t running water and then getting distracted or busy, leaving it on for longer than you should.
You can also install a water heater timer switch, which will manage when hot water is produced and also conserve energy while you’re away on vacation.
Also, don’t run a bath while you also have the washing machine or dishwasher running. Another way to save hot water is by only filling up the bath halfway. This can also prevent unnecessary usage.
Install Low Flow Fixtures
Low-flow fixtures (also known as water-saving fixtures) reduce the overall volume of water going through. For the shower, a low flow showerhead can reduce water pressure by up to even 50%!
If you’re not sure whether you need to install a new low flow showerhead or not, here is a quick checklist:
- Place a one-gallon bucket or bowl underneath your shower head at the bottom of the shower.
- Turn on your shower normally (to the normal water pressure).
- Count how many seconds it takes to fill the bowl or bucket.
Typically, if it takes less than 15-20 seconds to fill the bucket or bowl (depending on the size, of course – one gallon is ideal!), it may be beneficial to switch to a low flow shower head such as Speakman.
Examine Your Toilets
Your toilet can be another huge water-waster in your bathroom! Toilets use a large water supply as well as high water pressure, and if you have older toilets in your home, you may be wasting even more water than you realize!
In fact, one of the biggest plumbing mistakes is not taking care of and checking in on your toilet, especially when it comes to your overall water supply and use!
First, be sure that you don’t have any toilet leaks in your toilet tank, supply line, or along the base where your toilet meets the floor/wall. These should be addressed immediately.
If you don’t have any toilet leaks, consider investing in a new toilet. Some options are dual flush toilets which allow for different amounts of water pressure depending on the bathroom visit. You can also consider a tankless toilet or rimless option, which are arguably more water-efficient and ergonomic in design.
Update Your Faucets
Another way to save water in the bathroom is to update your faucets (especially if they haven’t been updated in many years!).
On all faucets, the screw-top—called the faucet aerator—is the part that determines the faucet’s water flow. One of the cheapest water conservation tips is to update the faucet aerators! These are very inexpensive but do a lot when it comes to reducing the water pressure and preventing a leaky faucet.
It’s best to purchase aerators with less than a 1.0 GPM (gallons per minute) flow rate to get the maximum benefits. Consider adding a 720-degree universal splash filter that has an aerator, as well as additional cool features.
This isn’t limited to saving water only in the bathroom! You can also add a high-pressure faucet in your kitchen as well. It will boost output and use less water. (This is another spot where water gets used a lot.)
Replace And Fix Leaks
If you’re looking for how to save water in the bathroom, a no-brainer is to fix toilet leaks, check on inefficient or clogged sink drains, and replace leaky faucets, (both inside and outside of your home!), as leaks not only create water waste but can be potentially dangerous, too!
If gone undetected, leaks in your plumbing may cause your water bill to rise exponentially. If you notice an unusually high water bill, yet no visible leaks, take steps to ensure you don’t have a slab leak.
How To Save Water In The Bathroom
Saving water in your bathroom doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact, you can save water and be more eco-friendly by simply taking a shorter shower, mixing cold water with warm water rather than solely using hot water in baths or showers, or reducing your overall water waste.
For other water conservation tips, check out this video on how to save water in the bathroom:
FAQ’s for Saving Water in the Bathroom
Here are a few other, general questions when it comes to water conservation in your bathroom and other areas of your home.
How can we save water in the bathroom?
Try to lower your water bill by shortening your shower time, honoring World Water Day (where you try to use little to no water at all!), or taking the cold water from initially turning on your bath/shower and reusing it somewhere else (like for a garden or planter).
How can we save water in the bathroom and kitchen?
Try to conserve drinking water in both the kitchen and bathroom. You can also prioritize water efficiency when looking to purchase kitchen appliances, such as a dishwasher.
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