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Six Plumbing Tips on How to Reduce Water and Energy Consumption

Posted 6th March 2019.

Modern buildings need a reliable water supply to operate properly. Our plumbing engineers deliver designs that ensure water is delivered with the right pressure and flow rate, regardless of building height.

Improved water efficiency not only reduces water bills, but also energy expenses – consider that water heating can represent a quarter of the energy consumed in a household. You can conserve water without sacrificing convenience by fixing leaky toilets, installing low-flow showerheads, and collecting rainwater for irrigation. In particular, toilets can account for almost a third of indoor water consumption in an average home.

1) Perform home inspections to find plumbing issues
Plumbing issues can be fixed all the more effectively and for a lower cost on the off chance that they are recognized ahead of schedule, rather than to have a Clogged pipe or a broken seal:
• Check sink, bath and shower hardware.
• Inspect exposed pipes below the sink.
• Inspect pipes in your basement and utility room.
• Check toilet leaks by using a few drops of food coloring in the tanks, and checking if the bowl water has changed color 10-15 minutes later. Also check the floor around the toilet, where leaking water could be a sign of a broken seal.
• Check outdoor faucets and hoses.
Once a leak is detected, get the affected pipes and fixtures fixed, or replaced if necessary. Fixing leaky faucets and plumbing joints can save up to 20 gallons per day for each leak.
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2) Use low-flow fixtures
Low-flow fixtures are a very effective water conservation measure, since you can replace existing fixtures without disturbing the plumbing installation.
• Low-flow showerheads reduce water consumption by over 30% compared with conventional showerheads.
• Low-flow faucets use up to 40% less water than normal faucets.
3) Water heaters play a key role in energy consumption
Since water conservation reduces the volume flowing through water heating systems, it can achieve significant energy savings.
• Replace old water heaters with newer and more energy efficient models.
• If using a tank-based water heater, make sure to keep it clean to maintain the performance and efficiency of the heater at optimal levels.
• By keeping your water heater at 120°F or lower, you can prevent scalding while reducing energy expenses – your heater keeps water warm with less energy.
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4) Check the supply hoses of your washing machine
Washing machines also consume large amounts of water, and leaks affecting them can have a significant impact on your water bills.
• Move the washing machine away from the wall and check the floor for signs of drips and leaks.
• Inspect the water supply hoses from end to end, checking for cracks or other signs of damage – rubber hoses deteriorate with age.
• Replace rubber hoses every five years, or as needed.
5) Develop efficient lawn and garden management practices
• Many property owners focus on indoor water conservation, while ignoring outdoor use. In properties with green areas, outdoor consumption can represent a large portion of the water bill.
• Apply a layer of mulch between 1” and 3” thick around trees and other plants, to reduce evaporation and the need for watering.
• Harvesting rainwater in barrels or other containers, and use it to maintain the landscape.
Irrigation normally represents the greatest consumption of water outdoors. However, some water is wasted due to overwatering, leaks and bad habits in general.

6) Don’t forget about drains

Drains do not affect water and energy consumption, but they are fundamental for the overall performance of the plumbing system. Water conservation and energy efficiency are great for a plumbing system, but it must also be well drained.

Conclusion
Water efficiency projects are often regarded as difficult or expensive by building owners, but actually it’s quite an achievable goal.

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