You have plenty of opportunities to save on water costs at home. You can fix leaks as soon as you find them, invest in energy-efficient washing machines and dishwashers, and change wasteful habits into more conservative ones. Another excellent option is to choose low flow fixtures for the faucets and showerheads around your home. Here’s why low flow is the way to go.
Low Flow 101
Currently, the federal maximum flow rate for new showerheads and faucets is 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). Low flow fixtures are much more efficient than this, allowing you to achieve 25 to 60 percent water savings. As an added plus, they are available at a very reasonable price, meaning the investment pays for itself in water savings very quickly.
Low Flow Faucets
The faucet’s screw-on tip, or aerator, determines the flow rate. Low flow kitchen faucets typically restrict flow to 2.2 gpm and bathroom faucets range from 0.5 to 1.5 gpm. Aerators are inexpensive and easy to replace. For the biggest difference in your water bills, choose an aerator with a flow rate no higher than 1 gpm. When shopping for a low flow replacement, bring the old one to the store with you to help you find the right fit.
Low Flow Showerheads
Showerheads achieve a flow rate under 2.5 gpm with one of two methods. First is aeration, which is when the showerhead mixes air with water, resulting in a misty spray that maintains ample pressure while consuming less water. The other option is laminar-flow, which creates individual streams of water.
Before 1992, showerheads had flow rates up to 5.5 gpm. You can test the flow rate of an old showerhead by placing a bucket under it. Turn on the shower to normal pressure and time how long it takes to fill the bucket. If the water reaches the one-gallon mark on the bucket in less than 20 seconds, you could benefit from a low flow installation.
For more information about choosing low flow faucets and showerheads, please contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing, serving Grand Traverse County and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about facets and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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