How to Save Water in the Bathroom
- Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face. You’ll save between three and five gallons of water each minute your faucet is turned off.
- If someone in your family likes to shave with water running in the basin, they probably use at least one gallon per minute, most of it wasted. A stoppered basin needs one-half gallon or so of water for adequate razor rinsing.
- Little leaks add up in a hurry! A faucet drip or invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute comes to 15 gallons a day. That’s 105 gallons a week or 5,460 wasted gallons of water a year.
- Obtain showerheads, faucet aerators and toilet flappers to help you
use water efficiently
- Stop using the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Some people flush away tissues and other bits of trash in the toilet. Using a wastebasket will save all those gallons of water that otherwise go wastefully down the drain.
- Most toilets installed before 1980 use 5-7 gallons of water per flush. Toilets installed between 1980 and 1993 use 3.5 gallons per flush. Toilets installed since 1994 use 1.6 gallons. If you are considering replacing your toilet, the Town of Cary will provide a rebate to residential and business water customers who replace older toilets that use 3.5 gallons or more per flush with a WaterSense-certified high efficiency toilet (HET) that use 1.28 gallons per flush. The Toilet Training Tutorial has tips on fixing leaky toilets as well as a schedule of repair demonstrations.
- Recycle and save water at the same time! Fill a plastic, quart-sized milk container with water and put it in your pre-1994 toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanism. The jug can displace 10 gallons or more of water a day. We do not recommend you use a brick to displace the water. Bricks eventually disintegrate in water and can jam plumbing lines. Also be careful not to place the bottles where they will jam the flushing mechanism, and make sure you don’t displace so much water that you have to double-flush. Double flushing wastes more water than you would save.
- Does your toilet ever make noises when it is not in use? A toilet with even a small leak can greatly increase your water bill. To check your toilet for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank, wait 10 minutes. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak, which should be repaired immediately.
- How long should the parts in your toilet tank last? It depends. Replaceable parts such as flappers and washers or seals inside the refill valve may last several years. However, factors such as water treatment processes, toilet bowl cleaners, and high water pressure can cause parts to disintegrate much sooner. If you touch the flapper and get black "goo" on your hands, the flapper needs to be replaced.
- For more information on toilets and toilet repairs, visit the following website: http://www.toiletology.com/
- A typical bath takes about 40 gallons of water. Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only 1/3 full. Remember to plug the tub before turning on water; that initial burst of cold water will be warmed later by adding hot water.
- Limit the length of your shower to 5 minutes or less. Reducing showering time by 1 minute can save 1,000 gallons of water a year.
- Check your showerhead. If your showerhead uses 3 or more gallons of water per minute, it is a prime candidate for replacement. A showerhead designed with conservation in mind will flow at a rate of 2.5 or less gallons per minute. These showerheads may be stingy with water, but they can still feel luxurious. In fact, the most advanced showerheads on the market—the ones that offer pulsating massages and precisely controlled temperatures—usually are low-flow nozzles.
- If you can bathe your whole body with a showerhead that uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute, why use up to 7 gallons just to wash your hands in the sink? Unless you’ve installed inexpensive faucet aerators in your bathroom and kitchen taps, that’s what you are doing. An aerator that supplies 2.5 gallons per minute should be fine in the kitchen. In the bathroom, a 1-gallon-per-minute aerator will provide plenty of water to brush your teeth, wash your hands or fill a glass for drinking.
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