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A growing number of homeowners are turning to green plumbing fixtures as a way of improving their home’s water efficiency. If you are interested in these types of additions to your home, it is important to understand what options are available on the market and the benefits that they provide for you and your house.
That’s why we’ve compiled the five most popular and beneficial green plumbing fixtures on the market today. Each of these fixtures can be added to your home in an afternoon and create an efficiency upgrade that can’t be ignored. So, let’s take a look at these essential plumbing items.
1. Pressure Reducing Valves
A good pressure reducing valve will reduce the strain on your pipes and help water flow easier in your home. It also helps prevent leaks, pipe damage, and wasted water. One of the biggest drains of plumbing efficiency is leaks. When pipes leak, water disappears from your system and is lost.
However, high pressure also causes more water to flow when you open the valve. This excessive water is wasteful. As a result, decreasing this flow with a pressure valve is an essential task.
They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. A skilled amateur could probably finish an installation of this green plumbing fixture in a few hours or so. All it requires is removing the old valve with a wrench and installing the new one by screwing down.
2. Low-Flow Shower Heads
Taking a shower is inherently efficient when compared to taking a bath. However, it is still a relatively inefficient use of water. In fact, the EPA estimates that about 17 percent of all residential water use is shower water. As a result, it is important to find a way to decrease the amount of water you use by streamlining the efficiency of the shower heads.
Thankfully, a variety of companies provides low-flow shower heads that automatically reduce the volume of water utilized in each shower. The amount of water savings they offer may be surprising. For example, a WaterSense shower head will flow at a rate of less than two gallons per minute.
This savings is a half-gallon decrease from non-efficient shower heads, providing an average of about five gallons saved per a 10-minute shower. In a home of multiple people, that is a significant amount of water to preserve. So, be well-informed before buying a shower head.
3. Low-Flush Toilets
Toilets are another major source of water waste that needs a green plumbing fixture to fix. For example, older and less efficient toilets use almost seven gallons every time that you flush! In a home of four people who go to the bathroom 3-4 times each every day, that is over 100 gallons of water flushed down the drain.
However, installing a WaterSense efficiency low flush toilet will cut that down to nearly one gallon. That is an 80 percent savings that will decrease your flushed water to just 20 gallons a day. While that is still a lot of water to use, it is the least possible amount you can use when flushing. Installing this green plumbing fixture is a crucial step towards preventing excess water waste caused by flushing a toilet.
4. Recirculating Hot Water Pumps
Many people think of green plumbing fixtures as items they add directly to their sink, faucet, or toilet. However, they come in many different styles. For example, hot water pumps are often secretly the most inefficient item in a house. That’s because they often flush excess hot water out of the system and decrease the efficiency of your heater.
That’s why it is important to install a recirculating hot water pump. These pumps recirculate the old hot water and store it in the tank. This old hot water keeps warm so that you can get hot water almost instantly.
As a result, there is also less waste caused by boiling water in the tank. Even better, this system is typically easy for the average person to install and often generate tax breaks on the state and local level. Talk to your local officials to see what breaks they have to offer when installing this item.
5. Efficiency Faucets
Last, but not least, on our list of green plumbing fixtures is efficiency faucets. These items can be installed on all of the faucets in your home in under an hour. They provide the incredible benefit of decreasing your water flow and boosting your efficiency.
It is estimated that a good WaterSense efficiency faucet can reduce a sink flow by more than 30 percent. That is an average decrease of 2.2 gallons per minute. That kind of energy boost is essential for homeowners who want green water fixtures they can trust.
Even better, you won’t lose any of the water flow that you expect from the faucet. As a result, you can get the water flow you need from the faucet without wasting excessive water. Installing these products throughout your home will only increase this benefit.
The Financial Benefits of These Fixtures
Beyond the increased efficiency offered by these fixtures is the financial benefits they offer. For example, green plumbing fixtures like these help you save money on your water bills. However, they also create the possibility of earning tax breaks.
Most states will reward people who add greener items to their home. Green plumbing fixtures are some of the most efficient of these articles. They can be added to just about any home and reward you with tax credits from your state of residence.
As you can see, these green plumbing fixtures provide your home with many diverse benefits. They are also typically quite easy to install and often don’t require professional help. However, if you can’t quite handle installation on your own, contact an experienced plumber.
With a professional’s help, you can get all of these green plumbing fixtures added to your home at a fair and reasonable price. Also, doing this will increase the effectiveness of the process, and it will provide you with a more coherent system that will last for decades.