The average American family uses about 30 gallons a day for showering, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Installing a single high-efficiency showerhead could save the typical household 2,900 gallons and $70 annually, the EPA says. Add the savings from other high-efficiency fixtures such as bathroom faucets and toilets, multiply the total over several years, and the dollars pile up.
Here’s a quick look at how much water and money low-flow plumbing fixtures can save. The calculations are based on fixtures that meet the EPA’s WaterSense label criteria. This label can only be used on products that are at least 20 percent more water efficient than the average fixture in the same category.
Standard showerheads use about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Showerheads with the WaterSense label use 2 gpm or less. Showerheads carrying the WaterSense label must also have shown that they provide adequate pressure and flow for a satisfying shower. Earlier low-flow showerheads were often lacking, leaving consumers frustrated by the low-pressure.
Water-efficient showerheads also rack up savings in energy use. Each time someone showers, the water has to be heated. If you’re using less hot water, you reduce the demand on your water heater. With just one WaterSense showerhead, the average family will see a savings of 370 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, according to the EPA.
Homeowners can reap savings by using WaterSense bathroom faucets, too. These fixtures reduce water flow by 30 percent, but they don’t sacrifice performance. The EPA estimates that replacing standard faucets with efficient ones saves an average household 700 gallons each year. The agency says that if every home in the U.S. were to install WaterSense faucets, the annual savings would equal $1.2 billion in water and energy costs.
When it comes to household water use, the toilet takes the throne. Toilets are responsible for about 30 percent of a family’s indoor water use, the most of any single fixture. If you’re still using an old toilet, you could be flushing as much as 6 gallons of water down the drain with every use. The current federal standard for toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush, but the most efficient toilets use just 1.28 gallons. WaterSense toilets must pass performance and efficiency tests to earn certification. When old toilets are replaced by water-efficient ones, the EPA estimates the average family could see a yearly savings of $110 in water bills.
Showerheads, faucets and toilets are relatively inexpensive and simple upgrades, yet they can net you big savings. Simpson Plumbing can help you with any type of plumbing upgrade, from the simple to the complex. Contact us at (360) 834-5311 to learn more about low-flow plumbing fixtures.