Conserving water & Saving your wallet
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Do we think about how much water we use in a day and then times that by 365 days: to see how much water we use in a year?  No. We all think about saving water and that is where it stops for the most part. Some maybe thinking well, I have cut down on the water when taking a shower, which is a good start. Conservation of the water is important for the Earth.  No, this won’t be a long lecture of how we are using up the water supply so our future children will have someday have water.   A&L Plumbing just wants to give some advice on how to use less water when it is not needed and/or even how to reuse it.

Let’s start with talking about that shower. Everyone takes some sort of shower or bath, so everyone is using water. Keeping your shower time down to a minimum is best when conserving.  Depending on which type of shower head you have and even when your house is built can depend on how many gallons are used during your shower.

  • For example if your shower is 10 minutes long and you have an older shower head (which puts out about 5 gallons per minute, some other faucets have more), you would be using close to 50 gallons of water just in one shower (10 x 5=50).  So that 50 gallons per day times 365 days in a year can be 18,200 plus  gallons of water and that is just your shower, WHOA!, and that isn’t even including the wait time to get the shower to the right temperature or anyone else’s. New shower heads cut those gallons almost in half and A&L can install the right one for your home.  

Consider getting a new shower head and then trying to limit your time in the shower.  If you have a lower water pressure, try cleaning your shower head and see if that will help. It could be as simple of some calcium building up.  It may not solve the issue, and you may need to call us!

Next we can discuss laundry and that rinse cycle. Yes, having energy efficient appliances will greatly reduce energy and help to preserve water, but that may not be enough. Try these tips. If your washer has a quick cycle, use that. That is designed for smaller loads (not quite a full load, but not 1 article of clothing) and will not use a lot of water because there is no need for an extra rinse cycle. If you don’t have that option, then when doing laundry, try to make a complete full load before running the washer. Personally, I run everything on a cold cycle, so we aren’t using the hot water heater too, but use the hot when running sheets and towels.  For the towels and sheets, try not to have an extra rinse, unless you have heavily soiled items, this will also help.

When doing the dishes try to turn off the water in between scrubbing and rinsing. Some dishwashers say that you don’t have to rinse off your dishes before running, but if you don’t run it every day it can be harder to get that stuck on food off and may clog the drain, and sometimes you’ll even have to wash them again. I like to rinse off the dishes as we only run our dishwasher once a week, but doing so, I fill the one side of my sink with soapy water and then scrub a bit and then load them into the dishwasher. We talked about energy efficient washers and this also applies to the dishwasher. Some dishwashers have small cycles (like 1 hour wash or a top rack only) which use less water and can be effective if you don’t have tons of dishes for the dishwasher. Overall it is best to run the dishwasher when it is full to maximize the water usage. Something else that we didn’t mention is sometimes running your appliances at night time can help reduce your water /energy bill because you are not using the “peak” hours.

This year we have tons of snow on the ground and when all of it melts it will be saturated into the grass and will create mud. **Storing some of the snow in a large container and creating a system that uses the rain water from the gutters and installing a spout for a hose to hook up to can be helpful when trying to preserve water**. You can use this water for the garden, your kids slip and slide, or anything else but drinking water.

In conclusion, by doing these small tips from us, you can save some water and eventually save some of your money on that water bill.  We also, have found that even a simple faucet leak can be another source of where your money is going to, so check your faucets to see if your money is going down the drain. There are many other ways to save on your water consumption like toilet tanks, checking your faucets (as listed above), and changing your outdoor habits, but this is a small list for us to share to get you started and thinking about it.  A&L Plumbing is your local plumbing company and can help you with your water problems.


** This is not my original idea and the process of making this system can be found on Pintrest or the internet (type in rain water collection), we just think it was just a good use of all that excess water!

From the Glossary
Building Envelope

The elements of a building which enclosed conditioned spaces through which thermal energy is capable of being transferred to or from the exterior or to or from spaces exempt by the provisions in Section 101.2.1.

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