General Indoor Tips
High efficiency kitchen faucet aerators use no more than 1.5 gallons per minute or less and can reduce the amount of water used to rinse dishes, prepare food, and wash hands. Check with your water retailer for programs that provide these at no cost to you. You probably won't even notice the difference.
Running the faucet while rinsing dishes for 10 minutes consumes between 15 and 30 gallons of water. Instead, before rinsing, put the sink stopper in place instead of running the water. This practice can save up to 25 gallons per rinsing event.
Keep Drinking Water Cool in Your Refrigerator
Running the faucet until the water is cool can use between 3 to 6 gallons of water per glass of drinking water. Instead, keep a container of drinking water cool in your refrigerator.
Defrost Food in the Refrigerator
Defrost food in the refrigerator or microwave oven instead of under running water.
Fill the Dishwasher
The dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether or not it is filled to capacity. Avoid water waste by ensuring that for each load, the dishwasher is completely filled.
Install High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs) that use 1.28 gallons per flush or Ultra High-Efficiency Toilets (uHETs) that use 0.8 gallons per flush. Your water retailers offer rebates for $80 for high-efficiency toilets installed in homes older than 1993.
Install low-flow shower heads that release less than 2.5 gallons per minute. Your water retailer frequently gives these away. Limit time in the shower with a shower timer (also frequently given away by water retailers).
Install low-flow aerators on all faucets. New aerators dispense 1.0 gallon per minute or less. Check with your water retailer for programs that provide these at no cost to you. You probably won't even notice the difference.
Teeth Brushing and Shaving
Keep faucet off while you are brushing and shaving until you're ready to rinse.
Don't Use the Toilet as a Wastebasket
Use the wastebasket instead of the toilet to dispose of tissues and other small articles of trash to save gallons of water that are otherwise wasted.
Consider Installing a Hot Water Recirculating Pump
A hot water recirculating pump enables the cold water in the hot water pipes to be continually returned to the water heater and reheated before the faucets, or showers, are turned on for use. When used in combination with a timer, hot water will only recirculate during specified times of the day and will reduce energy loss used to reheat the cold water in the hot water pipes.
Install a high-efficiency washing machine. Your water retailers offer rebates for $200 for high-efficiency washing machines with a water factor of 4.0 or less. Typically these machines use 50% less water and energy than standard machines.
Select Proper Water Level for Laundry Most clothes washers offer the ability to select the size for each load of laundry. Matching the load size will reduce the overall amount of water needed by the machine to get the job done.
Choose water-efficient Energy Star™ and WaterSense™-approved appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes washers.
To check your meter for leaks on your property, first make sure that all indoor and outdoor plumbing fixtures are turned off. Then check the meter and record the reading on the dial. Wait one hour. Then check the meter again and record another reading. If all indoor and outdoor plumbing fixtures have been turned off, the reading should not have changed. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak. Contact a plumber to help you locate the leak source.
To check leaks in toilets, drop a dye tab or food coloring in the tank. If the color seeps into the bowl, replace the flapper valve. Flush promptly when complete so that the dye tab does not color the toilet bowl or tank.
Replace defective washers on leaking faucets. These are often inexpensive and can stop (or prevent) leaks
Three Main Types of Toilet Leaks
- Defective Flapper (1 – 750 gallons per day) Is your toilet a victim of the "Phantom Flush," where the toilet refills itself without having been used? If the answer is yes, than your toilet has a defective flapper. Toilet flappers are constructed of rubber and often crack over time resulting in an uneven seal between the toilet tank and bowl. Toilet flappers are relatively inexpensive to repair and can be done in as little as 5 minutes.
- Broken Flow Master or Overflow (1 – 1,500 gallons per day) Broken floats and flow masters stop the toilet from setting at the right level post use causing water to run throughout the day. While floats and flow masters are inexpensive and easy fix, avoid future water waste by purchasing and installing a High Efficiency, or Ultra High Efficiency toilet.
- Unengaged Flapper (Up to 6,500 gallons per day) Do you ever have to "jiggle" the handle to stop the toilet from constantly running? Toilets refill at a rate of 4 to 4.5 gallons per minute. With 1,440 minutes in a day, this type of leak could easily reach 6,500 gallons per day, or 194,000 gallons per month. Avoid future water waste by purchasing and installing a High Efficiency, or Ultra High Efficiency Toilet.