Practically everything you do in the bathroom uses water. Whether brushing your teeth, using the toilet, shaving, cleaning your body, or doing pretty much anything else in there, there are a number of things to keep your water use in the bathroom under control.
Your Toilet is Not a Trash Can
At a minimum of 1.5 gallons per flush (GPF), using your toilet as a trash can is not the best use of water. Additionally, flushing anything but toilet paper and human waste can lead to costly plumbing and sewer repairs.
Install a High–efficient Toilet
Toilets account for 25%-30% of a houses total water use. Older toilets can use up to 7 gallons of water per flush. Replacing a 3.5 GPF with a new 1.28 GPF high-efficiency toilet can save a family of four over 15,000 gallons of water per year. Not sure how much water your toilet uses see our hand guide here. Write Guide on GPF
Consider Installing a Waterless Urinal
While it might be extreme, if there are 3 males in your household, you could save 7000 gallons of water per year compared to using even a low-flow toilet. You’ll also be the envy of your friends for having such a novel bathroom fixture.
Spend Less Time in the Shower
The average American spends 8.2 minutes in the shower. With a shower head using 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) cutting just 1 minute off your shower will save just 1000 gallons of water per person per year. Try taking the 5 minute challenge and save money on water and energy used to heat the water.
Get a WaterSense Shower Head
Most people have 2.5 GPM shower heads. A WaterSense shower head must use less than 2 GPM. While reducing your water consumption by 4 gallons per day (based on 8 minute showers) doesn’t sound like a lot, if 1700 people did this, they would save enough water every year to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Plug the Sink When Shaving
We couldn’t find any statistical significance data on the average time it takes a man to shave his face, but we are going to estimate 4 minutes is a safe average. Based on a 4 minute shave a man can save 4.5 gallons per shave. If he shaves 5 times a week this would save over 1100 gallons of water per year and save a few dollars in heating water (since most people shave with warm or hot water).
Turn the Water Off When Brushing Teeth
The ADA recommends brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes per brushing. If you leave the water running during those 2 minutes, you would be wasting at least 3 gallons of water every time you brush your teeth. That’s 2200 gallons of wasted H2O a year.
Install a Point-of-use Water Heater in Powder Rooms
If you have a half bath, a point of use water heater installed under the sink can save 2-3 gallons every time it’s used. A point-of-use water heater provides nearly instant hot water and they are installed 1-2 feet from the faucet.
Take a Shower Not a Bath
Sure, scented bath bombs and candles are nice after a long day, but the average bath uses 35-50 gallons. Conversely, a 5 minute shower uses approximately 10-12 gallons of water. If you have to take a bath, plug the tub and adjust the temperature as the bath fills.
Install a Recirculating Pump
There are a few different types of recirculating pumps, but they all work with the same premise. Cold water in hot water lines get recirculated back to the water heater and reheated. This provides instant hot water when you turn the faucet on.
A Few More Ideas
For most of us, keeping up with hygiene is a very important part of our day. However, while washing and grooming ourselves is so important, using the above guide can help you save cash, water, and electricity. Still, the tips above aren’t comprehensive and there are always more ways to save water, such as:
- Put a bucket under the shower to collect cold water. Use the collected water for watering plants or your lawn.
- Check you toilet for leaks. (see instructions here) internal link to DIY
- Install aerators on the bathroom faucets.
- Turn off the water when lathering your hands
- Turn off the water when lathering your hair in the shower.
Conserving water does much to help the environment as well as lowering your monthly utility bills. With water being so important in the bathroom, using less water in there can make a huge impact on your overall water use. That being said, you may want to also share these tips with everyone in your home and make your water-saving benefits that much better.