It’s important for California homeowners to be proactive about saving water, particularly during times of drought. By taking a few simple measures, you can minimize the amount of water that’s wasted in your home.
One of the most common ways people waste water in their homes is by waiting for hot water to reach a faucet or shower—in many homes this can take up to one minute, which means countless gallons are lost down the drain. One way to prevent this is to install a hot water recirculation pump. Activated by an on-demand motion sensor, the pump “recirculates” the standing water in the hot water line, rerouting it through the cold water line and returning it to the water heater to be used at a later time. At the same time, the pump pulls hot water directly from the water heater to the faucet or shower. Besides saving water, a hot water recirculation pump saves time by providing hot water to the point of use.
While a hot water recirculation pump can reduce the amount of water that goes down the drain, there are also ways to reduce the amount that comes out of the spout. An easy and inexpensive way to do this is to replace your faucet aerators and shower heads with low-flow models, each of which can save up to one gallon per minute during use. In the past, low-flow fixtures were criticized for their weak pressure, but today’s designs offer a comparable level of comfort to that of conventional faucets and shower heads.
Another way to reduce your home’s water usage is to repair leaky fixtures. It goes without saying that a dripping faucet wastes water, but few homeowners realize the sheer volume that actually gets lost down the drain. An average slow-dripping faucet can waste more than 25 gallons a day, which amounts to more than 9,000 gallons over the course of a year. To determine the long-term effects of a leaky fixture in your home, purchase a drip gauge from your local hardware store.