Saving Water in Your Home

Saving water in your home is a step towards water conservation that is both good for the planet and your pocket. This page will give you a few tips on how to preserve this precious resource.

Water can be saved by buying more energy efficient products like efficient showerheads taps/faucets, and more efficient appliances like water efficient dishwashers and washing machines.

Generally in today's market manufacturers will give an energy efficiency star or label rating with their appliances to enable better choice by the customer. So simply by buying energy efficient products you will save money in your home power usage (electricity bills) and general water consumption.

Typically the bathroom in most houses will use around 50% of the water in your home, and around 20% of that water will be flushed down the toilet - not so great when you think about it.


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Baths

Having a bath will use far more water than taking a shower so here are a few tips on saving water when you have a bath.

  • When filling a bath only use as much water as needed for an adult, and less for children and pets
  • Make sure that you have the right water temperature when filling the bath to the required level so you do not have to add extra water cold water after
  • Used water from the bath can be used to water the garden if the soap or detergent is not harmful to plants ,or even use the water to clean your car
  • Check that your bath has a well fitting plug to prevent any leaks

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Showers

We all love taking a shower because the feeling is so refreshing. However, the water consumption with some new and old showerheads far exceeds that of the new energy efficient showerheads.

For example; showerheads with a three star rating use no more than 9 litres of water per minute therefore saving water, whereas some old and new showerheads can use up to 20 litres per minute.

  • Replace showerheads with an energy efficient rating of three star or higher
  • Reduce your showering time
  • Install a shower thermostatic mixing valve
  • Make sure that all hot pipes are well insulated
  • Use a localized instantaneous hot water heater if shower is located far from the hot water storage cylinder
  • Alternatively, catch cold water in a bucket while waiting for the shower water to get hot, this water can be used to flush toilet or used in garden etc

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Wash Basins

As a general rule for saving water do not have taps/faucets running unnecessarily, a running tap/faucet can use about 16 litres of water per minute.

  • Do not leave water running when brushing your teeth
  • Use a glass or beaker of water to rinse out your mouth

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Toilets

Many new WC cisterns have a dual flush action, a half flush and a full flush. Some new toilet cisterns use about 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush saving water.

If you have an older toilet cistern with only one flushing action, i.e, a full flush, and cannot afford to replace it. By placing a house brick inside the cistern you will greatly reduce the flushing volume of water as some of the older cisterns can use up to 9 litres of water in a flush. When it comes to saving water 9, 7.5 or even 6 litres is far to much water to use to flush a residential toilet.

Make sure that the toilet is not losing water via the overflow route which could be through an external discharge pipe due to the inlet valve not closing off. Or, an integral connection into the toilet bowl itself which could also be from a problem with the inlet valve, or a perishing 'flap valve'.

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Average Household Water Usage

Below is a table of a average household water usage, in it you can see that we use a lot of water - and waste a lot as well.

Appliance
Type
Average Flow Rate
Average Water Used
Shower (6 mins)
Normal Shower
15 litres per min
90 litres per shower
Water Saver
8.5 litres per min
51 litres per shower
Bath
10 - 20 litres per min
50 - 150 litres per bath
Brushing teeth with water running
5 litres per brush
Drinking, cooking and cleaning
10 litres per min
150 litres per day
Dishwasher
20 - 50 litres per load
Washing Machine
Twin Tub
40 litres per wash
Front Loading
80 litres per wash
Top Loading
170 litres per wash
Toilet
Single Flush
9 litres
90 litres per day
Dual Flush
6/3
40 litres per day
Sprinklers
10 - 20 litres per min
1000 litres per hour
Drip Systems
4 litres per hour
Car washing (with a hose)
10 - 20 litres per min
up to 300 litres
Hosing Driveways
20 litres per min
200 litres for 10 mins
Filling Swimming Pools
50,000 litres

Celsius to Fahrenheit conversions
Enter Celsius
Value in Fahrenheit

See also:

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Thanks for the advice for removing an air lock from an indirect system. Had to change an inlet on my cistern. First time I have tried any home plumbing. After draining the cold tank system air locked when I refilled the tank. Garden hose and mains pressure up the tap sorted my problems. Would not have known what to do without the advice on the site. Many thanks Sean United Kingdom.

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