Green plumbing in the home

Green plumbing in a house is a key element of green living. From simple tips to innovative appliances, the term comprises the many ways in which homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Green plumbing covers a wide variety of jobs, but the goal of all of them is to reduce water usage; to recycle water already used, and to use sustainable materials wherever possible. Overloading Washington’s public sewer systems can be harmful to lakes and rivers all over the Pacific Northwest, as untreated sewage has to flow somewhere. The less water that flows through sewage systems, the less risk of pollution, and the less need for the costly expansion of such systems.

Simple green plumbing jobs around the house

Start by checking faucets and pipes for leaks, as even the smallest drip from a worn-out washer can waste as much as 20 gallons of water daily. Next, fit all household faucets with aerators: These are cheap and easy to install (you just screw them onto the faucet head). They save water (as well as mess) by preventing splashing and reducing and shaping water flow.

Two areas of the home are responsible for 99.9 percent of its total water consumption: The kitchen and the bathroom. In the bathroom, you might consider installing a water-saving low-flow showerhead, low-flow toilet or a dual-flush toilet. These help to reduce the amount of water used in the everyday activities of flushing the toilet or taking a shower. Another option is to fit your toilet tank with a float booster; it’s cheap and easy and can save over ten gallons of water per day if you have children in the family.

In the kitchen, installing regulators for water pressure and water heaters as well as low-flowing faucets can all help conserve water. A water pressure regulator is also useful to prevent other common home plumbing problems caused by water pressure that is too high.

Other ways to save money at home

Conserving water helps the environment and the household budget. This can be achieved by choosing to forego those household appliances that use most water and electricity, such as the washing machine, and washing by hand instead – or using a commercial laundry service. This is a radical step and is only practical if there are no children in the family.

Other simple ways include turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth or when cleaning veggies, or rinsing off dishes. You might also want to consider limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower: Just four minutes in the shower can use between 20 and 40 gallons of water depending on the water pressure and the type of showerhead installed.

During hot, summer months, remember that a garden sprinkler uses far more water than a watering can; and keeping a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator is much more convenient and water-saving than always running the tap every time you need a cool drink.

Typical plumbing problems caused by cold weather

Seattle and the Pacific Northwest can get extremely cold in wintertime. One of the most common problems in winter is frozen water pipes. Don’t wait for the cold weather before insulating water pipes in your home with pre-slit foam insulation. It doesn’t only minimize the risk of pipes freezing, it also means less waiting around for hot water, and less water wasted.

Outdoor faucet covers are inexpensive and very effective for keeping water pipes above freezing level. Note, however, that they only work if correctly secured and are airtight.

Those living in the Greater Seattle Area can always find a plumber who uses green plumbing practices. For Jim Dandy emergency plumbers, water conservation is part and parcel of the plumbing service. Not only is Jim Dandy the oldest plumbing firm in Seattle, it is also Green Plumbing accredited and trained.

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