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How to Fit an Aerator into Your Faucet

The average household faucet consumes over 2 gallons of water each minute it is left on. This may sound small, until you consider this can equal up to 3,000 gallons of wasted water each year. High efficiency aerators can help you save water and deliver a steady and forceful stream of water, while saving at the same time. A high-quality faucet aerator adapter helps you connect a water saving aerator to almost any common faucet styles. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.

Sizing It Up

Nickel and dime is the phrase to keep in mind here. Start by removing the washer and insert from the inside of the aerator. Grab a nickel, and place it over the aerator. If the size is close to that of a nickel, you have a regular size aerator. An aerator that a dime can fit in is a junior-size aerator.

Male and Female Threading

Determining the threading is slightly easier than discovering the size. A female threaded aerator will be screwed onto the faucet with the threads on the inside of the aerator. A male aerator has the threading placed on the outside, top of the aerator. Pretty simple, right?

Different Streams

Another thing to consider when choosing a faucet aerator adapter is the type of water stream it produces:

Spray stream resembles the pattern distributed by a shower head. This type is ideal for bathrooms in commercial spaces.

Aerated/Bubble stream works by mixing the water with air. This pattern is softer than the other options, and produces no splashing. This type is found commonly in residential environments.

Laminar stream is great for spaces that require high flow, and no splashing, such as health-care establishments.

The smallest of changes can get you on the road to having a major impact on water consumption in your community. Doing a task as simple as fitting a faucet aerator adapter over your faucets can save up to 3,000 gallons of water each year. This can be done without much effort, and without sacrificing any water pressure.

Faucet Aerator Adapter
Faucet Aerator Adapter
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Retrofit Your Toilet

In the average American home, 45% of the total water usage occurs in the bathroom, with about 27% of that being used by toilets.  Fortunately, your household can decrease its toilet water usage by checking and fixing leaks and retrofitting toilets.

In 1994, The Energy Policy Act became a law and mandated a maximum flush volume of 1.6 gallons for toilets manufactured and installed after this date. If your toilet is more than 23 years old, chances are that it is using between 3.5 – 7 gallons of water with every flush.

Over the last twenty years, there have continued to be efforts to decrease the amount of water used in toilets. There are high-efficiency toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less. You may also be familiar with dual flush, grey water, or composting toilets.

However, if you are not ready to install new toilets, you can retrofit the ones you have. An easy option is to install a toilet tank displacement bag in your toilet tank. Once filled with water, the bag will displace about .5 gallons of water in your toilet tank so that it will use less water each time it is flushed.

Another option is to install a fill cycle diverter. The fill cycle diverter is a plastic device that directs more water to the tank and less to the bowl while they refill so that they finish filling at roughly the same time.  When a toilet is flushed, both the tank and the bowl need to be refilled, and in many cases the bowl will fill sooner than the tank. In this case, the water will continue to run into the bowl until the tank water level is high enough to shut off the fill valve. Once installed, a fill cycle diverter will save about .5 gallons of water with each toilet flush. It can be used in conjunction with the Toilet Tank Bank.

A third option is to install a new toilet fill valve. The Hydroclean toilet fill valve is the only valve that solves the two biggest reasons for water loss in toilets – miscalibration and leaks. The patented mini-valve allows pinpoint calibration typically saving 30-ounces of water per flush in high efficiency toilets and 60-ounces per flush in older, larger toilets. Its’ unique bowl filler adjustment also detects silent leaks and the patented Float Lock allows minor repairs in the tank as well as flapper leak detection without shutting off the water.

Simple, inexpensive retrofits for your toilets will allow you to save both water and money!

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Practice What You Teach: Sustainability on College Campuses

Colleges and universities are ranked on a variety of criteria; from class size, retention and graduation rates to whether or not they are a top party school or have a successful athletic program.

In recent years, colleges and universities are also being judged by their “green” initiatives. Princeton Review’s Top List of Green Colleges and Sierra Club’s list of America’s Greenest Universities ranks campus sustainability practices. The categories that are examined are: Energy, Investments, Food, Innovation, Academics, Planning, Purchasing, Transport, Waste, and Water.

Sustainability measures often save a significant amount of money, and they also demonstrate that colleges are practicing what they teach.

Of the categories listed above, water and energy have an immediate financial payoff. By making the switch to energy efficient lighting and water saving devices colleges can save millions!

Boston College’s energy-efficiency efforts have resulted in annual energy savings of more than 4 million kWh, and cost savings of $650,000. The multiple conservation measures implemented on campus include more than 1.4 million square feet in lighting upgrades. Campus lighting upgrades include motion sensing, daylight harvesting, and ballast replacements. In addition, they distributed 7000 12.5 Watt LED bulbs to students.

Assumption College in Massachusetts installed toilet flush valves and water-saving shower heads in 22 buildings, which should save nearly three million gallons of water per year.

Students at American University measured the flow rate of water fixtures on campus and realized that AU could be more efficient with its water use. They shared their findings with Office of Sustainability staff members who then estimated that once all the aerators are replaced, the university will save 570,000 gallons of water, enough to fill AU’s swimming pools and almost $10,000 per year.

For other ideas on how to make your school more green and to connect with other sustainability departments you may want to visit the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Conservation Mart has a wide selection of energy and water saving devices and would love to help your campus go green!

 

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How is the WaterSense Label on Showerheads Useful?

WaterSense Labeled Showerheads
WaterSense Labeled Showerheads

WaterSense, a program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, uses its labels and certifications to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. The goal of the program is to help consumers make smarter choices with the water they use that save money and maintain high environmental standards. WaterSense labeled products and/or services are certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. These products have the potential to help our country save billions of gallons of water annually.

When it comes to showerheads, water efficiency usually has to do with features such as low-flow and restricted-flow. Showering accounts for approximately 17% of residential indoor water use, proving to be one of the leading ways we use water in the home. For the average family, that becomes nearly 40 gallons per day of water usage which is close to 1.2 trillion gallons of water used annually in the United States just for showering.

Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). WaterSense labeled showerheads use no more than 2.0 gpm and ensures that these products still provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads on the market. The savings that come with simply switching to WaterSense labeled showerheads are absolutely worthwhile. An average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads. Because these savings simultaneously reduce demands on water heaters, they also save energy. An average family could save more than 370 kilowatt hours of electricity annually by using WaterSense products. To further put this into scale, if every home in the United States installed WaterSense labeled showerheads, we could save more than $2.2 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually. Furthermore, we could avoid about $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water.

Whether you are replacing an older, inefficient showerhead or looking for ways to reduce water use and utility bills in your home, look for WaterSense labeled showerheads along with faucets, faucet accessories, and toilets to help you identify models that save water and perform well.

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How Plant Moisture Meters Help You Save Water Outdoors

Plant Moisture Meters
Plant Moisture Meters

Plant moisture meters are tools that gardeners and homeowners use to accurately gauge the percentage of moisture in a given soil sample. Battery-free moisture meters are very convenient, as they use a simple needle gauge for moisture reading reports, are low in cost, are friendly for traveling and visitations, and can serve as a back-up solution for when battery-run meters fail or die. Plant moisture meters are suitable for outdoor applications as they are constructed with sturdy, high quality materials, such as metal and hard plastics for outside favorability.

“The average American household uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30 percent of which is devoted to outdoor uses. More than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns and gardens. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day.”
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

By using plant moisture meters, homeowners can make more accurate decisions about when their lawns and/or gardens need to be watered. Instead of wasting time over saturating soil, plant moisture meters make it possible for anyone to become more consciously aware of how much water is necessary in order to conserve water.

Using plant moisture meters is a simple and easy way to help you save water outdoors. Begin conserving water by utilizing these handy tools in your home today.

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Can A Shower Clock Help You Save Water?

Efergy Shower Timer and Alarm
Efergy Shower Timer and Alarm

When you take a look in your bathroom, what gadget do you think is missing or could be useful to your personal time? Helping you save time and money, a shower clock , aka shower timer is a gadget that tracks how much water you are using and/or how much time you are spending while in the shower to then remind you of when to turn the water off. When you think about it, shower clocks are essential because of how they can help you in several ways. First, they can help you with your morning routine. As it is easy to get off track from your schedule,  shower clocks can help you limit your time in the bathroom and make you more aware of exactly how much time (and water) you are wasting. A shower clock can also help save energy and lower your water bills. People often like to let the shower run although they are not using it at the moment. With a shower clock, you will be more inclined to make good use of the shower water during the time allotted. Because of this, more people are able to conserve water and cut down on their bills. The shower clock does not only have to be used in the bathroom, either. They can be placed in your bedroom or over the sink in your kitchen to monitor other tasks that are a part of your daily routine.

Now that you know how convenient and helpful a shower clock can be, take a look at three of the clocks we offer that would be the perfect addition to any bathroom:

  • AM Conservation SS010-S-BLB STOP In Time Shower Timer – This water proof 5 minute sand Shower Coach timer from AM Conservation is easy to install. Simply affix the suction cup on the back of the shower timer to the wall. When you start your shower, rotate the shower timer so that sand start to flow. When the sand has stopped flowing, your 5 minutes is up.
  • Efergy Shower Timer and Alarm – This newly redesigned easy to use, battery-operated, shower timer allows you to monitor the amount of water you use at every shower. Quickly and easily calibrate it to your shower by using the measuring bag supplied. We recommend no more than 35 liters (9.25 gallons) or less than 4 minutes. Use the lanyard supplied to hang it on your showerhead, or affix it to the wall using the suction cap. Turn on the timer every time you shower and follow the progress on the visual display. The alarm will sound when you have used your target volume of water.
  • Showertime Shower Timer – This simple device will gently remind users when it is time to turn the shower off. To install, use either the suction cup or adhesive back to adhere the Showertime in a visible location on the wall of the shower. Press the bottom portion of the Showertime when you step into the shower, and a blue LED will illuminate. After 4 1/2 minutes, the blue LED will change to a flashing red LED for 30 seconds, serving as a convenient reminder of the amount of time that has elapsed.

To answer the question at hand, shower clocks can absolutely help you conserve water along with other perks like saving money as well. Investing in your own is an easy step towards living an environmentally-friendly life.

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How To Conserve Water Outside Using a Water Hose Timer

waterhosetimerSaving water at home can be easy and affordable at the same time. In reality, making conscious decisions about how much water you are using on a daily basis both inside and outside of your home is all it takes. Let’s take lawn watering, which is a common activity for outdoor home maintenance, for example. One of the best ways to conserve water outside of your home is by using a water hose timer when sprinkling your lawn.

Water hose timers, which work just like egg timers, can be twisted to set up different time durations for the hose to turn on and off. This is beneficial because while deep-soaking your lawn is sometimes okay, most lawns only need about 1 inch of water each week. Continuously running water for the lawn will result in an over-saturated yard and ultimately, a lot of wasted water. Therefore, sprinkle only when your lawn shows signs of needing it. Over-watering is bad for plants and lawns because it promotes shallow root growth and reduces hardiness. To determine whether or not the lawn needs watering, walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, it’s time to sprinkle. This is also where the conservative water hose timer comes into play. Here are three benefits of using a water hose timer:

  • Automatic On/Off – Automatic sprinkler controls are convenient for you and the environment, preventing you from forgetting to turn your hose off and causing the sprinkler to run all day long.
  • No Batteries Required – Without batteries, a water hose timer is much easier to manage and take care of. The timer will run on its own without any outside help, making it a smooth and easy addition to your yard hose.
  • Ergonomic swivel for easy hose attachment – By effortlessly attaching to your hose, these water timers are user-friendly and quick to install and use.

Using a water hose timer is one of many ways you can begin to conserve water in your home. Take the first step by adding this convenient tool to your yard.

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Find Leaks and Save During Fix a Leak Week

Fix A Leak
Fix A Leak

Before we go into what measure you can take for Fix a Leak week, let’s go into the history of this event.

The WaterSense division of the EPA started Fix a Leak week seven years ago to remind Americans to identify and repair leaks in their household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems. WaterSense and its partners, including cities, companies, and non profits engage in week long educational activities and events around the country. This year it is taking place from March 16, 2015 through March 22, 2015.

How much water is wasted?

It is estimated that the average American home loses approximately 10,000 gallons each year due to leaks coming from dripping faucets, running toilets and other leaking valves. This amounts to 1 trillion gallons of water annually around the US. The good news is that it’s an easy problem to fix. The first step to take is to determine if you have a leak. Please see the WaterSense Fix Leak events page to find an event near you.

How to determine if you have a leak?

  • Check your water bill. If you see an anomaly in the pattern of your gallon usage, e.g. spikes, chances are you have leaks.
  • Observe your water meter, say for a 1 to 2 hour period. If you have not been using any water and the meter changes, you probably have a leak.
  • Go through house and listen for drips in the toilets and faucets. There is an easy way to tell for sure with your toilet. Simply drop a toilet leak detection dye tablet in your toilet tank. These leak tablets have a harmless food coloring giving them a blue or green color. If there is a leak, the color will show in the toilet bowl without flushing.

What steps can you take?

  • The first step to take is to fix the leaky fixture. So if the leak is coming from your toilet, changing out the toilet flapper or flush valve is the easiest way to fix the problem. If it’s a faucet or valet, get a wrench and tighten
  • If you have older plumbing fixtures e.g. showerheads, faucets, toilets, consider replacing them with WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures. In most cases, the investment can pay for itself in a matter of months. For example, investing in a 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) low flow showerhead can cost less than $10, and can help you save thousands of gallons if you have a showerhead that dispenses water at 2.5 gpm or more.
  • When installing a new showerhead, wrap the shower arm with teflon tape. This tape is specially produced to reduce the likelihood of experiencing shower leaks.

Save Water, Save Money

By taking these steps, not only will you be saving water, but also energy as it takes a lot of energy to heat the water. A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month. So fixing the leaks can result in significant water and energy savings as well as lowering your utility bills. So spend a few minutes this year identifying and fixing those leaks.

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How much water can I save by switching to WaterSense Labeled Pre-Rinse Kitchen Spray Valves?

WaterSense Pre-Rinse Spray Valve
WaterSense Pre-Rinse Spray Valve

WaterSense labeled Kitchen pre–rinse spray valves, which are designed to remove food waste from dishes before dishwashing, can save you more than $115/year in water and energy (natural gas or electricity) costs. Often used in commercial or institutional kitchens, these valves can account for up to one-third of water usage in the average kitchen. By switching to a WaterSense valve, costs for accommodating this water usage can drop significantly.

While the federal standard for commercial pre-rinse spray valves is 1.6 gallons per minute (gpm), EPA’s specification sets the maximum flow rate for WaterSense products at 1.28 gpm. Because of this, manufacturers have now developed models that use 20% less water than the federal standard–a significant decrease, such as the 1.28 gpm Prerinse Kitchen Spray N2180. EPA’s specification also includes spray force criteria and lifecycle testing to ensure performance in commercial kitchens. To make customers select products that best suit their applications, all WaterSense labeled spray valves are required to include spray force on product packaging and are independent certified to ensure efficient use along with water conservation.

Just by replacing one pre-rinse spray valves with a WaterSense labeled model, an average commercial kitchen can save more than 7,000 gallons of water per year. When you factor in the hot water used to rinse dishes, switching to a water-saving pre-rinse spray valve can save a commercial kitchen’s natural gas use by more than 6,400 cubic feet per year as well. Across the country, we could save over $225 million annually in water and energy costs if all commercial food service establishments used WaterSense labeled pre-rinse spray valves. Start saving today.

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What is a Pressure Compensating Showerhead or Aerator

lowflowshowerYou turn the knob of the shower and the water falls in a steady cascade. You’re enveloped in the falling beads of water, not too strong and not too weak. The thought of sacrificing such a luxurious shower experience for water efficiency is the furthest thing from your mind. But going green doesn’t mean we have to disregard our comfort. With pressure compensating showerheads and aerators we can achieve energy efficiency without sacrifice.

The water pressure is measured in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) and can vary significantly in each home. The higher the PSI the higher the water pressure. It can be as low as 20 PSI whilst in others it can be as high at 80 PSI. In a low pressure home, the shower stream can feel very weak. This is further amplified when you have a lower flow showerhead. Fortunately this can be corrected with a pressure compensating showerhead, which essentially regulates showerheads and faucets. When pressure fluctuates, pressure compensation works to maintain efficiency and consistency so that the flow is kept constant when the pressure is between 40-80 PSI. This creates an optimal shower experience, giving you both peace of mind knowing you’re doing your part in saving water while still relishing in your shower experience.

faucetaeratorPressure compensating showerheads and aerators work through the use of a small rubber ring. The rubber ring expands depending on the pressure applied, in turn blocking the holes and reducing the amount of water coming through the tap. When pressure drops, the rubber ring is more relaxed, meaning more water is able to come through the holes in the tap. While the initial cost may be a bit more, you can expect to see a return of investment in typically less than two months.

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