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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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Water Saving Kits Make Conservation A No Brainer

Daily water usage racks up your water bill fast, especially in the summer heat. Sometimes it may be hard to even recognize how much water we use in a day because of our busy schedules. Lets be honest, at the end of the day when you get home from work and prop your feet up, your water bill is probably one of the last things on your mind.  So, how is a household or a business supposed to be able to monitor or reduce their daily water consumption and find the time in such a fast paced world?

There is a simple solution to this. At Conservation Mart, we have an inexpensive way for you to conserve water. We carry water savings kits that are catered to indoor and/or outdoor use.

Items that you would typically find in one of our indoor water savings kits would be:

  • A Low Flow Showerhead – Reduce shower water use up to 30%
  • Faucet Aerators – Cut down on faucet usage up to 50%
  • Toilet Leak Detection Tablets – Alert you of a leak, saving potentially thousands of dollars
  • Toilet Tank Banks – Save up to 1 gallon of water per flush

Water Saving Kits
Water Saving Kits

Typical items in an outdoor water savings kit would be:

  • Garden Hose Spray Nozzle – Limits the amount of water used by the garden hose
  • Moisture Meter – Gives you the moisture level of your soil to avoid over-watering plants
  • Rain Gauge – Measures rainfall to also help avoid over-watering
  • Water Conservation Wheel – Full of tips on various ways to save water
Outdoor Water Saving Kits
Outdoor Water Saving Kits

Both indoor and outdoor water saving items are easy to install (if installation is even needed) and start conserving water instantly! (Which means a lower water bill for you.) Visit our site to view all of the water saving kits available. Using these products to conserve and save is the perfect solution in this fast paced world!

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What About WaterSense?

Save with WaterSense Products
Save Water and Money with WaterSense

If you are interested in conservation products, whether energy or water, I am sure you are curious if we are going to label all of our WaterSense products like we did Energy Star. The answer to your curiosity is YES! We now have all of our WaterSense low flow showerheads and aerators labeled on our site.   Similar to the search for the search for Energy Star products, you can now easily find WaterSense labeled products on our site.

The meaning behind a WaterSense labeled product:

WaterSense is an EPA partnership program. A product that is marked WaterSense makes it easy for consumers to identify a product that will help them conserve water in a more efficient way. WaterSense labels can be found on a variety of different products such as: bathroom sink faucets accessories, new homes, showerheads, toilets, urinals, and weather based irrigation controls. It even recognizes some professional services that want to integrate the importance of water conservation.

Can anyone just stick the label on its products?

The answer is NO. In order for a company to use the WaterSense label they must sign a partnership agreement with WaterSense. The partnership agreement represents the bond between the EPA guidelines and regulations of what makes a product qualify in order to be labeled WaterSense, along with how and where the label can be placed on products/ packaging/ etc.

Benefits of WaterSense:

  • Perform the same or better than other similar products
  • Are 20% more efficient than the average products in same category
  • Are a part of water savings on a national level  (be a part of something BIG)
  • Measures the amount of water your conserving  (watch the $ you’re saving)
  • Have multiple technological options to obtain water efficiency

Next time when you look at your expensive water bill remember you can save using WaterSense labeled products— just visit our website and click on low flow showerheads or aerators where you can easily identify WaterSense and watch your water bill decline!

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How to Know You Are Using Water Efficiently

Saving Water with WaterSense
Saving Water with WaterSense

Over the past couple of years, Americans have strived to become more water efficient. But how do we know the products we are using are conserving natural resources, reducing water consumption, and saving us money?

This question was a difficult one to answer, until the creation of the WaterSense label!

The WaterSense label makes it simple for consumers to be able to find and use water efficient products. WaterSense is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order for a product to become WaterSense, companies must sign partnership agreements.

Why use WaterSense labeled products?

  • Product’s performance is equal to or better than less efficient products
  • At least 20% more water efficient ( conserving water means conserving energy which reduces carbon pollution)
  • Provides measureable results( watch your water bill shrink! )
  • Can save up to 700 gallons of water per year
  • Display water savings on a national level ( 487 billion gallons of water saved since 2006!)

We feel that it is our mission to help YOU choose the best low flow showerheads and aerators to not only save money, BUT be a part of the larger picture—conserve water while helping the environment.

So if you like saving money (and who doesn’t?), start by looking for products that have the WaterSense stamp of approval.

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5 Ways to Save Water in the Toilet

Toilet Water Saver
2014: All of California is in the middle of a drought

Right now, the Western region of the United States has been struck hard this year with a drought. For the first time in 15 years the U.S. Drought Monitor recorded that 100% of California is in the middle of a moderate to exceptional drought! Droughts are a major expense and can cause significant crop loss and job loss. Saving water means saving money, especially in regions experiencing states of drought.

Did you know that 30% of the water used in your home is dedicated to your toilet alone? Toilets use more water than clothe washers, showers, faucets, and leaks! The average American uses 100 gallons of water per day per person. That means that an average of at least 30 gallons alone are being used on the toilet per day!

Luckily, we have 5 toilet water saver ideas to share with you:

1.) Get a New Fill Valve or Flapper

  • By getting a new fill valve, you can save up to 60 ounces of water per flush!
  • Allows you to adjust the amount of water directed towards your bowl
  • Annual water savings of up to 3,000 gallons!
  • Some toilets do not have the correct flapper in its tanks— by having the correct size flapper you can save as much as 4.4 gallons of water per flush.

2.) Check for Leaks

  • On average, an American household can lose up to 10,000 gallons of water per year due to leaks alone!
  • Use toilet leak detector dye tablet in your toilet tank
  • It is simple to use– all you have to do is drop the detection dye tablet into your toilet tank
  • Contains a harmless dye that will appear blue or green in color
  • IF the color shows in the toilet bowl without having to flush, then you have a leak.
  • By detecting the leak you save up to 500 gallons of water a day!

3.) Install a Toilet Tank Bank

  • Toilet tank banks are cheap, easy to install, require little to no maintenance, and even help prevent odors
  • All you do is hang it onto the inside of the toilet tank and add water
  • Will save you up to 0.8 gallons of water per flush!

4.) Install a Toilet Fill Cycle Diverter

  • Installed on the end of a tanks fill tube
  • Allows you to redirect water that normally goes to fill up the toilet back into the actual tank
  • Reduces up to 1/2 a gallon of water per flush!

5.) Dual Flush Toilet Conversion Kits

  • Allow you the option to flush a little (typically used for liquids) or a lot (typically used for solids).
  • Gives YOU more control over how much water is used with every flush
  • Saves you at least 40% of the water you use when flushing on a daily basis

By utilizing any of these five toilet water saver options, you can reduce costs not only in your home— but for regions such as California experiencing a horrible drought—taking these steps will help out the economy and preservation of water.

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Bubble vs. Needle Spray Aerators

In deciding the right low flow aerator, you have a choice in the water flow stream. You can select between a bubble or aerated stream and a Needle spray. Both restrict water flow, but the nature of the water stream is different.

Bubble Spray vs. Needle Spray
Bubble Stream                                            Needle Stream

 

buy now buttonA low flow bubble faucet aerator restricts the water flow from the faucet. This type of aerator adds air to the water flow to enhance the water stream to give the sensation of a larger flow even though it’s dispensing less water. It is ideal for use in both bathroom and kitchens. A bubble faucet aerator typically has a cross mesh screen  to act as a flow restrictor and aerate the water.

Bubble Spray Aerator
Bubble Spray Aerator

buy now buttonA needle spray aerator produces a shower like pattern when dispensing water. Needle spray aerators are the only choice when you are selecting an ultra low flow faucet aerator e.g. 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or lower. The technology is not available yet to produce an aerated/bubble stream for 0.5 gpm or lower flow. Needle spray aerators provide a good coverage of water when washing hands and so are often preferred in commercial applications. They have tiny holes around the base of the aerator through which the water is dispensed.

Needle Spray Aerator
Needle Spray Aerator

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Both type of aerators also come with pressure compensating features . This is an important features in a normal low flow aerator, the water flow is restricted at low pressures. So a pressure compensating aerator will compensate for the fluctuations in pressure to produce an even water flow.

Shop for low flow faucet aerators>>>

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5 Need to Know Facts About Water Conservation

Conserving water can be easy and frustrating all at the same time. Just as you’ve solved the problem of H2O havoc in the kitchen, the bathroom faucet starts leaking. Get ahead of these water wasters by soaking up these facts about water conservation.

Facts About Water Conservation
Save Water at Home
One less flush could save a lake full of water

The City of San Diego estimates that if everyone in the United States was united in flushing the toilet just one less time each day, we could save a lake measuring four feet deep, a mile long and a mile wide. For the times when flushing is absolutely unavoidable, make a small investment (super small, like under $20) in dual flush converters and toilet tank banks.

Dual flush converters allow the toilet to use a little bit of water for flushing liquids and a little more water for flushing solids. At least 40% of the water typically used for flushing will be saved by using the converters.

Toilet tank banks just hang on the inside of the toilet. That simple, effortless act saves 0.8 gallons of water per flush.

Shutting off water while brushing could save 200 gallons of water

A family of four could save 200 gallons of water weekly by just shutting off the faucet while brushing. Want more savings? Keeping the water off while shaving earns you 100 gallons of water saved each week; doing the same for shampooing and lathering saves over 55 gallons of water. In one week alone, the average family of four could save upwards of 355 gallons of water just by keeping the faucet off.

14% of indoor water waste is due to leaks

One of the least known facts about water conservation is that 14% of the water used indoors is due to leaks. A leaky toilet could bloat your water bill by 500 gallons each day! The best solution to water leaks is prevention:

  • For the toilet: Toilet leak detection tablets are like toilet pills. Just drop them in the toilet and if the water changes color you have a leak.
  • For showers: Use teflon tape to secure the shower arm. This will keep it fastened and prevent it from leaking.
Outdoor water usage can contribute to (and even be the main cause of) water waste

Having a beautiful, well-cared for garden and lawn could be expanding your water bill and shrinking your finances. Garden and lawn maintenance accounts for nearly 60% of household water use. Using outdoor conservation tools, such as rain gauges and soil moisture meters help determine how much rain has fallen and how much water your lawn/garden needs. For further control over outdoor water usage, install a low-flow nozzle on the hose. Low-flow nozzles help to limit how much water comes out of the hose but without compromising water pressure.

Showers over 5 minutes long can waste up to 1000 gallons of water

On average, a 5-minute shower uses between 15-25 gallons of water. Up to 30% of that water could be saved by installing a low-flow (or earth) showerhead. Earth showerheads, like low-flow nozzles, restrict how much water is used but are able to keep the same water pressure. Some showerheads even have settings that let you change how much pressure you want to use.

If shorter showers are impossible, consider switching to baths. It takes about 36 gallons of water to fill a bathtub. Once the tub is full, you can stay in there for as long as you like without having to worry about water going down the drain.

These five facts about water conservation are only a drop in the ocean of solutions to save the ever needed H2O, but following these tips will go a long way in reducing water usage inside and outside the home.

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