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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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Going Green Can Mean Big Savings for Schools

It’s that time of year again; children head off to school while administrators and the PTA crunch the numbers to make sure there is enough funding for everything that they would like to provide throughout the year.

Did you know that schools spend more on energy than any other expense except personnel? Energy is one of the few expenses a school can reduce without sacrificing educational quality.

Here are some suggestions for ways in which schools can save energy and money throughout the school year.

While it would be nice if students turned off the lights when they left the classroom, that is not often the case. Motion sensors turn lights on or off automatically, so energy is not being wasted when they go to lunch or out to recess.

Another energy saving device is a Smart Power Strip. If a teacher has a number of items plugged in, such as a computer, printer, and desk light, this strip can sense when the devices are in use or idle and turn them off automatically. These smart power strips can save up to 72% of the energy the systems use, and provide surge protection.

In addition to overhead lights, many areas of a school also use desk lamps. Schools may have hesitated switching to CFL bulbs for fear that they would leak mercury if they broke. LED bulbs use less power and last longer than CFLs or conventional bulbs and they do not contain mercury or other toxic heavy metals.

Another large expense is water. Installing aerators on kitchen, bathroom, and classroom sinks is an inexpensive way to causes a significant decline in water usage, which will result in cost savings for the school.

Schools around the country that are demonstrating ways to conserve energy and water not only save on the bottom line, they are also setting a positive example for their community.

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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.

Shop for Water Hose Timer >>>

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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.

Shop for Water Conservation Products>>>

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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!