What Does It Really Mean to Go Green with Plumbing?

Many people have considered how they can do their part to go green with most aspects of their lives. They do this to reduce their carbon footprint, save money and save resources so that there is more to go around for everyone. According to,  going green with your plumbing means taking steps towards a system that is more energy efficient and lasts longer.

The Fixtures in Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the rooms that you use the most in your home. This is an area where you will use a lot of water and there are a wide range of plumbing solutions which include touchless and low-flow faucets, and appliances that use water including a garbage disposal unit or a dishwasher. If you can use appliances that use less water, they can reduce the amount of water that you use. Some systems are available which will ensure your hot water is at the right temperature when you turn it on rather than having to run the water until it reaches a hot temperature to your liking.  An upgraded dishwasher can save you as much as 20L of water per cycle(1) and offers a quieter running cycle as well as dishes that are much cleaner.

The Fixtures in Your Bathroom

Another area where you can go green with your plumbing is the bathroom. You can replace all faucets with touchless or low flow options to reduce water waste. New technology is now available that can help homeowners to save gallons of water daily. A low flow showerhead can let you take those long showers that you love without having to worry about wasting water and whether you want a rain style showerhead or a handheld.

Your Water Heater

A water heater is one of the appliances in your home that can use up to one quarter of the energy you consume in your home. If you can install an appliance that saves energy to heat your hot water, then you can look forward to much lower energy costs for your home in the long term and the short term. The hot water on demand option is a good one because you will only heat water as it is needed and as you are using it. You will not be storing a large tank of hot water that is being continually heated all day, which uses a large amount of energy.

Your Toilets


With the average person using a toilet a minimum of 3 times per day, a low flow toilet can save water. Toilets use up to 26% of your household’s water(2). New low flow toilets have a very powerful flush and can save 70% of water over their regular counterparts. A family of four using a low flow toilet will save over 13,000 gallons of water annually(3). Since new low flow toilets are more powerful than they were when they first came into use, you do not have to worry about flush power, and they refill much sooner and are quieter than older toilets.

Your Laundry Area

Newer washing machines use much less water and energy. The washing machine uses around 22% of the water in your home(4), but the newer front loading washing machines use much less water and are gentler on your clothes. New technology is being developed to let you recycle the water from your washing machine to be used for irrigation and/or flushing toilets.

A Leak Can Use Litres of Your Household’s Water

The major problem most of the time is the toilet but showers and faucets can also be problematic. If your bathtub spout does not stop running when you have a shower, this can also be a waste of water. Some shower heads can drip for as long as two hours before they stop. If you want to measure how much water is being wasted, place a bucket below the showerhead or tub spout after you have a shower. If you collect more than a cup and a half of water, then there is an issue. A leak such as this can lead to large water bills, but if it is fixed you can save as much as 1000L of water annually(5).  If your toilet is leaking it sounds like it is flushing on its own or you can hear the water come on during the night to refill the toilet tank.

Do you Like to Have a Bath?

When you fill up a hot bath it can be a very relaxing experience. If you leave the hot water running, it can be very wasteful. You should instead turn up the heat on the hot water and then turn it down again once the hot water has been reheated. This can save a lot of water heating costs.

Saving Money on Water Heating


It is possible to save money on water heating. First you can install a solar water heating system which has a basic tank mounted on the roof, painted black or you can have a more sophisticated system that uses water which runs through vacuum tubes inside a panel. Solar is one of the most energy efficient methods for heating water; however, if there is no sun then you may not have hot water.  Solar hot water systems are constantly being improved. Electrical water heating is 100% efficient but the cost of heating the water is extremely expensive because the water is being constantly heated to keep it hot.

The option of a tankless gas water heater is a good one because it works by sending water through a heat exchanger or a copper tube heated by a burner. A modern tankless water heat can be 98% energy efficient(6) and will provide an endless amount of hot water. When a tankless water heater is not in use, it does not use much energy at all. The cost of installation of these units can be expensive but they will save a homeowner a lot of money over time.

These are just a few steps you can take to ensure that you are doing your part to help save the environment. A good local plumbing company should be able to help you by inspecting your home and making suggestions for various installations that can save you money and reduce your impact on the environment.