Water saving options for bathrooms

05 Feb 2013

With the increasing cost of electricity and water, going green should be at the forefront of every homeowner’s mind.

Although baths can be relaxing, they use a considerable amount of water. So save your baths for special occasions and choose a shower instead.

This is according to Saville Jacobson from Bathroom Bizarre, who says in the long term, going green will save you money and you will be doing your bit for the environment.

Here are a few tips on how to make your bathroom more water- and energy-efficient by selecting eco-friendly sanitary fittings.

He says the bathroom in your home offers a lot of potential to save water and electricity. You don’t need to overhaul your entire bathroom, just substitute some of your existing bathroom fittings with water-efficient options.

The double flush

Any modern toilet should come with a dual-flush mechanism as it saves a tremendous amount of water, says Saville. Four litres are used in a single flush for liquid waste, and six litres are used in a double flush for solid waste. He says the only issue with the dual-flush mechanism is that there are various types, from many different manufacturers. Bathroom Bizarre supplies a dual-flush mechanism, for around R190 each and it fits most locally found close couples toilet suites.

Showering is far more water efficient than bathing. “A five-minute shower uses about a third of the water compared to a bath, so save those long soaks for special occasions and get your kids showering as early as possible.” He says you can make your showers more water-efficient by changing your shower rose. Low-flow showerheads have become popular and conserve water while giving you the feeling of a standard high-pressure shower.

For taps that were manufactured before the water- and energy-saving drive was put in place, you can buy a few eco-efficient aerators that fit to different types of older taps.

Saville says low-flow showerheads can reduce water usage by as much as 50 percent and they are affordable.

These low-flow showerheads save water by using a water flow restrictor. This slows down the water flow rate, thereby saving water as well as electricity because you will use less hot water and your geyser won’t have to warm up as much cold water. Flow restrictors can be built-in, they can be inserted into the back end of a showerhead, or they come already inserted in a chrome adaptor-type fitting that can be screwed into place between the showerhead and the shower arm.

An aerator systemmixes air into the water to maintain a constant pressure, while using less water. The only drawback is that the air cools the water temperature slightly. Aerators can be built-in or they can be purchased separately and manually inserted.

Change your taps

Exchange your existing taps for water-efficient models. Saville says water efficient models use aerators, flow restrictors and cartridges that are built into the mixers to lower the flow rate.

Make your showers more water-efficient by changing your shower rose. Low-flow showerheads have become popular and conserve water while giving you the feeling of a standard high-pressure shower.

He says all taps that are SABS-approved and have the SABS mark must conform to the regulations on the amount of water that is allowed to flow through the taps within a certain period of time. For taps that were manufactured before the water- and energy-saving drive was put in place, he says you can purchase a few eco-efficient aerators that fit to different types of older taps, which are suitable for bathroom and kitchen taps. Bathroom Bizarre for example, offers a range of aerators-come-flow-restrictors that restrict the water flow to approximately 3 litres per minute, which can save and reduce your water consumption by as much as 50 percent.

Heated towel rails are an economical way of heating up your bathroom and towels. Saville says if your heated towel rail is left on 24 hours a day, it will cost you on average 46 cents per watt per month. Bathroom Bizarre’s selection of heated towel rails offer two different power saving options, the PTSelect Switch and the TDC Timer, enabling savings from 60 percent.

The PTSelect switch comes standard with all Bathroom Bizarre’s heated towel rails. It allows you to adjust the temperature of the rail, as well as switching it on and off as desired. By controlling the heat, you are able to reduce the running cost.

ATDC timer is only available on special order. It is a useful green addition to any heated towel rail, as it allows you to programme the rail to switch on and off automatically, which can save you 75 percent on running costs. It also lets you adjust the temperature settings, and the chosen programmes are stored on non-volatile memory, which means that your settings won’t be lost in the event of a power failure.

The kitchen and bathrooms are the best rooms in the house to start going green, as they are the most used. It doesn’t take much, but every change makes a difference.

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