If you’ve made it your mission to waste less water, you’re probably already well-versed in the low-flow faucet and fixture department. In fact, your kitchen and bathroom fixtures have likely been going “low-flow” for quite some time. Yet, faucet and fixture technology has changed over the years, promising a better bathroom experience while using up to 60 percent less water than standard models.
Thinking about going low-flow or wondering if it’s time to upgrade your current water-saving fixtures? Read on to get the low down on low-flow.
EPA Water Conservation Standards
To earn the EPA’s WaterSense label, low-flow water fixtures must meet the following criteria.
- A sink faucet cannot exceed 1.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM)
- A low-flow showerhead cannot exceed more than 2.5 GPM
- A low-flow toilet must not use more than 1.5 gallons of water per flush (GPF)
Less water means less pressure, right? Nope. Some homeowners, in fact, are reluctant to switch to low-flow showerheads because they expect a reduction in water pressure, resulting in a wimpy shower. Rest assured, that is not the case. The two main types of low-flow showerheads, laminar and aerating, can deliver an invigorating spray while using less water.
- Laminar showerheads distribute water into larger, individual streams, allowing you to adjust the flow to a robust massaging action or something gentler. They also don’t produce much steam – a plus for poorly vented bathrooms.
- Aerating showerheads force water through small holes while mixing it with air. The result is a fine, vigorous spray, and makes for a steamy showering experience. However, because the water is mixed with air, it does lower the water temperature slightly so you may find yourself needing to add more hot water into the mix.
Low-flow toilets have come a long way. Without a doubt, the biggest water waster in any home is the toilet. In fact, older toilets use up to six gallons of water per flush. And yet, one of the biggest complaints about low-flow models is their inability to provide enough water pressure to flush the contents without clogs. Enter pressure-assist technology and streamlined gravity-flow toilets – both more than up to the task.
- Pressure assist toilets, also known as a jet flush, were once only found in public restrooms. Now, residential models are available. When the toilet is flushed, a force of water rushes into the bowl, created by a pressurized tank. The contents are washed away quickly and cleanly.
- Gravity flow toilets work by moving water into the bowl until there is enough pressure to push the contents downward through a curved trap beneath the bowl. This creates a siphoning effect; once the water begins to drain through the trap, it will continue to move down without needing more water.
Pretty amazing stuff, don’t you agree? Well, Plumbtastic Plumbing & Rooter can now put “amazing” to work for you. Contact us today for an proposal on converting one or more of your water fixtures to a low-flow model.