Archive for Saving Water
It’s easy for bathrooms to become a source of energy waste in our homes. Taking long showers, running water while you brush your teeth, using light bulbs that require a lot of energy to burn and linens that are chemically processed are just a few ways we tend to be not-so-green in our bathrooms.
Luckily there are low-maintenance changes you can make in your bathroom that will give it a more natural look while also practicing a green and money-conscious lifestyle.
Faucets with Friendly Flow and Water Conservation
Faucets like the Chatfield are compliant with low water flow standards (1.2 gallons per minute) and help to reduce the amount of water that is potentially wasted when you use your bathroom sink. This faucet is also designed so that the water flows naturally in a way that’s inspired by water flowing in nature. If you’re interested in updating multiple parts of your bathroom consider a low flow toilet and a low flow shower head as well.
You can also make changes to your routine that will help you respect the environment as you follow through with your regular hygiene habits. Turn off the sink while you brush your teeth, take slightly cooler showers and limit the amount of time the water runs in order to get hot before you hop in.
Do you know how much water you consume on a daily basis? Every drop of water you use can have a deep impact on the water supply of your community and region! This week, Professor Toilet will be quizzing our fans on the impact of water (and the lack thereof) locally, regionally and statewide. Do you have what it takes to earn a Ph. D. in water savings? Join the conversation on the American Standard Facebook page. See the cheatsheet infographic below to quickly find out how you and your family can make a significant difference in water usage through WaterSense Certified faucets and toilets!
As the weather begins to warm, the Professor’s mind turns to happy thoughts of a favorite season: springtime bathroom remodeling season, of course. For those who are ready to change things up, the Professor is pleased to offer a few pointers regarding current bath design trends for inspiration.
The American Institute of Architects reported that through the end of 2011, homeowners continued to view the integration of water saving faucets, toilets, and showerheads as important components of their bathrooms. Water saving toilets and showerheads in particular used to get a bad rap for providing poor performance, but thanks to recent technological advances, saving water doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. American Standard’s H2Option, featuring powerful siphonic dual flushing action, and turbine technology-powered FloWise collection of showerheads are two notable examples of high performance, low flow products.
The transitional style is predicted to be the most popular look for bathroom fixtures according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2012 Style Report. This style, which walks the line between traditional and contemporary to create a modern yet classic look, is beautifully expressed by the elegant, sculptural Pyke collection of bath faucets by JADO.
Aging in place is also a top priority for many Americans, and incorporating universal design features into the home – especially in the bathroom – is a growing trend. And with luxury options like whirlpool, air bath, and combo massage features now available, installing a walk-in bath can feel like an indulgence rather than just preparing for old age.
White continues to be the most popular bathroom color scheme, and it’s a look the Professor finds especially attractive when complemented by wood furnishings with dark finishes like the espresso-colored hues available in the Porcher Solutions collection of modular bath furnishings.
Whether you’re just swapping in a new faucet or getting bold with colors and fixtures: go forth and remodel!
American Standard recently made toilet history with a new line of high efficiency commercial toilet flushing systems that conserve nearly one-third the amount of water used by a standard toilet. This new line is the first to offer this degree of water savings in a “single flush” flushometer toilet system.
The high-efficiency toilet (HET) system combines FloWise water-saving technology and innovative hands-free Selectronic controls – ideally suited to the American Standard Madera or Afwall commercial toilets – to efficiently clear the bowl using just 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf), a savings of 31 percent over a standard 1.6 gpf toilet. Compared to a standard 1.28 gpf HET, these new systems yield an additional 11 percent water savings.
Engineered to deliver a powerful flush, these 1.1 gpf flushometer toilet systems have been third-party certified to flush 800 grams of solid waste in the Maximum Performance (MaP) test, an independent report of toilet bulk removal performance, while also attaining the maximum drain line carry.
For more information on this announcement, view the complete press release for the 1.1 gpf High Efficiency Flushometer Toilet Systems.
When the Professor talks water-saving toilets, the focus tends to be on whether or not it has the flushing power to effectively clean the bowl and avoid household clogs. But every now and then there is a reminder that all that waste has to GO somewhere. A toilet flush not only needs to clear the bowl, but also keep waste moving through the sewer system.
Older 3.5 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets used plenty of (you might even say too much) water to move waste through drainlines down to the sewer system, but as 1.6 and even 1.28 gpf toilets become the norm, some reports emerged questioning whether the reduced amount of water was enough to power waste effectively through the pipes underground.
Studies to date have found that the reduced water flow is not to blame. A drainline carry study performed in Australia at locations deemed to be of “above average” difficulty in terms of drainline length and slope (or lack there of) found that water saving toilets caused no blockages. Other studies have demonstrated that poor drainline installation is the main cause of sewer back-ups, including rough joints, debris from construction being left in the pipe, and even lengths of pipe that slope the wrong way.
A new study by the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition is scheduled to begin early this year, thanks in part to a generous donation of test apparatus by American Standard Brands. With water shortages critical in many parts of the world, and drought forecast for the entire southern tier of the US in 2012, any study that helps build end-user confidence in high-efficiency plumbing will enable this significant water savings to continue, rather than literally sending technical advances in flushing performance “down the drain.”
The Professor isn’t much of a television junkie, but when segments featuring high performance, water-saving plumbing fixtures are airing, it’s a different story. Plumbing manufacturer American Standard recently produced a few short videos for the Profile Series of quality educational programming that focused on the company’s commitment to conserving water without sacrificing style or performance.
The one-minute segment posted above aired on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC last week but if you missed it – or, like the Professor, you’d rather watch the full-length director’s cut – you can view the more detailed and interesting eight-minute version below.
Congratulations to the Profile Series and American Standard for a job well done. The availability of high-performing water-saving faucets, showerheads, and toilets is a message that still needs to get out there, and the Professor believes that well-made television segments like this one are a great way to reach consumers.
The low flow toilet debate is in the news once again thanks to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, whose recent outburst about his dissatisfaction with water-saving toilets during an Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing has generated a great deal of (largely bemused) news and blog coverage.
The Professor is sad to hear that Senator Paul has been enduring toilet troubles for the past 19 years, but believes his comments were a bit off base, to say the least. It’s true that in 1994, which was the first time that all new homes and bathroom remodeling work were required to included low flow 1.6 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets, the technology wasn’t quite there yet. Most manufacturers simply produced toilets with smaller tanks that were prone to clogs and staining because there wasn’t enough power to fully clear the bowl.
Nowadays, however, there are countless high-performance toilet models to choose from, some of which require as little as 1.28 gpf. As far as the Professor can tell, if Senator Paul and other low flow toilet doubters took advantage of the many resources available to help them make wise “consumer choices” it would be an easy task to find a water-saving toilet that would meet their needs. Toilet manufacturers can apply for independent, third party verification of their claims related to toilet flushing power, for example. Also, as Bill Scher pointed out on OurFuture.org, Consumer Reports is one of many great resources of objective, thoroughly researched product reviews available to help Paul find a low-flow toilet that works.
A writer for Grist agreed that Senator Paul should simply purchase a new toilet, although the Professor is skeptical about their specific recommendation, which features a small water spot and an old-fashioned washdown flush, making the toilet likely to have clogs and stains. Instead, the Professor would suggest American Standard‘s “Made in America” Cadet 3 or the Champion 4, which has recently garnered media attention for reducing maintenance calls by 80% at the Loews hotel locations that installed the new toilets last year.
In closing, the Professor absolutely concurs with the many critics whose response has been “Go buy a new toilet!” Better yet, find a rebate for upgrading to a low flow toilet in your area to save even more money while you conserve water.
Great news out of New York City, where the City Council just passed a bill aimed at improving water efficiency in the five boroughs. One provision of the bill, which is expected to save a whopping 1 billion gallons of water per year, has the Professor especially excited: all homes and apartments that are being built new or remodeled would be required to install dual flush toilets.
The Professor offers a tip o’the hat to the City Council for taking this bold action to improve water efficiency in New York, and hopes that all NYC residents enjoy the dual flushes in their future!