Low Flow Fixture and Applications

You can save a lot of water and energy with water-saving fixtures and appliances.  Below are just a few things to look for.



The shower accounts for approximately 20% of indoor water use, and 40% to 50% of hot water use.  Studies have shown that most people use 4 to 5 gallons of water a minute when they shower.  Some showerheads can flow at a higher rate of up to 8 gallons per minute.

You can continue to enjoy an invigorating shower, and still save water and energy in your shower by replacing a high-flow showerhead with a new low-flow showerhead.  These  low-flow showerheads are designed to maintain a refreshing spray and operate within a range of 1.5 to 2.5 gallons of water for each minute.  Low flow showerheads increases the shower force by increasing the velocity while dispersing the water into many tiny droplets that still give you an invigorating shower with less water.

There are several models available some equipped with a shut off button or handle that allow you to take a navy shower, so it should be possible to find a model that suit you. Because your shower used more hot water than any other fixture or appliance, low-flow showerheads will reduce your hot water cost dramatically.  So not only will you save money on your water bill but you will save money on your energy bill as well.

Faucet Aerators

Older faucets typically use 7 gallons per minute and new faucets use about 3.5 gallons per minute.  These kitchen and bathroom faucets can be replaced with low-flow faucet aerators, which are available in sizes ranging from .5 to 2.5 gallons per minute.  These aerators mix air with the water to make an effective spray pattern.  By replacing old aerators with the new more efficient ones you can save a lot of water.

Low Flow Toilets

If you have an older toilet, you could be using up to 40% of you indoor water use on toilet flushing. Older toilets can use any where from 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush.  New Ultra Low Flow Toilets or ULFT are a proven technology and only use 1.6 gallons per flush.  Most models work very well, with no special problems.  Consumer Reports February 1995 issue has an excellent comparison of many different models of Ultra Low Flow Toilets

Horizontal -axis Washing Machines

A typical household does nearly 400 loads of laundry a year, using about 40 gallons per full load with a conventional washer.  In contrast new horizontal-axis washing machines only use 20 -25 gallons per load.  These new washing machine are different in that instead of filling the entire tub with water and agitating the clothes covered with water, the new, water efficient machines are front loading and fill the tub only partially full and rotate the clothes through the water.  These water efficient clothes washer not only use 1/3 the amount of water as conventional washers but they also ½ of the energy.  Therefore, you can save money by using less water, less detergent, and less energy.  These new washing machines are made by a number of different manufactures and are carried by appliance retailers nationwide.

Premium-efficiency dishwashers, clothes washers, are eligible for a tax credit ranging from $60 to $180. The specific model must be included on the Oregon Department of Energy list of qualifying premium-efficiency appliances. Visit the department’s website for more information at https://oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/RES/tax/appliances.shtml.

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