You can easily perform a self-audit of your home by checking for leaks, and identifying opportunities to save water. You will need to visually check all water sources in your house looking for obvious problems such as a dripping faucet or moisture under the sinks.
- Fix all leaky toilets, faucets and pipes.
- Install a low-flow showerhead and take only a 4-minute shower or 3-inch bath. (Showers use less water than baths.)
- Replace your high-water use toilet with a new low flow one.
- Check each toilet in your house.Look around the back of the toilet for leaks on the supply line. Next, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait at least 15 minutes to see if the color appears in the bowl
- Check supply lines under the sink for leaks.Look at each line for weak spots such as bulges in the hose. Watch the faucet for a minute for drips. Turn on the faucets to check for leaks while they are in operation
- Check the bathtub/shower faucet for visual leaks.Operate the faucet to make sure it functions properly. With a tub, divert water to the showerhead to check for leaks there, too. When the water is diverted to the showerhead, the water flow should stop from the tub faucet. It is difficult to check the exact flow from your aerators and showerheads without the proper "flow bag". If the showerhead and aerators have been around for a while, it might be time for a change. Low-flow showerheads and aerators are available at any hardware store and are usually easy to install.
Before you finish the audit of your bathroom, look at the toilet again. If colored water is in the bowl, you have a leaking flapper valve. Flapper valves are available at any hardware store, and are easy to install. Be sure the one you purchase is the correct one for your toilet. An incorrect one will leak even more!!!
Check all water sources for leaks following the instructions above.
- Sink Faucets
- Garbage Disposal
- Ice maker
Check all water sources for leaks.
- Supply lines to washer
- Supply lines to sinks (if appropriate)
If you have additional water sources in your house, make sure to thoroughly check these too using the same procedures. Fix all the leaks as soon as you can.
Bathroom Tips to Save Water
- Flush toilets only when necessary. Try to flush two fewer times per day.
- Shower quickly (no more than five minutes).
- Catch water in a bucket or watering can while waiting for hot or cold water and add to house plants., or use to flush a toilet.
- Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, and lathering in the shower.
- Shave with a small amount of water in the sink rather than running water.
- Put a water displacement bag or plastic bottle in each toilet tank.
- Insulate your water heater and water pipes so you waste less while waiting for hot water to flow.
Kitchen and Laundry Tips
- Wash only full loads (laundry and dishwasher). Try to wash two fewer loads per week.
- Wash vegetables and fruits in a bowl or basin using a vegetable brush; don't let the water run. Use water on house plants.
- If you have to pre-rinse dishes, soak them instead of running water.
- Chill drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the faucet until the water is cold.
- Defrost food in the refrigerator, not in a pan of water on the counter or in the sink. Besides saving water, it's less likely to breed bacteria.
- Run garbage disposals only when necessary. Compost your food waste instead.
- Replace your inefficient clothes washer with a highly-efficient horizontal-axis clothes washer.