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Planning Retirement Online

Less waste in the bathroom

May 2012  


bathroomIt is spring time again, when new energy makes us look at our home and think - improvements!

With water saving on everyone’s mind, it could be the time to think about the bathroom and ways to improve it.

A fresh modern bathroom can not only help to save water, but also can add real value to a property. According to property experts, a bathroom is one of the key areas effecting a decision to finally buy a property and today a bathroom that offers water saving aspects is high on the agenda.

Water saving in a bathroom doesn’t mean not washing or going to the loo! It has been stated for some time now that showers are better than baths because they use less water. However, this is a fairly random assessment as it doesn’t take into account the depth of a bath or how long we spend singing under the shower and also whether we are using a power shower or a tiny trickle!

Generally, a normal shower head can allow between 2.5 and 5 gallons of water flow a minute. Most baths require around 30 to 50 or more gallons of water. At that rate, if you spend less than ten minutes in the shower, then you should save water. With a bit of care, most of us can have a good wash in a lot less than ten minutes so a shower could offer good water savings.

New showerheads are now coming onto the market with technology that produce water flow that feels a lot higher than it actually is. Low flow showerheads are good ways to save both water and energy, but they don’t work on electric showers where they could be dangerous.

You probably won’t go to the expenditure of fitting in a new bath just to save water; however if you are doing a bathroom renovation, then it can be useful to look at baths with lower capacities. There are some new designs on the market that still offer loads of room to soak and enjoy the bath without needing quite so much water.

Most of us are now familiar with the dual flush toilets which use minimal water for normal use but have a separate button for heavier flushing when required. This can save up to 50% of water per flush, a great saving over the year. If you don’t want to install a new cistern or loo, there are new dual-flush systems that can be fitted into old cisterns, and you can now also obtain a “hippo” or a water displacement device to go into the cistern which can help save water during each flush, usually around one to three litres a time. These can be bought now from good DIY stores but also talk to your local water company as they may provide them free.

Less well known are low flow taps. A new range of taps is now coming on the market with a low flow rate. This is not quite the same as turning an ordinary tap right down because this simply produces a tiny trickle; low flow taps are specially designed to maximum the feel of minimum water flow. Aerated taps are also available for bathrooms which work very well and can offer the same wash facilities with less water.

Of course, there are also lots of ways to incorporate collected rain water and previously used grey water for bathroom use, but the expense and upheaval involved usually far outweighs certainly the cost benefits of reducing water usage.

But while our spring enthusiasm may not lead to a completely new bathroom, with a little effort everyone can ensure good savings on water usage and add a new freshness to their morning visit to the bathroom.


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