The Dollars and Cents of Your Bathroom

save money bathroom

Figures released by the United States government back in 1990 show that the average water usage, per person, was 105 gallons a day. It’s even higher today.

The simplest way to conserve water is to use less. I don’t know about you, but three minute showers just don’t get me excited. Neither does washing up in two inches of water or sharing the bath water. Luckily for us, then, that there are other, more effective methods!

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, bathing is responsible for 33% of domestic indoor water usage and toilet flushing accounts for another huge 44%. Clearly these are two areas to save both water and money.

The good thing is that there are products on the market that help you use less water, such as low-flow faucets, shower heads and aerators.

A low-flow water faucet aerator is a device that is fitted inside the end of the faucet. It is a fine screen that breaks up the flow of water into small droplets, mixing it with air. This has the effect of reducing the rate at which the water flows out.

So, what difference does this little device make to how much water you use?

Normally, water flows out a standard faucet at a rate of 3 to 5 gallons per minute. Who knew that so much water came out that fast?

When a low flow faucet aerator is installed, this rate reduces to just 0.5 of a gallon a minute. The best part is that you still get a decent flow of water with less splashing.

Just imagine how much water you are going to save just by installing a low flow faucet aerator in every tap in your house? A flow regulator in just one faucet is going to save up to 4½ gallons every minute it’s turned on! This alone could equate to a saving of up to $100 a year.

I bet you’re wondering how expensive these little devices are!

Well, another great thing is that they are so cheap to buy; you’ll get change from $5 for each one, making them a very cost-effective method for saving money.

You don’t need to call the plumber out either; these little things are so simple to install, even a kid could do it! Your faucets will be ready to use, and save you gallons of water every day, in only a few minutes. They simply screw into the end of the faucet.

Another statistic from the EPA states that 22% of household water consumption comes from shower usage alone. The Michigan State Government Website has a Water Conservation section. It says that the usual type of showerhead uses up to 8 gallons of water a minute.

So, here’s a way to reduce water usage even more; by simply done installing a water-saving or low-flow shower head. A low-flow showerhead is able to reduce the amount of water used in the shower by up to 30%.

That’s huge! Imagine saving 30% of your water usage just on showers alone!

There are different types of these showerheads. Some simply limit the amount of water that can pass through the holes which means that the water pressure is diminished. If a low pressure shower isn’t your idea of a good shower, there are other options. You can now buy a high pressure water-saving showerhead that uses less water but still gives you a good pressure for your shower.

Again, the initial cost to you of installing this type of water saving device is small. You will pay between $30 and $65, depending on the type and brand. The manufacturer of one of the popular brands of low-flow showerheads claims that the average household can expect to save more than $500 a year with one of their devices. This means that you will have recovered the initial cost in the first bill!

Now, not only do I not want to have really short showers, I don’t want a lukewarm one either. So I’m happy to report that there is a hidden extra bonus with installing a water-wise shower head – it is in lower energy costs. You’ll be using less hot water which has been produced by your water heater. So, by reducing your hot water consumption, you’re also reducing the amount of power needed to heat the water and save another $100 a year.

The last way to save water in the bathroom is with the toilet. Old style toilets, manufactured prior to 1980, use about 5 gallons of water for each flush. Between 1980 and 2002, new toilets used 3½ gallons. Now, 1.6 gallon flush toilets are mandatory. If you have an older style toilet and don’t want to install a new one, put a plastic bottle filled with water or a house brick into the tank. This limits the amount of water available for each flush.

By using these three methods of going green in the bathroom, you can save a substantial amount of water from simply going down the plughole. In the process, you will save yourself several hundred dollars a year off your water bills.

So, how green is your bathroom? Can you make some changes?


24 thoughts on “The Dollars and Cents of Your Bathroom

  1. Check with your local electric or gas company to see if they have any energy saving kits available. A couple of years back I did an online survey that took about 15 minutes and they sent me a box of stuff that included aerators for our kitchen and bathroom faucets, a couple CFL bulbs, and maybe even a shower head (ours is already low flow so I wouldn’t have installed it). The stuff you mentioned is pretty cheap, but free is even better!

    1. Good for you for doing the survey. It has saved you a ton of money and helped you be more green.

      I think they have just started doing a similar program here where I live. People can get send a package of items to install in their house. We got one last year for light bulbs. I am not sure if the bathroom one has started yet.

    1. Well you have made some steps in the right direction so that’s good. A toilet flush can use gallons and gallons of water. I am sure you can phone the manufacturer of your shower head to see how many gallons of water it uses per minute.

    1. That is such a great point. There is a ton of water wastage with scenarios like that. I just watched a documentary not long ago called No Running Water. It was about remote families who survive on only 16 litres a day. If we could all do that.

  2. Wow. I had one of those water saver toilets and we had to flush like 4, 5 or 6 times or more (depending) for bowel movements and frankly, that didn’t save us any thing. Then it started to overflow a lot so now we went back to a pressure assist toilet. What a difference!

    I’m all for saving and being careful – turn off water while brushing teeth etc., but that water saver toilet just cost us a bundle and a lot of headaches, so there has to be a happy medium, IMO.

  3. Hehe, I’m glad to finally see the ‘put a bottle of water or a brick in your toilet’ thing somewhere! I have no idea where I first read or heard about it but it was one of the first things I did when I moved into my house. I have three glass jars in there taking up space so less water is used. Anyone I’ve explained it to so far (aside from my parents) has looked at me funny for it!

  4. Admittedly, I haven’t yet thought about how green my bathroom is, but your cost-cutting measures are most enticing. I will have to look into this; have you ever used the low-pressure shower? Is it quite noticeable? I’m picturing a trickle of water skittering down my back, but hopefully it wouldn’t be such a downgrade.

    1. The technology has actually improved a fair bit and the flow from these heads is pretty decent. I have used them and I think you adjust. Eventually you don’t even notice. Plus, really how dirty are we getting where we need to be pressure washed?!

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