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Green Plumbing Tips

At Universal, we are always thinking about safer, more economical and eco-friendly ways to service our customers. With this in mind, we also try to implement these facets into our daily lives. Today our focus is on water consumption and the tools and appliances that can help in using it more efficiently.

According to the EPA, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day – and nearly 70 percent of that is from indoor use.* While this is a rather high number, it’s not especially surprising given the numerous ways we use water in our daily lives. However, there are many kinds of modern plumbing fixtures on the market that can help reduce both energy and water waste. Additionally, there are several small lifestyle changes that you can make that will also aid in conserving water in your home.

We have compiled a list of green plumbing options we feel are worth pursuing.

Plumbing Fixtures

Dual-Flush Toilets – A dual flush design allows you to choose between two options for water consumption. One option is for liquid waste (which uses less water) and the other is for solid waste (which uses a bit more water).

High-Efficiency Toilets – Modern toilets are much more efficient today after federal restrictions were imposed in 1992. But not every design on the market is high-efficiency, which can save even more water. Some high-efficiency toilets are also dual-flush, but many have vacuum-assisted technology that use even less water a flush (some as low as 0.8 gallons).

Best Water-Conserving Toilets

Low-Flow Shower Heads – These high-efficiency designs work in a couple of different ways. Aerating shower heads save water by mixing air into the output while low-flow non-aerating designs restrict the water flow. Both shower head options offer an increased water flow velocity, giving the sensation of a typical shower experience.

Tankless Water Heaters – Tankless designs are far more energy-efficient than their tank counterparts. They take up much less space than a traditional design and offer a continuous supply of hot water. They also last up to ten years longer than traditional water heaters, though the upfront cost is considerably more.

Whole-Home Water Filters – Whole-home filters can help ride your water from a variety of microbial pathogens, toxins and hard water. The two most popular kind of filters are a heavy duty filtration system (the highest performing) and a standard capacity water cartridge (which is more affordable, though requires more maintenance).

Benefits of Using a Whole House Water Filtration System


Take More Showers – Though this seems like a simple act, taking a shower over a bath can save quite a bit of water. The typical bath uses 35 – 50 gallons of water as opposed to a shower (which uses anywhere from 2.5 to 5 gallons depending on the shower head design). Also try keeping the shower time down to a few minutes.

Fix Leaks – Check your faucets, pipes and toilets for leaks. Just a small leak from your bathroom faucet can waste around 20 gallons of water a day. Other leaks from pipes and toilets can waste even more water. Check the water meter before and after an extended period when you aren’t using any water. If the meter numbers have changed, then you are dealing with a hidden leak.

Toilet Water Waste – Never use the toilet as a wastebasket for trash or tissue. Every time you flush the toilet, 5 to 7 gallons of water is used.

Mindful Grooming – While you are brushing your teeth, shaving or using the sink for other grooming purposes, don’t leave the sink running continuously. Keep a glass by the sink and fill it with water when you need to rinse your mouth.

Wash Only Full Loads – When you are washing dishes or clothing, make sure that you have full loads. Pre-washing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher is also to be avoided.

Insulate Water Pipes – Insulating your water pipes will help ensure you get hot water faster, avoiding a lot of wasted “cold” water. Insulating water pipes is a fairly easy procedure as pre-cut foam insulation can be found at most hardware stores.

Insulating Hot Water Pipes

Remember that Universal can help you with all of your plumbing needs, including leaks and repairs.

We can also help you with installation on a new water filtration system, water heater maintenance, pipe repair and much more. Give us a call today at (713) 364-0226 and we’ll schedule an appointment!