Understanding “green” plumbing

Managing Real Estate Broker with 206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com 17900

Understanding “green” plumbing 

In the Western World we take clean water piped into our homes too much for granted and far too much is wasted. In many parts of the world water is a scarce and treasured commodity. With the threat of global warming hanging over us we should all be taking the subject of how we use water far more seriously.   

Thankfully, the developed world is beginning to consider water use to be an important subject. How to reduce waste and make the best of the resources available are the major criteria? One way to contribute to saving this precious resource is by incorporating “green” plumbing into new builds and to update plumbing in existing homes and business premises. Not only can it save water but it can also save a considerable amount of money by reducing water charges. Below is some useful advice about plumbing that reduces wastage of water? 

Check for any leaks 

One of the major causes of water waste is from leaking mains and pipes. The mains are the responsibility of the water company of course and major leaks in the home quickly become apparent, however, even dripping f

aucets can waste a large amount of water, so it’s important to repair them as soon as the problem becomes apparent. A surprising amount of water can be lost through leaks, and getting a green plumber such as Seattle plumbing company Jim Dandy to help diagnose and fix any problems could save far more money than the cost of the work. 

Change the toilets 

If it has come to the time to replace an old toilet go for the best “green” option by buying a model that is low-flow and high efficiency. These are great for saving water by reducing the amount of flow necessary for flushing, and there are models that have a dual flush mode so either a full or a half flush can be chosen. 

Get a water butt 

Gardeners can often be over-enthusiastic when watering the garden and on many occasions use far too much mains water, which is not good for plants and is wasteful and expensive. Setting up a large capacity water butt to catch rainfall is a great way to use the natural bounty from the sky. Setting up a pipe system to direct rainfall from the guttering should help keep the butt brimming and once again the water bills are reduced, as this free manna from heaven can be distributed around the garden. If a water butt is not feasible it may worth investing in a drip irrigation system of the type used in very dry countries. 

Renew a water heater 

Traditional water tank heaters are expensive to run so it’s worth considering investing in a water heater that does not store the hot water, heating it only when needed. Many modern domestic central heating boilers are designed to do this. Some estimates suggest energy savings of up to 50 percent could be achieved by heating tap water in this way. 

Recycle gray water 

A gray water recycler is a bigger investment but is an excellent way to help the environment. Gray water is the waste from showers, baths and sinks that can be recycled for non-drinking uses, such as flushing toilets and watering the garden. Many new buildings have these systems installed when they are constructed. Architects, designers and water companies are constantly looking for better ways to use and reuse water. 

Use a water-filtering pitcher for drinking 

Bottled water is expensive and the bottles have to be thrown away. They can be recycled but a lot go to landfill, which is wasteful and environmentally bad practice. A filtering pitcher uses tap water and can be kept cold in the fridge in a reusable bottle. 

We now live in a world where resources of all kinds are becoming scarcer. It is imperative that we all start to take responsibility and look for ways in which we can reduce our personal impact on the environment. Using and wasting less water is an area in which everyone can help by installing environmentally friendly plumbing systems.

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Adrian specializes in green home marketing utilizing traditional and social media marketing to create the widest exposure of your property.

Comments (11)

John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Good morning Adrian.  You certainly have provided some excellent Green information.  Living in the high desert we are very water saving aware.  One should never take water for granted not to mention the expense

Jan 08, 2014 12:18 AM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Adrian, I agree with most of the things on your list except the advice about on demand water heaters.  There is no reason why a conventional tank type water heater should use more water (once it is filled).  The problem of wasting water while one waits for the hot water to get to its point of use can be a problem with either type of heater and can easily be rectified with a recirculation loop.  The high cost of these heaters and other considerations make them questionable as part of a plan to "go green" in my opinion.  While becoming quite popular as part of being "green" most people are not aware of their drawbacks.  I will take a super-insulated electric conventional water heater over an on-demand every time.

Jan 08, 2014 02:07 AM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert


Excellent blog concerning a very valuable and becoming scarce resource being water. I agree with your comments but I will say many of these new low flow toilets do not flush very well and maybe use more water in the long run due to the constant flushing. I will suggest and I hope that helps! 

Jan 08, 2014 03:50 AM
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

It is so true we take our running water for granted.  In the last hurricane when we lost our water for weeks it made me realize how truly hard it is for those across the world who deal with it on a daily basis.

Jan 08, 2014 05:31 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Adrian, great post on water conservation and if we all practiced these tips, our natural resource will go a lot further.   

Jan 08, 2014 11:06 PM
Randy Shamburger
Movement Mortgage - Greenville, SC
FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert

Excellent water conservation post. Thanks for sharing.

Have a Big day,


Jan 08, 2014 11:13 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Adrian - Thanks for the great list of information about understanding green plumbing.

Jan 09, 2014 09:23 AM
Eric Galuppo
Real Estate Rev - More Leads Means More Revenue

Hi Adrian. It’s indeed a very helpful advice. I love the idea of getting a water butt. I’ll surely apply these tips to reduce my water bills. Thank you!

Jan 10, 2014 07:38 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Great post, Adrian! We try to be as 'green' as we can be. We're actually buying a new hot water heater this week and are looking at a tankless system.

Jan 11, 2014 03:59 AM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Adrian, the term water butt is new to me - we use the word rain barrel. Whole Foodsis selling rain barrels and I almost bought one a couple of weeks ago. Your post inspires me. I think when we have hard rains, the rain coming off our roof could fill a couple of those. 

Jan 11, 2014 01:17 PM
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

Adrian, I'd never heard the term "water butt" before, either. Good advice about being green. If you ever get a chance to tour the NAR building in Washington, DC, you'll really appreciate all the green features in it. They even had to write some new code in DC due to new strategies used in the process!

Jan 12, 2014 02:30 AM