Green fixes for your Los Angeles plumbing
If you have leaky faucets, a constantly running toilet or a washer that uses gallons of water for each load, it could be time to make a few changes to your Los Angeles plumbing.
Fortunately, the initial cost of investing in a few environmentally friendly fixtures, appliances and solutions for your home could end up saving you money in the long run. Many appliance manufacturers offer mail-in rebates to encourage residents in the Los Angeles area, as well as throughout the United States, to trade in their old appliances for EnergyStar energy-efficient products, including washing machines and water heaters.
Locally, the California Urban Water Conservation Council launched the Smart Rebate program, which offers qualifying residents significant rebates for certain products. For example, some residents could save $100 on the purchase of a high-efficiency toilet and $150 on a high-efficiency washing machine. Commercial customers can save even more. Keep in mind, some of these purchases may also be tax deductible.
To go green, begin with a water audit of your household use. If you’re a customer of the California American Water utility, the audit is free. If you don’t use this utility, a green plumber will typically offer the service at a reasonable cost.
A water audit should reveal:
- A test of showerhead and faucet flow rates
- Toilet flush rate estimate
- Presence and size of leaks
Using the information from your audit, identify the fixtures that should be replaced and shop for the new, cost-efficient and energy-saving appliances you need.
Going green does not mean sacrificing luxury. Today’s efficient showerheads are a guilt-free pleasure. For example, the American Standard FloWise 3 Function Water-Saving Showerhead is touted by the manufacturer to save 40 percent more than a standard showerhead. It offers a turbine spray, full spray and combination spray options.
Consider adding an automatic shut-off device to your morning routine. The Danco Shut-Off Shower Valve can be purchased for less than $20 at local home improvement stores.
Ultra-low-flush (ULF) toilets take care of business without costing a fortune. One model, the Toto Drake, is promoted as using just 1.5 gallons of water per flush. These toilets are required to be installed in all new construction homes in California, so contact a highly rated Los Angeles plumber if you have questions.
Energy-efficient washers and dryers can save you in utilities each year. Make sure your model bears the EnergyStar logo.
Compare the Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and Water Factor (WF) for each brand. The MEF reveals the efficiency of the appliance as it runs the washer, heats the water and runs the dryer. The higher the MEF, the better; however, on the WF, a low number is best.