Updating to water-saving plumbing fixtures is one of the best investments you can make for your home.

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Q: Like most families, we want to cut down on our home’s water usage. To be honest, other than taking shorter showers, I’m not sure where to start. What are your recommendations for easy ways average families can save water?

A: For starters, updating to water-saving plumbing fixtures is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Most homeowners overlook this added benefit when it comes to saving water. In most cases, if you lower your town’s water use, your sewer costs will also go down. If you have a well and septic tank, using less water can lead to lower maintenance costs, as well.

Most older toilets and faucets were not designed to be high-efficiency fixtures. So, an easy trick to saving water is to remove older water-wasting fixtures and install new high-efficiency ones. This way, you really don’t have to change your lifestyle: The new fixtures do the water-saving work for you.

Look for toilets that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush, showerheads that use 1.75 gallons or less per minute, and bathroom faucets that use 1.5 gallons or less per minute.

The good news is you don’t have to upgrade all of your fixtures at once. Start with the toilet first, then let your water-saving changes flow from there.

 

Ed Del Grande is a master plumber and contractor and is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call.” Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.