I received a response to one of my posts about saving water recently. The responder diplomatically said that my suggestion to use a water flow restrictor on shower heads was all wet.
He had tried installing a flow restrictor and reported that his family used more water than ever before by taking much longer showers. Plus they were very vocal in their complaints after the shower had been “improved”.
This member of my fan club called my bluff. I had to confess that the new shower head in my house had arrived with the flow restricteo in place. However, my Swiss army knife quickly moved the flow restrictor to the trash can.
Some folks who know that hot water is expensive have been sending me their ideas on how too save money. Some of the tough love suggestions that I received were:
• “The best way to save on hot water is to get rid of any teenagers in the house.”
• It is better to install a timer that makes the telephone ring after the shower has been on for 7 minutes. Teenagers can’t resist a ringing telephone.
• After 9 minutes close the hot water valve coming out of the water heater so your victim has a cold shower.
Things that work and keep peace in the family are:
• Keep your water heater in good shape. Drain a quart of water out the bottom each month.
• If your water heater is located in the garage or in an area that you don’t want to pay to heat, add extra insulation. Wrapping an extra fiberglass blanket around the hot water tank may not look pretty but it can save on your energy bill. On natural gas fired units the extra insulation must be kept a foot above the floor so the burner can breathe.
• When it is time to replace a hot water heater make sure you buy an Energy Star high efficiency model.
• If you don’t need to buy a new heater yet, insulating the hot water pipes is good if it reduces the time you let the water run while waiting for the hot water to arrive.
• Minimize hot water use by washing full loads of laundry or dishes. No partial loads. Use the water saver feature on these machines.
• For the lowest energy and water bills consider an “on demand” type water heater that does not have a storage tank. No waiting for the hot water to get through the pipe. They cost more at first but save money on energy and water over time. Best of all you never run out of hot water. The Rinnai brand tankless water heaters are a good choice.
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