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Three Household Appliances That Waste the Most Water
October 19, 2010 By Beth Buczynski
It’s easy to cut back water usage by re-examining these three necessary household appliances.
Having fresh water to cook with and clean our bodies and clothes is a luxury that millions of people around the world don’t share. According to the EPA, the average family of four can use 400 gallons of water every day, and, on average, approximately 70% of that water is used inside the house.
If you’re good about not letting the faucet run while you’re brushing your teeth, and only watering the lawn in the morning and early evening, you might wondering where all this water is going.
Start tracking down your water usage by rounding up the usual suspects. Here are the three most wasteful appliances in your home:
Toilets made before 1992 use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water per flush, and a toilet that leaks or constantly runs can waste about 200 gallons of water every day. Newer toilets are designed to perform the same function with about 60% less water than their older, less-efficient counterparts. If you’re not sure whether your toilet is leaking, place a drop of food coloring in the tank and watch the bowl for a minute. If the color makes its way into the bowl without flushing the toilet, you have a leaker.
A scientific study conducted at the University of Bonn in Germany found that a dishwasher uses half the energy and one-sixth of the water that it takes to hand wash your dishes, but if your machine was made before 1994, you could still be wasting water unnecessarily. Compared to a conventional model, an Energy Star-qualified dishwasher saves enough water every year to wash your car five times over. Remember to only run the washer when it’s completely full, and avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features.
Traditional washing machines can use between 27 and 54 gallons of water for each load. Replacing your outdated machine with energy- and water-conserving models (aka front-loading or top-loading, non-agitator) you can shrink your water usage to 26 gallons per load or less. It can also help save energy to wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry.
Time to upgrade
When shopping for new appliances, looking for the WaterSense label will help you identify high-efficiency products and programs in your community. Products bearing this label provide the same performance and quality you look for in an appliance, but with the added benefit of water savings.