Form and Function: Choosing Fixtures for Water Conservation

Form and Function: Choosing Fixtures for Water Conservation

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Elegant and Efficient: There are Now Plenty of Beautiful, Convenient, Water-Saving Fixture Choices for Your Home

At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we’ve seen the trend in commercial buildings where water savings is now a must. There are plenty of incentives such as LEED points, code compliance, and corporate goals that encourage designers to include water conservation fixtures in the building’s bathrooms and break rooms. Our plumbers have had plenty of experience with installing and maintaining these new technologies, and we highly recommend them for our customers who are remodeling or otherwise updating and adding new plumbing features to their home. It just makes sense to make the choice, for the environment and for your water bill. Adding these new products can also enhance your lifestyle with beautiful forms and convenient automatic functions.

Water-Saving Solutions That Make Sense

Some of the first steps companies took towards creating water-saving products involved just making it easier to operate the valves on sinks so you can bump them off while you wash, then bump accessible handles again to restart the flow. In your shower, a simple single valve installed by your plumber near the showerhead allowed users to stop the water flow while soaping up, then resume at temperature when it was time to rinse. Flow restrictors in showerheads kept the spray coverage the same while reducing overall water use. They weren’t elegant solutions, but they were successful ones. Now, your plumber has more intelligent, creative, and even stylish solutions to offer customers.

From Frustrating to Elegant, Faucet Sensors Have Improved Substantially

Another early technology that has evolved is the sink sensor. Remember how it used to work, often causing a comic attempt to both trigger the water flow and keep hands beneath it before it shut off? Now, sensors are more compassionate towards the user, providing plenty of reliable flow on demand without frustration. Touch-sensitive faucets also allow you to do one better than bump the convenient faucet handle, and just brush the metal to start the flow. Like other smart home devices, companies like Delta offer kits your plumber can install that provide voice control of your kitchen faucet including on, off, and even metered output. Combined with the other voice-enabled kitchen devices you can install, you’ll never have to rush to the sink to shut off the faucet while you’re telling the oven how long to cook the roast, and the faucet will shut off when it fills a pan to the correct level.

The WaterSense Label Makes Fixture Choices Easier

Just as most electrical appliances now are rated according to EnergyStar standards, WaterSense compliant independently certified fixtures meet EPA requirements for water flow and function. Designers combine efficiency with creative ways to provide effective function, resulting in a product consumer won’t find to be a compromise.

Don’t Give Up the Flow to Save Water in the Shower

WaterSense showerheads earn the designation by limiting the water flow through them to two gallons per minute, while providing the shower experience that higher-flow showerheads offer. That’s not the only way to conserve water, though. Manual shower valves that cut off the flow when it’s not needed such as when shampooing can save dozens of gallons. Elaborate body spa showers delivering relaxing spray from the sides as well as above may use a lot of water, but many of them can recirculate a fixed quantity of water for each shower, allowing you to enjoy a luxurious experience without guilt about how long the shower is lasting. If you are conserving water based on shower length, a simple shower timer can keep your costs down and allow a large family to get going in the morning without conflict.

Jazzing Up Your Toilet, from Air-Blast Flushing to Space-Age Controls

Depending on your budget, a basic air-jet flush toilet can help you save water while still providing effective flushing power. An advanced electronic toilet or add-on bidet seat can change the way you experience your bathroom visits with features normally found in Europe and Asia. You may find that you prefer a quick wash and dry cycle to using flushable cleaning products, potentially saving water and also reducing the chance of clogged drains.

Installing Basic Water-Saving Functionality

Many fixtures are direct replacements for older models, installed by your plumber in the same manner as any single-head showerhead, bathroom faucet or kitchen faucet would be. More efficient toilets than your current decades-old one can be installed quickly and easily, as long as the new unit is of the same form factor such as a round or elongated bowl.

Installing Fixtures with More Complexity

A sensor-based kitchen faucet with voice control can involve several technologies and require a plumber who understands not only the water connections but power and even network interconnects. Your smart home provider and plumber can work together to update your systems for the best use of all the features provided. Basic sensor-based faucets for kitchen and bathroom are easy to install as replacements and may require a periodic battery replacement or a nearby outlet for more advanced systems.

Remodeling and Upgrades

Planning a change? Bathroom and kitchen remodels are a great time to implement water savings with beautiful, technology-enhanced modern fixtures.

Water Meter Add-Ons That Catch Leaks and Wasted Water

If you like to watch the numbers and see how your upgrades are performing, or are concerned about leaks and want to catch them as soon as possible, a water meter add-on installed by your plumber can track your usage and allow you to monitor it, even remotely.

For Expert Installations, and When Your Water Saving Fixtures Need Servicing, Call Us

For many of the water-saving fixtures we’ve discussed, it’s important that your plumber is familiar with the new technologies involved in order to diagnose and repair any issues. Your bluefrog plumber is well-trained and current with water-saving technologies and can make sure that your fixture is performing optimally after the maintenance or repair is completed.

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