Conservation: Water Aerators

25May16

Partially due to the drought awareness (and associated rising water costs) and partially due to my conservation/home improvement hobby, I’ve been looking at ways to save water/energy around the home. For this post, I’ll be looking at faucet aerators for a bathroom sink. The aerator is the piece at the tip of the faucet that creates the stream of water and limits the flow by passing through a mixture of air and water. The average faucet aerator has a flow of 2.2GPM (gallons per minute). I decided to replace this with a 1.5GPM aerator, which is barely noticeable when washing your hands, yet reduces the water use by 32%. What’s the impact? Let’s say this faucet is used for 10 minutes a day — you will save over 2500 gallons of water in one year. This is the aerator I purchased, <$4 (free ship-to-store; brand recommended by my local hardware store who ran out of stock); you will recoup the cost in about 2.5 months. The installation takes about 2 minutes (unscrew your faucet tip, take out old aerator, put in new aerator, screw back in), and since you use your old exterior faucet tip, it’ll look exactly the same. You could also try 0.5GPM and 1GPM aerators as well, saving even more water, and see if you don’t mind the reduced water coverage (you’ve probably seen the 0.5GPM aerators in public restrooms where the faucet shoots a circle of “needles” of water). Note: I wouldn’t change out kitchen aerators since you probably need the high flow for washing dishes.

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