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Green Home Plumbing Tips In Honor of Saint Patrick's Day

3 Simple Ways for Homeowners To Go Green This St. Paddy’s Day!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day can be done in many ways, from toasting with green beer to cooking up some classic corned beef and cabbage - to name a few. But there are less conventional ways to celebrate as well. 

In recent years, one of the biggest trends has been to “go green” - no, not by switching to an all-green wardrobe or decking out the house with millions of shamrocks (although there’s nothing wrong with that!). Instead, homeowners are going green by taking steps to make their homes and habits more eco-friendly. And there’s no better place to start than with the home’s plumbing system! Here are three green plumbing tips that every homeowner should know!

Consider Investing In Eco-Friendly Fixtures and Appliances

One of the most impactful ways homeowners can make their homes more eco-friendly is to upgrade the plumbing system itself with more environmentally-friendly appliances. As plumbing technology advances, many homes are left with outdated fixtures and appliances that contribute to water and energy waste.

For instance, many older toilets use 5-7 gallons per flush, compared to the 1.28-1.6 gallons used by most newer low-flow toilets. Upgrading even a few of the home’s toilets can reduce water usage by 20-60%. One can further reduce water waste by switching to water-saving faucets and showerheads. Homeowners can look for the WaterSense label to get certified eco-friendly fixtures.

The fixtures likely aren’t the only things that could use an upgrade in most homes. Some old water heaters can use up to 20% of a home’s total energy consumption by keeping the water in the tank warm. Tankless water heaters that only heat water as needed are a fantastic option for some homes - but there are also many high-efficiency conventional models. The best green appliances will bear the Energy Star seal of approval.

Practice Greener Water Habits

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Installing eco-friendly appliances and fixtures can profoundly impact a home’s carbon footprint, but they are no substitute for adhering to eco-friendly habits. Little things like taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet when brushing teeth or scrubbing dishes, and rinsing veggies in a basin (rather than under running water) can make a difference.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, it generally wastes more water to wash dishes by hand than to run the dishwasher. But if possible, it’s best to run the dishwasher or do laundry only when there’s a full load. Other eco-friendly plumbing habits include watering the lawn or yard less often and only during cooler times of day and fixing any plumbing leaks as soon as they arise. Overwatering and seemingly minor leaks are two of the leading causes of water waste in the U.S.



Be Mindful About What Gets Flushedflush

The easiest way to reduce the home’s environmental impact is to limit what goes down the toilet. Many of the items that commonly get flushed can be enormously damaging to the home’s plumbing system and the environment. 

Inorganic materials such as dental floss, hygiene products, cat litter, cigarette butts, and gum can all clog up the works and contaminate the sewage with toxic chemicals. Things like medication, deodorizers, and heavy-duty cleaning products contribute to wastewater pollution.

Sewage treatment facilities do what they can to remove these materials and chemicals. Still, some substances can survive the process and contaminate the ocean or other downstream water sources. Aside from the direct impact, this can have on local ecosystems, the treatment plants will have to work harder to remove such contaminants, increasing their carbon emissions. So to be on the safe side, as a general rule, the only things that one should ever flush are human waste and toilet paper.

About Magic Plumbing

Magic Plumbing has been San Francisco’s go-to resource for plumbing and HVAC services since 1980. They offer same-day service, free estimates, financing, and a rewarding membership program. Their friendly experts are available 24/7 for emergencies, so don’t wait to call them for plumbing services in San Francisco, CA!