5 Ways To Redo Your Indoor Plumbing

There are many ways homeowners are adapting to the threat of climate change: from motion-sensor or timer lights, to simply opening more windows instead of running the AC. They’re also installing solar panels on their homes and making a whole host of other changes become more environmentally conscious. 

One area of your home you almost never look at, unless there’s a problem, is your plumbing. Most traditional plumbing at home is done with plastics. PVC piping, or copper piping for bathrooms and hot-water heaters. 

PVC piping alone in 2018 accounted for over 1,000 tonnes of all recycled plastic piping in Australia. Even more egregious was the 2,000 tonnes of recycled PE (polyethylene) pipe that cropped up in the same year. The facts are simple: Australians are using far, far too much traditional plastics in their plumbing, at a great detriment to the earth. 

There are so many ways you can make more environmentally conscious choices, even with something as mundane as your indoor plumbing. Here are some options. 

Install a dual-flush toilet 

Most of your home’s water usage comes from the bathroom, so it makes sense to begin here. 

For example, older toilet models use 4L of water for every flush, go and measure out four litres of water into a large jug and you’ll be astonished… one relatively simple step you can take is to install a dual-flush toilet

These toilet models offer you the ability to flush less water down the toilet, and allow you to make the decision for how much water to use based on what your bowel movement just was. 

Dual-flush toilets alone can save up to 32,000 litres per year, according to testing done in a small town. Imagine what would happen if you rolled these toilets out as standard in every newly-built home? 

Take shorter showers 

It is certainly true that there is no better feeling than a long, hot shower to freshen yourself up after waking up or to relax after a long, hard day. But with every shower, you’re using roughly 9 litres of water per minute

Try turning off the shower while soaping up, you’ll be saving about 20 litres if there are no leaks to fix. Try setting yourself a hard time limit in which to get things done in the shower. Set yourself a 10-minute timer and then get out. Train yourself to be quicker about your showers. 

Install an on-demand hot water heater 

Rather than using a traditional water heater, which heats your water all the time, regardless of whether you need it or not, thereby wasting up to 57% of the energy that goes into the system, by the time it has done the process necessary to produce hot water through your taps. 

Each and every time you turn your taps on, that process is repeated. The energy loss is clearly enormous. One way to fix this problem is to install an on-demand water heater, preferably one that uses solar to heat the water contained within the unit. A more efficient hot water heater could also save you up to 15% on your energy bills. 

Insulate your piping 

While this is not necessary to avoid freezing, there is a loss of heat energy whenever hot water flows along any length of piping, as per conduction science. So even if you don’t have to worry about freezing, it is still a good idea to insulate your pipes to improve their efficiency. 

There are many other plumbing considerations to make, but you should start by taking the simplest, cheapest step of insulating your pipes. 

You don’t have to do it all at once 

Sure, if you’re building a home from the ground up, then it is a very worthwhile investment to make, ensuring your home is as environmentally friendly as it can possibly be. 

However, if you’re looking to retrofit your home, you certainly don’t have to take all of these steps all at once. Do it one piece at a time. Buy the dual-flush toilet and then buy the solar water heater six months later and then have a plumber come in and retrofit your piping. 

Whatever your reasoning for wanting to be more environmentally conscious with your plumbing, it can only be a help for you in the future.

Whether you’re looking at moving into a new home and retrofitting it as you want or upping the resale value of your current dwelling, there’s never been a better time to make your plumbing greener. If you need a hand with your indoor plumbing, then get in touch with Professional Plumbing NSW today!