9 Ways To Save Water In Your Home

A typical U.S. household uses 260 gallons of water every day. Here's how to trim that number down.

September 1, 2015
leaky toilet
1/9 DANIEL KULINSKI/GETTY
Leaky Toilet

Quick Fix
To detect a quiet leak, add drops of food coloring to the tank and wait to see if it made it to the bowl.

Related: 10 Ways You're Polluting Water Without Realizing It

Long Term
The LeakAlertor sits on the tank and identifies the turbulence of a running toilet, setting off alarms when it detects a leak. Replacing a worn flapper is a simple DIY job.

Hot Showr
2/9 GLOW DECOR/GETTY
Hot Shower

PHOTOGRAPH BY GLOW DECOR/GETTY

 

Quick Fix
Wrap hot water pipes in foam so they lose less heat to basements and crawl spaces.

 

Long Term
A WaterSense-labeled showerhead won’t bring hot water any faster, but it will reduce an existing showerhead’s 2.5 gallons per minute down to 2.0 GPM.

kitchen sink
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Kitchen Sink

PHOTOGRAPH BY BFGIMAGES/GETTY

 

Quick Fix
Screw an aerator on the tap to reduce flow when dishwashing.

 

Related: The Dangerous Thing That's Ending Up In Your Drinking Water

 

Long Term
The Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer tucks under the counter and cleans seven place settings using 2 gallons of water.

washing machine
4/9 VISIONS OF AMERICA/GETTY
Washer

PHOTOGRAPH BY VISIONS OF AMERICA/GETTY

 

Quick Fix
Adjust the load setting or run full loads; wash with cold water to save hot for baths.

 

Long Term
The Twin Wash by LG is a full-size front-loader with a smaller top-loading tub for washing just a few items.

sprinkler
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Sprinkler

PHOTOGRAPH BY DEREK P REDFEARN/GETTY

 

Quick Fix
Water by hand in the early morning, when less is lost to evaporation.

 

Long Term
Eve Irrigation wireless sensors tailor the watering schedule to your yard’s microclimates.

swimming pool
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Pool

PHOTOGRAPH BY WANDERLUSTER/GETTY 

 

Quick Fix
After pool season, let the water sit for at least a week so chlorine dissipates, then use it to irrigate the lawn.

 

Long Term
An automatic retracting pool cover reduces evaporation and saves up to 70 percent on heating costs.

watering plants
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Thirsty Plants

PHOTOGRAPH BY DOUGAL WATERS/GETTY

 

Quick Fix
Use a soaker hose attached to your home’s spigot to put water closer to the roots.

 

Long Term
Install a drip irrigation system that runs micro hoses to each plant, saving up to 30,000 gallons of water annually.

rain barrel
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Downspout

PHOTOGRAPH BY SCHULZIE/GETTY

 

Quick Fix
A downspout diverter and rain barrel catch 40 to 50 gallons of storm water. 

Long Term:
The 1,000-gallon Rainwater Pillow connects to downspouts and tucks under decks or in crawl spaces. Its pressurizing pump makes irrigating the lawn easy.

Bucket
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Graywater

PHOTOGRAPH BY LENALIR/GETTY

 

Quick Fix
Use a bucket to catch cold water before the shower warms up, and use it to water plants.

 

Long Term
The GS Series graywater system by Flotender hooks up to a line that extends from your sink, shower, and washer to store 40 gallons before sending it out to sprinklers.

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