Understanding Your Household Water Usage
Regardless of how much water you consume in your home, you can always count on your bill popping into your inbox or mailbox the same time each month. If you’ve had a lot of guests visiting over the past few weeks or done an exceptional amount of laundry over the past month, you may cringe a little when you see the dollar amount posted.
The key to minimizing your monthly water usage is to understand how much water you use for day-to-day activities so that you can cut back where it’s needed.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how much water it takes to complete simple household activities and how much it could hurt come time for your water bill.
Bathroom Water Usage
Taking a Shower
Think about how long you take to shower. Now take that number and multiply it by 5. If your average shower is about 15 minutes long, that means you’re using about 75 gallons each time.
Taking a Bath
If you’re more of a bath taker than a shower taker or have small children, it’s important to understand that an average sized, full tub uses about 36 gallons of water. Meaning a half tub uses about 18 gallons. While baths aren’t as time effective as showers, they often help to reduce overall water usage.
Flushing the Toilet
For each toilet flush, you use about 3 gallons of water. If the average person flushes at least 4 times each day, that means each person in your household uses around 12 gallons daily and 360 gallons monthly just by flushing the toilet. This can vary from toilet-to-toilet and most toilets advertise their water usage on the tank.
If you have a leaking or running toilet in one of your bathrooms, it could be consuming around 200 gallons per day, even when you’re not using it. With this averaging out around 6,000 gallons each month, your wallet will thank you for having a plumber take a look.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to require a lot of water. On average, brushing your teeth uses 3 gallons each time. If you habitually keep the water running while brushing, turning it off while you clean your teeth can be a small but effective way to cut back.
Washing Your Face & Hands
On average, washing your hands and face uses about 1 gallon per wash. If you wait for the water to warm up and tend to do a thorough scrub on your hands and face, keep in mind how much water is contributed to this activity.
Kitchen Water Usage
Using the Dishwasher
It’s no secret that using a dishwasher to wash your dishes uses quite a bit of water, and while it can be helpful to your overall water usage to cut back on how often you run your dishwasher, it’s also super convenient to use. Though this number varies by machine, the average dishwasher uses 16 gallons of water per wash.
Hand Washing the Dishes
Whether you’re hand washing the dishes to cut back on water usage, or you have kitchenware that can’t go in the dishwasher, hand washing happens. For every minute the faucet runs, 3 gallons of water are used. Keep this in mind if you sometimes run the faucet continuously while scrubbing.
If any of your sink faucets are leaky or drip throughout the day, this could be costing you money. 10 drips from a leaky faucet each minute totals out to about 1 gallon each day. This is another instance where a plumber is necessary.
Laundry Room Water Usage
Using the Washing Machine
Expecting to do extra loads of laundry over the next few weeks? Keep in mind that each load of laundry uses 44 gallons on average. While it’s necessary to wash your clothes, you may want to consider segmenting your loads a little differently to conserve water.
Outdoor Water Usage
Keeping your lawn green, your car washed, and your plants watered becomes super important during the warmer (and sunnier) months. If you regularly use your outdoor water sources, remember that, for each minute the hose is on, you’re using 6 gallons of water.
Of course, these numbers vary by household, appliance, habits, etc. but it is important to keep an eye on your water usage both for conservation purposes as well as for your monthly budget. Consider changing up some of your habits or investing in energy-efficient appliances if you’re ready to reevaluate your daily water consumption.