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Reducing Water Pressure to Increase Savings

Do you pay a water bill? Sewer too? I can bet it has gone up in the recent years. You may be able to get it under control and save money in the process. Our approach is: “We need to reduce your water pressure.”

Many times, when telling a client that they need to reduce pressure within their home or business we are often met with skepticism. This is understandable because when we think of low pressure, we think of showers being weak or taking forever to wash our hands. Measuring water pressure is easy and its part of every service call we do involving a plumbing or water heating issue.

Many municipal water suppliers have street water main pressures more than 100PSI. While this is great at supplying every home or business with great water pressure and flow, it can be problematic in a home or business. A simple pressure regulator (PRV) on your incoming water main is a simple solution that can be installed to reduce your pressure to safe, usable levels.

The intent is not to cut pressure down so low that water dribbles from your shower head but you do want to achieve a consistent 50-60PSI within your system. Faucets and shower heads, most of which are “water saving”, only occurs at their design pressure. For example, a shower head designed for a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute is designed to do so at 50PSI. If you have 100PSI within your home that flow rate nearly double to approximately 4 gallons per minute. Your ten-minute shower should have used about 25 gallons of water and instead it used 40 gallons. That’s 15 more gallons than you should have used. 15 more gallons that you paid to bring into your home and 15 more gallons you paid to be treated at the sewer authority.

The Ramifications of Wasting Water

A person showering everyday using 15 more gallons than they need to equals 5,475 gallons more per year, not including hand and dish washing. For a family of four you will have wasted and paid for an additional 21,900 gallons of water for showering. In addition to the water wasted, most of the water wasted was hot. Additional volume through a water heater means more wear and tear, additional corrosion by the introduction of more water volume and higher operating costs through additional fuel (gas, electric or oil). This ultimately adds up to early breakdowns and failures resulting in higher operating costs and frustration from down time and possible damage from floods.

water pressure

Realizing the Benefits

This solution can give you a return on investment between six months to one year after implementation. My home’s price for water and sewer is approximately 2 cents per gallon for both water and sewer combined. In my home, if I were to use an additional 21,900 gallons of water it would cost an additional $438 per year in my water bill. I’m not sure how you feel about saving over $400 but I know I like those savings. In my example my full return on investment would be 10 months. The average pressure regulator installed in a residential home operates about 10 years so after the initial investment and return period no additional servicing is required allowing me to save roughly an amazing $4,000 over the life of the regulator. A pressure regulator is a small investment that will put a lot of money back in your wallet.

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