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Q: Dear Ed, we are first-time homeowners. Our home was built in the '80s and has the original plumbing. While our budget is limited, we really want to save some water. Where do we start and how do you recommend we keep costs down?
A: Home water conservation not only protects a valuable resource, it can also lower your water and sewerage costs. I always say that saving water can be as easy as one, two, three.
First, start with your faucets. This can be the easiest and the least expensive upgrade. At the end of the faucet spout is a control called the aerator. In most cases, existing aerators can be replaced with new water-saving aerators.
Next, change out the older showerhead(s) with a high efficiency model. Look for replacement shower heads that use under two gallons per minute.
Finally, replacing older toilets with new efficient toilets that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush can really add to your water savings.
Since toilet replacements can be pricey, you may want to complete your faucet and shower head upgrades first and save the toilet for the end.
Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org