If someone gave you a tip for saving water and, consequently, cutting your utility costs would you take it? I was evaluating new water taps for this blog and wandered across the Department of Energy's regulations on the gallons per minute (GPM) rate allowed on new taps. According to Energy Savers, new faucet flow rates are capped at 2.5 gpm at 80 psi or 2.2 gpm at 60 psi. Now for the tip: Installing a 1.0 gpm aerator can cut your water use by 50 percent when compared with the government-cap flow of 2.2 gpm.
When you consider the cost of just a new aerator - from $2 to $7 - what are you waiting for? You can upgrade to a green kitchen water system for less than it costs see a first-run movie. And installing a new aerator is a beginner's job when it comes to kitchen remodeling.
Evaluating green aerator choices
Considering there were so few water-saving taps on the market a few years ago, you'll go blind trying to look at all your options today. Let's start with inexpensive aerator replacements and then go on to entire faucet replacements. Aerators come in a wide selection of options, depending if you want a single faucet aerator. For less than $2, e3Living sells a single chrome-plated 1.5 gpm aerator that screws onto your existing threads and can save 7,665 gallons of water a year if you're currently using a standard 2.2 gpm faucet.
If you prefer two stream options, there's a 1.5 gpm Versa aerator with a valve that alternates a bubble stream to a spray pattern - for around $8. The aerator comes with a compensator so that the water flow is constant despite water pressure. Not convinced you need an new aerator? For $2, e3Living sells a drip gauge that measures how much water is leaking from each faucet in your house.
Looking at green faucets
Even if you're considering only cheap kitchen remodels you'll find budget taps that come fully equipped with low-flow gpm aerators. You can start with a basic model, low-flow, single-handle faucet/aerator combination for around $125.
Basic and popular, the single-handle faucets with a pull-out head for spraying are often the best value. Adding bells and whistles like high-performance valves, side-mounted handles, bronze metal, soap dispensers, temperature settings and gooseneck heads will add money.
As long as you're going green, take a look at recycled sinks. If you're a good scavenger, you can transform your kitchen, cut your water bills by more than half and have a great look, too!