Home & Garden

Older kitchen faucets flow faster

This is part of a weekly feature in Home & Garden, highlighting ways residents can save water.

▪  Watch run time on the kitchen tap.

Water comes out of the kitchen tap faster than most faucets in your home. If your kitchen faucet was installed before 1994, its flow rate is likely between 2.75 and 7 gallons per minute. New water-efficient kitchen faucets deliver water at 2.2 gallons per minute, but that can add up quickly, too; five minutes of running water equals 11 gallons with an efficient faucet. With an inefficient faucet, that same five minutes of running time could mean 35 gallons down the drain.

Speaking of kitchen faucets, reader Bill Moore took exception to a recent water tip on garbage disposals.

“I read your short bit about disposals using 10 gallons of water each time we use it,” Moore wrote. “I also didn’t read any facts to support your claim. Therefore your claim is as far as I am concerned (is) bogus. We have a disposal and we use it. And there is no possible way we use 10 gallons of H2O each time. It simply doesn’t happen.

“I don’t know who’s house you are in and, if those people run 10 gallons of H2O each time, they are absolutely wasting water. So, I want to see some data/facts to support your claim. And I want it published. You can’t just write whatever you feel like without facts to support it. Oh well, yes, you can but I am calling you out on it. I know what 10 gallons looks like. It’s two 5-gallon jugs and as I have said there is absolutely no possible way that much water is going down my drain each time I use the disposal. I will be waiting for your facts.”

According to manufacturer’s estimates, garbage disposals use on average 4.5 gallons per minute with an average run time of more than two minutes per use. It adds up to about 10 gallons per use. That water not only allows the disposal to chop up the material properly, but also is needed to push the garbage all the way through the pipes and down the drain, preventing clogs.

In compiling water use estimates, the Regional Water Authority – our go-to source for these tips – uses such manufacturer and industry estimates as well as standards set by the federal government. Those estimates yielded the 10-gallon figure for garbage disposal use.

“Our tips come from consultants in water management,” explained Amy Talbot, the RWA’s water efficiency program manager. “There are certain standards for fixtures, such as faucets flowing between 2.2 and 2.5 gallons per minute. There’s also a lot of research, such as we know the average person flushes the toilet 5.1 times a day.

“But these numbers are averages and possible savings are estimates,” she added. “Water saving is very personal. Any number you see varies depending on you and your own use.”

For more tips, visit www.bewatersmart.info/.

Debbie Arrington

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