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Fixing a Faucet

Your Home and the Environment

Reducing Household Water Use

Fix That Dripping Faucet ASAP

One faucet dripping once every three seconds will waste a gallon of water a day on average. The good news is that faucet repair is actually much easier than it seems—instructions for repairing the various faucet types are readily available in books, videos, and online. Here are a couple of hints to make the process a little easier.

  • Remember to turn off the water supply at the fixture (or at the main, if you don't have fixture shutoff valves) before you start to take apart the faucet.
  • Choose a time for the repair when most of the family doesn't use that particular faucet.
  • Close the drain before you start to take things apart.
  • Remember, things go back together opposite the order you took them apart in. If you lay pieces out in a row as you dismantle the faucet, you'll have an easier time remembering how to put them back together again.
  • Always take the parts to be replaced with you to the home center.


Replace Your Toilet

Flushing toilets accounts for about 40 percent of residential water use in this country. Every day we flush 5 billion gallons of water. It's estimated that a family of four can save 22,000 gallons of water a year by replacing their old toilets with 1.6-gallon toilets. Good-quality low-flush toilets can be purchased for around a hundred dollars. Replacing a toilet is a fairly uncomplicated procedure in most homes.

In the early days of low-flush toilets, the 1.6-gallon models got a well-deserved bad reputation. Without redesigning the bowl, the manufacturers altered the amount of water flowing from the tank to the bowl. These early models clogged, the bowls streaked, they were, in short, a mess. However, the versions produced in recent years have been completely re-engineered with wider glazed traps and larger water surfaces. These toilets work as well as, if not better than, the old water hogs.


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