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Thread: Green Remodel

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Green Remodel

    Hello Everyone,

    My Girlfriend and I are in the process of trying to brainstorm what to remodel for her new place. We're trying to go as "Green" as we can afford (which really is limited). Do you guys have any suggestions as to what we should be looking for? I know this is mostly a plumbing site so hopefully you guys have some tips in terms of Toilets, Faucets, Showers, etc. I think we've come to the conclusion that we want a TOTO Aquia II but any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks, all!

  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Don't cheap out on a toilet. My wife and I recently replaced our builder's grade model with a better performing one and instantly realized a $10/month decrease in our water bill. The replacement is the same GPF (1.6) but we no longer have to flush two or three times to clear the toilet.

    Windows can be a huge energy saver. Upgrading any HVAC without looking at the home for leaks can be a 2 step forwards, 1 step back process.

    Roof/Attic insulation can also be a large energy saver. If you go that route make sure you have a contractor who understands attic insulation so you don't cause a problem while trying to fix one.

    Front loader washing machines take alot less water and energy to run.

    Have your dryer duct clean or if necessary re-routed, a clogged dryer duct will make you run the dryer longer as well as being a possible fire hazard.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dysrhythmic View Post
    We're trying to go as "Green" as we can afford !
    I would say that you can never use the words "green" and "afford" in the same sentence. If you want green, you either have to live in a tent and heat with candles ( that discussion is taking place right now in another thread!) OR prepare to pay through the nose.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The Aquia II is a good choice for the toilet.
    Cathy likes that it's easy to keep clean on the outside. She considers that a big plus.

    Most shower heads are now rated at 2.5 gallons, and I think that's about where they should be.
    Some of the Green shower heads try to make the water feel spikey on the body by putting more air in with the flow.
    Two things happen, the water cools dramatically, thus needing hotter water for a shower, and the things hurt.
    Other people have commented on this too.
    I tried one for Cathy, but her and the girls could only take it for a day or two.
    The local water department tried using smaller aerators on kitchen faucets for a while too, and sinks started plugging.
    Low flow aerators on bathroom lavs work fine though.
    I find that using timed irrigation outside is good.
    That have saved me money.
    And drip irrigation is even better.

  5. #5
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    Awesome! Thanks for the input!

    Any recommendations on what kind of shower head and kitchen faucet? Also, I read that turning the water heater to 120 degrees will help save on the electricity bills. However, the water heater we have doesn't list it in temperature. Any idea what number where we're supposed to turn it to? I think it goes up to "9".

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Health authorities would suggest that a water heater set low, at 120, is susceptible to growth of legionella. I think 125 is the minimum recommended. Since water heaters are well insulated, the standby losses are minimal, and the savings are not worth the risk. It is possible that future plumbing codes will mandate 140 water with tempering valves. Don't lose sleep over the energy loss. Spend you time and worry minimizing water down the drain...install some kind of recirc.

  7. #7
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    I've read about recirculating pumps and am not really sure how they work. I think I read somewhere that you should only install it on the furthest sink from your water heater. How does a recirculating pump stop water from going down the drain while you wait for it to heat up?

    I also read about a cut off valve or something for the shower while you're lathering. Does that help? Is it pretty easy to install?

  8. #8
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    lathering

    I don't use soap in the shower. Sometimes my back does not even get wet.

    I'm like a cat when it comes to water. That's why I like plumbing...to keep the water where it belongs...in the pipes!

  9. #9
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    New place as in Apt, Condo, house......
    I just picked up[ (2) 275-325 gallon containers to store rainwater
    This in addition to the (5) 55g drums I already have
    Water my gardens & hopefully be able to change the water in my hot tub without using city water

    Future might be feeding the toilets from one of these
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  10. #10
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    It's a condo so we're pretty limited in what we can do but at least we're trying! We don't have a garden or lawn so the only upgrades we'll be doing are in the condo.

    I'm interested in the recirculating pump. Any recommendations?

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