Thursday, April 19, 2012

How much water comes out of your tap?

To continue this week's Green Your Kitchen series, I will show you how to measure your kitchen faucet flow rate.

Your faucet's flow rate indicates how much water passes through your faucet during a given amount of time. In the U.S., it is often measured in gallons per minute (gpm). The bigger the flow rate, the more water you consume.

The recommended flow rate is 1.5 gpm or less, which ensures proper pressure while minimizing water consumption. However most fixtures have a flow rate of 2.2 gpm or more, according to Energy Savers.

Recommended water flow rate: 
1.5 gallons per minute or less

How to measure the water flow rate
To measure your faucet's flow rate, follow these simple steps:
  1. Open the faucet completely.
  2. Collect cold water in a graduated container for an exact period of time (for example 4 seconds).
  3. Measure the amount of water collected.
  4. Convert your measurement to gallons per minute.
Use the Water Flow Rate Calculator provided below to convert your measurement in fluid ounces to a flow rate in gallons per minute.

Water Flow Rate Calculator
Amount of water collected:
Measurement duration:
Water Flow Rate:
(Numbers are shown as an example. Enter your own data.)

For example, in the following video, I collected 17 fluid ounces of water in 4 seconds. My faucet's flow rate is hence 1.99 gpm.

Other tips for saving energy
Many little habits can help you save water. For instance, you can water your plants and garden with the water you use while cooking, whether it is the water you rinsed your vegetables in or the water you cooked them in and that you allowed to cool down.

Buying guide
If your faucet's flow rate is higher than 1.5 gallons per minute, buy a kitchen faucet aerator at your hardware store. An aerator will put air bubbles in your water flow, decreasing the volume of water flowing through, while maintaining the pressure of the stream.


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