Green Remodel

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Dysrhythmic, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Dysrhythmic

    Dysrhythmic New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    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. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    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.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    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.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,794
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    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. Dysrhythmic

    Dysrhythmic New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    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. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Health authorities would suggest that a water heater set low, at 120º, 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 140º 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. Dysrhythmic

    Dysrhythmic New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    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. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,780
    Location:
    USA
    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. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    New place as in Apt, Condo, house......:confused:
    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
  10. Dysrhythmic

    Dysrhythmic New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    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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