Fact:

Depending on the model, if a modern dishwasher is fully loaded, it can use much less water than hand washing. Efficient dishwashers can use around 1-1.5 kilowatt-hours and 14 litres (around a sink full) of water to wash 12 place settings of dishes. You'd typically need several times this amount of water to hand wash the same dishes. Save Energy

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Water Tips

Free water tips you can use today!
  • Check for toilet leaks. Visible leaks can waste more than 96,400 litres per year and up to $58. Test by placing a couple of drops of food colouring into the cistern and see if colour appears within 15mins.
  • Check seals on taps. One tap dripping at a rate of 90 drops each minute will waste around 1400 litres of water a month. That’s $23 per year and even more for hot water.
  • Check pressure relief valve on your hot water system. If not functioning properly this can result in increased energy use and greenhouse emissions.
  • Reduce your hot water thermostat setting by just 1˚ and you will save up to 10% off your heating bill.
  • Wash clothes in cold water using an appropriate detergent. You will save yourself up to $0.30 per load and up to $94 per year. *Based on 6 times 1hr loads per week.

Water temperature
If you don’t know the water heater’s thermostat setting, measure the delivered water temperature by placing a thermometer under a running hot water tap that is closest to the water heater’s location. Delivered water temperature may be a few degrees lower than tank temperature.
 
Take care in testing the temperature and only do so if it is safe and you are competent to do the task, and the storage unit can be adjusted easily and safely.
 
Note: Instantaneous Water Heating Systems
Generally set these at the temperature at which you which to use the hot water without adding cold. For example: If you want a shower at 40 Deg C set the temperature at 40 and do not use the cold water. This approach should overcome the problem where gas instantaneous systems ‘go out’ due to low water flow.

 
Please note - some houses now have mixing values to reduce the hot water temperature to a safe temperature before circulating around the house. In these cases, testing the water temperature at a tap will be ineffective as the water has already been pre-mixed with cold water to make it cooler and safer.
 
Ensure you have a water efficient shower head
Older shower roses can use 20 litres per min, but installing a low flow showerhead – with a 7 or 9 litre flow rate can lead to substantial reductions in water, energy, emissions and costs.
 
For example: The water saved over a year based on 10 min showers can be up to 141,960 litres per year for a 3 person family. That’s equivalent to almost 71 x 2,000 litre capacity water tanks of water, and it is easy and cheaper to do. 
 
Having a 4 min shower will reduce your potential water consumption. But installing a more efficient shower head could save another 70,980 litres a year per 3 person family.
The 4 minute challenge
Reducing shower time down to 4 minutes with a water efficient shower head really starts to make an impact. The old shower head would consume 1400 litres per week per person, or an incredible 218,400 litres per 3-person family each year.
 
Whereas, a 4 min shower would only use between 10,192 and 13,104 litres per person per year, or between 30,576 and 39,312 litres per year for a family of 3.
 
An amazing reduction of 500 to 700% in water consumption, plus other benefits like lower energy bills, lower impact on the environment and perhaps even a smaller hot water system when the time comes to replace the one you have.
Further water tips
  • Install AAA showerheads and save over 30,000 litres a year and up to 0.35 per shower or $100 per year. *Based on three, 4-minute showers per day.
  • Keep the swimming pool water temperature less than 27°C.
  • Insulate your hot water system. You could be paying $0.35 a day to replace heat lost to the environment.
  • Install low-flow aerators on taps. These will still give plenty of force and flow while saving energy and money.
  • Switch off the pool or spa heater (or at least down) when not in use, especially if there are long periods of the year where there is no use.
  • Check seals on your fridge. Faulty or cracked seals can lead to reduced energy efficiency and higher bills.
  • An automatic dishwasher can use more than 40 litres of water per cycle. Those with a AAA-rating can cost as little as 10c per load and use only 18 litres of water.

Other bathroom tips
  • Use a bucket to catch water while the shower warms up and while you are showering, and reuse in the garden.
  • Turn off the tap while cleaning your teeth, shaving or washing hands – you can save 7 litres a minute.
  • Turn off the water while shampooing your hair.
  • Instead of shaving in the shower, fill a container of water and use it to lather up and shave before you shower.
  • Choose a shower instead of a bath - a 4 minute shower uses only 36 litres compared to a full bath which uses 150 litres.
  • If you bath, of if you bath small children, use as little water as possible. Put the plug in before your turn on the tap and fill to less than a third. Reuse the bath water by bucketing on the garden.
  • Install a dual flush toilet. The new dual flush only uses 6 litres on full and 3 litres on half flush, down from the older dual flushes of 9 litres on full and 6 litres on half flush.
  • Unnecessary flushing is one of the biggest wasters of water – don’t flush needlessly, and never flush tissues and other waste down the toilet.
  • Consider installing a grey water system to recycle water from the shower, bath, and laundry to the garden. Research the potential in your area. Considering that approximately 50% of the fresh water used at home is used on the garden this should deliver substantial savings.
  • Use a brick or a bottle full of water in the toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water in the cistern and that is used in each flush. Especially good if you’re renting and still want to do your bit.

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