Paradox of Green Plumbing San Jose

by Yussef on September 6, 2013

People want to hear GREEN, whether it be a trend or not.  Some people care very little, while others invest a lot of time and money in living a green life style.  With this green frenzy we are in, it is hard to decipher what is really an honest environmentally conscious effort to conserve the planet and what is simply a gimmick.  The same is happening in the plumbing industry.

Everyday a new product comes out claiming to be more green and efficient than yesterday’s product.  In some cases it is true, technology is advancing and ideally as a nation, we could overall lower our environmental footprint.  But at the same time, a lot of these products come with a “catch”.

The plumbing industry is making a valiant effort to establish a more environmentally friendly presence, but unfortunately many of the products defeat the environmental savings purpose.  For instance, Recirculation pumps are great; they have the potential to save a household up to 12,000 gallons of water per year!  Unfortunately, they require electricity to run on and even though some have timers to stop the pump from running all day, you still end up using quite a bit of electricity.  Tankless water heaters have a similar paradox.  There may be some gas savings (as you may have read in our last article) but in the same token, you use more electricity and because you have endless hot water, there is a tendency of utilizing more of the water supply then necessary.  High efficiency toilets (HET) are now mandated in our State.  While some work better than others, we still face the dilemma of people having to double flush the waste from the bowl.  Of course, this defeats the purpose of having a low gallon per flush (GPF) rate.  Since we’re still on the topic, let’s briefly discuss toilet sensors and waterless urinals.  This may be news for some women as I don’t imagine they spend much time in the men’s restrooms, but yes waterless urinals do exist! They are a great concept, but the downfall is that they require an expensive cartridge which needs replacement every so often.  Since these cartridges are expensive, they don’t get replaced as often as they should, so if you have ever walked into a restroom with waterless urinals, you’ll note they are a bit more smelly than other restrooms.  Now toilet and faucet sensors are very convenient because they keep our hands from germ infested toilet or faucet handles.  Unfortunately, they do require quite a bit of maintenance and they defeat environmental conservation purposes when they begin to work when people are just walking by them and in that event, waste water resources.  Most sensors operate on batteries, which are not as easy to replace as the ones in your remote control while other sensors operate on the electricity we are striving to conserve. These are all just some examples of the irony in being green.

There are advantages and disadvantages to most green products and purchasing the right combination of available new technology is tricky business.  Next time you think about being green, make sure to consider all aspects of your investment.  If your investment is related to plumbing contact us for our advice and opinions

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