Q&A - Eco-friendly plumbing

Installing a plumbing system into a new home means using a variety of different products made from a number of different materials, not all of which are sustainably sourced or manufactured. The good news is, if you’re building a new home you have a lot of control over what materials and products you decide to incorporate into your system.

Installing eco-friendly plumbing has a number of benefits including reducing waste, saving water and energy, and in some cases providing performance superior to that of conventional plumbing products.

There are several different features that I am considering adding to my home’s plumbing system including PEX tubing, energy-efficient toilets and other plumbing fixtures, and water-saving outdoor watering system. Since I’m at the beginning of this part of my homebuilding process, there’s still plenty of time to work out the details.

How would you make your plumbing system more eco-friendly? Join the conversation and let us know!

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  • Dave Sweet
    Thanks for the recommendations, Gene. My wife wants to put a concealed toilet in the downstairs bathroom and we were comparing a few different options. Right now, we’re looking at a Geberit concealed dual flush toilet. I think upstairs we may go with a more traditional looking toilet so I’ll definitely check out the Dual Flush Niagara Conservation Stealth Toilet.

    As far as water circulation goes, I’m still finalizing what energy saving features I’ll include, but saving energy by shutting the water heater off at night is a good way to go. Check the blog regularly to find out what we end up going with!
  • Gene DeJoannis
    Look at the Dual Flush Niagara Conservation Stealth toilet. On low flush it uses ONLY 1/2 Gal/flush, less than any toilet I know of (0.95 GPF on high). IT is also VERY quiet, yet has a large water surface and clears the bowl of solids even on the low flush. I have 2 of them and they are great. A Bemis slow closing lid with quick release hinges for cleaning makes a good complement.
    For your remote lavs, add a 3rd line to return cooled off hot water back to your water heater. With the DHW heater in the basement you should have enough buoyancy force to slowly circulate hot water up to the lavs without a pump, and you will have instant hot water at the lavatory sinks. You only need this on the furthest lav. Others on the same branch will also benefit.
    Put a time clock on your hot water heater so that it shuts off at night. Why keep it hot while you are sleeping? I used to hear my boiler start at night when all zones were setback and not calling for heat. It was just keeping the storage tank hot. I used a programmable T-stat to interrupt the low-voltage wiring to my DHW zone valve so it will not open at night (set the T-stat for 45 at night and 95 in the day to make it work like a time clock).