Green Plumbing: What You Need to KnowBy My Service Depot on Friday, February 21, 2020
Offering green plumbing services and billing yourself as a green plumbing company can give you a leg up on competitors.
As a plumber, you’re responsible for setting up a system that safely transports a precious resource: water. It may seem like you don’t have any control over how efficiently your clients use their water, but in reality, you hold the key to reducing water waste. Whether you install low-flow shower heads, use recyclable pipes, or recommend drip irrigation systems instead of sprinklers, you can put your plumbing expertise to good use for the sake of the environment. You can even take a look at your internal business practices to become a truly green plumbing company.
Now, we know what you might be thinking. Wait a second, why should I even care about green plumbing? While green plumbing tech might not seem worthwhile to you, it will to a good chunk of your customers. Thus, going green means seeing green. To make your company the best option for the largest swath of potential clientele, you need to stay up on this technology. With that in mind, check out these ideas for improving the environmental footprint of both your business and your clients.
Efficient Faucets, Shower Heads and Toilets
Adding an efficient plumbing fixture represents a simple and low-cost suggestion that you can give to any client who wants environmentally-friendly plumbing solutions. Low-flow faucets and shower heads use less water but achieve the same high-volume effect by adding air to the water stream. Therefore, the pressure remains ideal for hand-washing and showering despite less water exiting the fixture. Toilets can also be outfitted to use less water per flush.
Choosing environmentally-friendly pipes is not as straightforward as it seems. You need to balance the pipe’s performance and longevity with its eco-friendliness. For example, PVC pipes offer some performance benefits over corrosion-prone metal pipes, but PVC pipes cannot be recycled and eventually end up in a landfill. On the other hand, metal can be recycled, but the energy required to do so could contribute to environmental pollution if it’s non-renewable.
In other words, choosing the best green plumbing pipes can sometimes put you between a rock and a hard place. Technology is slowly catching up, with a pipe called Aquatherm leading the way in terms of a recyclable, high-performance pipe.
Drip Irrigation vs. Sprinklers
A lush, green lawn may be exactly what your client wants, even though it can take a lot of water to keep the grass looking so fresh. But does it really take a lot of water, or are we just used to an inefficient method? Traditional sprinkler systems spray water willy-nilly over the top of the grass. Some of it trickles down to the soil where it can reach the roots, but a lot of it ends up lost to evaporation. All in all, sprinklers waste a lot of water.
Drip irrigation systems, on the other hand, deliver small amounts of water directly where they’re needed: the soil line. Because the water is not lingering on the surface of the grass where it can easily evaporate, drip irrigation uses less water and produces the same lush results.
To take drip irrigation a step closer toward sustainability, install rain barrels for your client and attach the irrigation pipes to the barrels. A spigot on the barrel can allow the client to turn the drip system on and off, and in times of low rainfall the pipes can easily be hooked up to a hose.
Grey Water Systems
In the right circumstances, you could set up a grey water treatment system for an environmentally conscious homeowner. Grey water has been “used” but has not come into contact with feces, grease, or toxic substances. Instead of sending this water into the main sewage line where it mixes with contaminated water and requires treatment at the local processing plant, some homeowners choose to recycle this water at home with their own grey water treatment system. This water typically ends up irrigating plants or gardens around the yard. To maximize safety, you can offer to set up this system for your clients.
Energy-Saving Plumbing Tips
Unless you serve an area largely powered by renewable energy—like Georgetown, TX—your customers’ energy likely comes from fossil fuels, which are notorious polluters. Anything that you can do as a plumber to help reduce your clients’ energy use will translate into fewer fossil fuels burnt (plus cost savings for your client).
For example, try to promote energy-efficient water heaters when clients want to make this major purchase. Also, ensure that pipes are properly insulated to improve the efficiency of the water heater even further. Solar-powered water heaters represent another excellent option to break an over-reliance on fossil fuels.
Cut Down Your Company’s Waste
In addition to providing green plumbing services to your clients, you can also manage your business with some environmentally-friendly solutions. Do you still rely heavily on paper? By switching to a software-based scheduling tool like Smart Service, you can not only reduce the paper waste generated by your plumbing company, but also streamline your business processes and stay more organized in general. Plus, other features on the app can help you cut down on wasted time and squeeze more billable jobs into every work day, ultimately driving more revenue. Take a look at some of the best plumbing apps on the market today and request a free demo of Smart Service.