Oct 24, 2017

How Much Water Does the Average American Waste?

You know that moment well: You’ve turned on the shower, the water is running, but there’s no way you’re getting into it quite yet. The water is freezing! So, you start your routine, whatever it is — making a cup of coffee, answering a few emails, folding the laundry, etc. By the time you finish, you check the water and it's finally hot, but it's has been running for some time. Have you ever stopped to think just how much water you have wasted in a single day or how much energy is lost heating the water you don't even use?

This very common pattern is called “ behavioral waste” or waste that occurs because of human habits. And there is quite a lot of it. According to Jonah Schein, technical coordinator for homes and buildings for the EPA’s WaterSense program, “Typically 20 percent of every shower, the duration, is essentially lost.”


Considering the average American shower uses 17.2 gallons and lasts for 8.2 minutes, this means that 3.44 gallons of water is wasted each time you turn it on. And since it costs about 2¢ to heat a gallon of water, you are also throwing away 7¢ per shower, too. Not a big deal? It quickly adds up for a family of four: 40 gallons of water per day are used x 365 days in a year = 2,920 wasted gallons and $59 literally down the drain. And that is just for the shower.

Why does it take so long for your shower water to get hot?

It’s happening due to a combination of these issues:

  • The shower is too far from the water heater (up to 40 feet away, sometimes even further for bigger homes)
  • Pipes are too wide (energy loss)
  • Showerhead flow rate is too low
  • Pipes pull too much heat from the water

Here at Heatworks, we are committed to helping preserve our Earth’s precious resources: water and energy. That's because water is a finite resource – even though about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, less than one percent is available for human use. Despite the water supply and infrastructure challenges faced by many communities across the US, each American uses an average of 88 gallons of water each day at home. Water managers in at least 40 states expect local, statewide, or regional water shortages to occur over the next several years. We all need to do what we can to eliminate waste.

Here are some facts to think about:

  • Bathrooms are the largest use of water in the home, using more than 50 percent of all indoor water.
  • Approximately five to 10 percent of US homes have easy-to-fix leaks that drip away 90 gallons a day or more.
  • Residential outdoor water use across the US accounts for nearly 9 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation.
  • Heating water is typically the second largest use of energy in a home, almost 17% of total home electricity (after space heating and cooling).
  • The Department of Energy estimates that a stunning 80 percent to 90 percent of the heat energy that our home water heater adds to our water ends up going down the drain.

So what can you do to prevent your money from going down the drain?

Consider a tankless water heater. It can be installed closer to the bathrooms than can a traditional storage water heater, cutting down or even eliminating the wait time. For those with a bigger house and bigger budget, a tankless water heater is also a good option to get hot water to that custom-designed bathroom with multiple showerheads. Tankless water heaters operate on an as-needed basis, using up to 40 percent less energy than traditional systems.

At Heatworks, we don't believe in waiting or wasting. We only make tankless electric water heater that are small enough to fit anywhere. And we only use our patented Ohmic Array Technology to heat water endlessly, on demand. Never will you have to wait again for the water to heat up. You will be able to stay in the shower longer. AND save time, energy and money. Check it out here.

Bottom line: A tankless water heater would be an excellent investment in any home, with continued monthly cost savings on utility bills. If you are tired of spending money wasting water and have had enough of the shivering while you wait for a hot shower, consider a Heatworks MODEL 3 Water Heater.

Topics: News