Cut Your Shower Water Use with a Trickle Valve

With a standard 3-Star, low flow shower head you are using 9L per minute in the shower, so for a 5-minute shower you would use 45L of water. It adds up pretty quick, even with a low-flow shower head.

Water in South Australia is expensive. If your household uses less than 328 litres per day, you be paying $2.32 / kL (source). As your daily use increases, so does your cost per litre, with it jumping up to $3.32 / kL for up to 1424 litres per day. According to SA water a normal family of 5, with a small garden, will use around 550L per day of water.

Bearing that in mind, a 5-minute shower will cost about 12 cents, plus the cost of heating the hot water. With five people showering most days, the water cost alone is about $18 per month (assuming you can keep it at 5-minutes per shower).

Flexispray Shower Trickle ValveI don’t know about you, but no matter how quick I am in the shower there always seems to be times that the water is running needlessly.

Adding an trickle valve to your shower head ($11.00 from Bunnings) can potentially cut your shower water usage down by half, if used efficiently by all family members. With the numbers that we have been talking about, the valve could pay for itself in less than two months, making it definitely a worthwhile investment to look into.

Is a 7.5L / Minute Shower Head Worth It?

Flexispray WELS 3 Star 7.5L per MinuteIf you are looking for an easy way to potentially save an extra 5000 litres of water per year, it’s worth looking at replacing your 9 liter per minute shower heads with a new 7.5L per minute shower head (source). It’s also possible that you could be eligible for some government rebates for installing water efficient shower heads.

Although 7.5 litres per minute does not sound like enough for a decent shower, according to this article by Choice there are some decent shower heads out there.

When we went to a local bathroom shop to test out shower heads we were actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of pressure coming out of them. I had thought that with only 7.5L of water coming out of the head it would feel like a trickle, rather than a decent flow. The few that we were able to test at the plumbing store really seemed to hold their own in the pressure and features department.

The Choice article that I referenced to above tested seven different showerheads, by six different manufactures. They tested them based on the following criteria:

  • The feel of the spray
  • How effectively it was at wetting the body and hair
  • How effective it was at removing shampoo and soap
  • The coverage of the water over the body
  • How easy it was to adjust the temperature and spray settings
  • Total overall satisfaction

Flexispray WELS 3 Star 7.5 Litres Per Minute Splash 5 Function Hand Shower KitThe top three according to the Choice testers were:

  1. Flexispray WELS 3 Star 7.5L/min Splash 5
  2. Methven Kiri Satinjet FLX150H
  3. Hansgrohe Puroset Raindance S 100

The Flexispray WELS 3 Star 7.5 Litres Per Minute showerhead is available from Bunnings as a separate head, on an arm, with a hose, or on a bar with a hose. We decided to with the Flexispray WELS 3 Star 7.5 Litres Per Minute Splash 5 Function Hand Shower Kit. It ranked highly on the Choice article, looked pretty good, included five different function, and had the flexibility that came with a hose. Another bonus of the Flexispray shower kit was that it only costs $69.00.

I’ll be installing the new showerhead in the few days, and if we have any serious problems with it I’ll let you know …

Get Your Own Toilet Seat Stickers

I don’t think this is something I would buy, but it’s good for a bit of a laugh …

Toilet Seat Inside StickersConsidering that we are trying to work on getting the kids to close the toilet lid, having humour on the inside of the toilet lid is probably not the best idea …

If you want your own toilet seat lid stickers Groupon has a deal for them right now of $9.00 for one sticker up to $24.00 for four stickers. You can check it out here …

How Should I Lock the Gate to my Yard?

If you want to safely and securely lock up your personal access gate to your back yard there are a few things that you need to consider in addition to security.

PadlockOne of the challenges that we have run into  in locking up our gate is making sure that the utility companies still have access to the meters. This includes:

  • Gas
  • Electrical
  • Water

One way to do this is to learn your billing cycle and unlock your gate during the weeks that the meter readers are set to to their reading. The challenge to this is that the meter readers are not always consistent with when they come by, and sometimes you miss them. If the meter reader is unable to do an actual reading then they do an estimate, which isn’t always accurate.

Another option is what is advised by SA Power Networks:

Customers often ask us how they can secure their meter box to avoid it being tampered with.

You can choose to install a utility lock on the electricity meter box or relevant access point (such as a gate). The best solution is to install a utility lock. Utility locks may only be purchased from a member of the Master Locksmiths Association. Once the lock is installed (we recommend you get this done by an accredited locksmith) you will need to let us know. We have a master key and will be able to undertake meter readings.

***  UPDATE  ***

The electricity meter box forms part of the home owner/occupiers private electrical equipment and as such not owned by SA Power Networks. We don’t require the meter box be locked this is entirely at the home owners discretion.

Alternatively you can install a private lock, here’s our fact sheet which provides more information about how you can secure your meter box if you wish.

We’ve had one electricity bill estimate, that was wildly inaccurate, so we are now on the hunt for a replacement lock that meets the SA Power Network requirements …