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Gallons Per Minute


Every fixture and appliance in your home that dispenses water can be rated based on the number of gallons per minute (GPM) that pass through it. These rates vary widely, depending on the age of the fixture and how water-efficiently it has been designed. Let's take a look at some average ranges of GPM for typical household fixtures and appliances:

Showerhead: 2.5 - 7 GPM

Faucet: 2 - 3 GPM

Lawn systems: 3 - 10 GPM

And a few other statistics:

Bathtub: 18 - 36 gallons per use

Washing machine: 18 - 50 gallons per load

Dishwasher: 15 gallons per load

Toilet: see gallons per flush (GPF)

Determining GPM
You can test out your faucet's GPM output easily. Place a large container such as a gallon jug beneath the faucet. Start a stopwatch and run the water at full capacity for exactly 15 seconds. Measure the amount and use an online unit conversion tool if necessary to convert to gallons, and then multiply this figure by 4. Ideally, the resulting figure should be closer to 2.2 GPM than 3 GPM.

Ways to Reduce GPM
Considering that the average person uses anywhere from 50-100 gallons of water per day, there are plenty of opportunities to reduce that figure:

  • Install aerators on faucets
  • Purchase a low-flow showerhead
  • Replace old appliances like clothes washers and dishwashers with new ENERGY STAR rated appliances
  • Repair leaks ASAP
  • Be conservative: take shorter showers, shut the water off while brushing your teeth, fill the sink with water while washing dishes instead of running the faucet, etc.

Learn more green building acronyms...

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