Water down the drain? – on d’mand hot water

By Chet Zebroski

Beyond Green

Inspired as we are to harmonize with nature by creating as much solar electric energy our homes need annually, we also come to understand the impact of our water use.  We realize too much water runs down the drain as we wait for warm water.

A simple tactic homeowners can take is to not allow water to pass down the drain while waiting for hot water.  Many people are placing buckets, or other containers in the flow until warm temperature is at hand.  While commendable, many just don’t have the patience and/or motivation to perform such a duty.  Another tactic would be to use the stopper at the sink allowing the cold water to accumulate until enough hot water has warmed it up for use.  But, this too has it’s limitations.

Priming with Hot Water D’MAND

The good news is that there’s a pump that can be retrofitted strategically to prime the majority of the hot water line with hot water.  It’s manufactured by ACT and is called Hot Water D’MAND Kontrols Systems.  They offer many options for water conservation for both residential and commercial buildings. Here’s a link to the product used in our small home:

One of the first things we did during our remodel was to install this recirc pump at the kitchen sink for our hot water.  The kitchen’s hot water line runs past the bathrooms.  So, those lines would be primed with hot water at the main line, delivering hot water to the bathrooms with very little cold water left in the branch lines.  In larger homes additional pumps may be required to attain efficiency.

The pump works by forcing the cold water in the hot water line into the cold water line by use of a clever plumbing fitting.  That’s right.  The pump is powerful enough to force the water into the cold water line until it reaches a temperature of 72°, then automatically shuts off.

While Laundry to Landscape can be done by most homeowners using simple tools, we felt this gadget may require a plumber for a proper connection.  But, for those of you more confident in your capabilities, here’s a link to a video of an installation:

More: The image at the top captures the title.  Here’s a link to the article that it’s from, explaining many of the aspects of grey water.  The more we learn, the better we become.  Let’s embrace this moment and use these techniques to change the way we share space on this precious sphere:

Home and Garden: Fusing with Nature L2L

By Chet Zebroski

It’s no secret that California is in a severe drought.  While there is discussion of high priced tunnels, desalination plants, and dams to assist in CA’s water needs, conservation is by far the most powerful tool we can make use of.

To emphasize that point, California has recently adopted Grey Water building codes statewide.  There are many new commercial buildings (and residential buildings) that are implementing grey water and rain water systems to offset utility costs and to gain independence from increasing costs related to water.  Not to mention respecting and honoring this precious element.

As an overview, San Francisco has provided a booklet explaining many of the tactics for code approved grey water installation and use.  Some tactics are more complicated than others and requir permits.  While this guide is for San Francisco residents, it’s information applies statewide.  Check with your local jurisdiction to understand what is required in your area.

This post is to inspire homeowners to acknowledge how water use, or conservation, is within our grasp.  One of the easiest tactics available is Laundry-to-Landscape.  L2L simply uses the laundry’s washing machine pump to pump it’s waste water directly into our gardens.  Using the correct laundry soap, this water is perfect for fruit trees which require deep watering, for example.  Using complimentary plantings beneath the tree canopy, this tactic will provide many benefits by way of beauty and nutrition.

Oasis Design, a leading grey water proponent, has many excellent open sourced resources available to inspire conservation and garden layout.

We started our L2L installation last year and intend to complete the runs and preliminary plantings this year.  These few photos share the source connection through the garage to the outside wall.  We’ll be tying into this grey water line and will share those photos when complete.

laundry to landscape

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