- Green >
- Smart Water: Faucets, Heaters, and Systems
Smart Water: Faucets, Heaters, and Systems
Learn about devices for controlling energy-saving home water systems.
- Photo: Flickr
Consumers who are thinking about conservation, convenience, and green issues alike will find an enormous range of “smart” water accessories designed to improve upon both the home’s water system and usage.
In 1986, the federal government severely restricted the presence of lead in pipes and solder used in residential plumbing fixtures. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that because their home was built after 1986, their plumbing and water fixtures are safe from lead issues. Not so, says Eric Goldman, president of MGS USA, an Italian stainless-steel faucet company with USA headquarters in Boca Raton, FL. “Brass faucets have lead in them, and they have soldered pieces, which contain lead.” The current limit on lead in pipes and fixtures is 8 percent, but many on the anti-lead campaign believe leaching of lead into the water poses a dangerous risk, particularly to children.
MGS markets high-end stainless steel faucets, using recycled metal and without solder or lead, with kitchen faucets in itsVela collection listed at about $1,600. For those who want better water without the high price tag, other lead-free options exist.
Both Federalloy of Bedford, OH, and EnviroBrass of Denver, CO, have been producing lead-free brass and bronze alloys for use in plumbing fixtures and faucets. Concast Metal Products of Mars, PA, started GreenAlloys.com as a resource to the metal industry and a way to increase awareness of low-lead or no-lead alloys for use in plumbing fixtures and faucets. Homeowners looking for healthier drinking water should consider a low- or no-lead faucet alternative, and look for fixtures that contain lower lead levels than the maximum 8 percent.
Instant Hot or Cold Water
The water accessory market is saturated with “instant” devices. Smaller, under-the-counter hot water dispensers are proving an economical convenience for the busy kitchen, supplying instant hot water for perfectly brewed coffee or tea, easy dishwashing, quick hot cereals, and ready-to-drink baby bottles. The EverHot from Bradford White is a half-gallon under-the-sink unit that can supply 190-degree water in a flash, with a 60-cup-per-hour capacity. The 110-volt system uses less electricity than a 40-watt light bulb and costs $350 to $500, depending on additional accessories and faucet style selection.
On the flip side is the instant cold water dispenser, such as Bradford White’s EverCold, which is installed under the sink as well. The InSinkErator is an all-in-one under-the-sink product that combines an instant hot water dispenser, a water chiller and a filtration in one packaged unit. InSinkErator’s mix-and-match options allow for any number of combinations with prices that can range from $200 for the hot-water only dispenser to over $900 for the hot water, filtration, and water chiller units.
- 10 Popular Driveway Options to Welcome You Home
- 12 Hobbit Houses to Make You Consider Moving Underground
- 12 Wow-Worthy Woods for Kitchen Countertops
- 15 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Big
- 20 Clever Ideas for Repurposed Storage
- 10 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities
- 12 "Expert Picks" for Fail-Safe Colors
- 10 "Neat" Garage Storage Solutions
- 10 Reasons to Love Architectural Salvage
- 10 Design Inspirations for Mudrooms and Entryways
- Painted Cabinets: 10 Reasons to Transform Yours Now
- Kitchen Flooring: 8 Popular Choices
- 10 "Dream-Worthy" Swimming Pools
- Paint Guide: 10 Essentials for Successful House Painting
- Murphy Beds: 9 Hide-Away Sleepers
- 10 Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your Home Security
- 12 Ways to Put Your Home on an Energy Diet
- 13 Easy Ways to Repurpose Antique Armoires
- Bob Vila's Guide to Historic House Styles
- 10 Things to Do with... Cross-Cut Trees