Showers are the biggest home energy drain, according to EcoDrain. They consume up to 80 percent of a home's total energy [source: EcoDrain].
How much energy this system can save depends on several things, including the type of EcoDrain installed, how often the shower is used, the shower temperature, the temperature of the original unheated water, the type of water heater in use and the fuel cost. Based on these variables, EcoDrain can reduce hot water heater use by 20 to 70 percent [source: David Velan].
The shower is an efficient place in the home to reclaim energy, because water speeds down the drain without losing much of its heat. Compare that to a washing machine or dishwasher, which pull in water and let it sit and cool before draining.
EcoDrain is economical when installed during new home construction or bathroom remodeling projects because the pipe is already exposed. Installing it in an existing bathroom gets more expensive, however, because the bottom of the shower needs to be opened.
The EcoDrain system is virtually maintenance-free. Inside is a nonstick coating that prevents hair, soap, or other shower detritus from getting stuck, so no cleaning is required.
For information on where to buy EcoDrain, visit this site.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Dvice. "10 best ideas for greening your home that you've never heard of." http://dvice.com/archives/2008/11/10_best_ideas_f.php
- EcoDrain. http://www.ecodrain.ca/
- Green, Hank. "Stop Pouring Hot Water Down the Drain!" EcoGeek, March 23, 2009. http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2638/74/
- Inhabitat. "The EcoDrain Cuts Water Heater Use by 40 Percent." March 23, 2009. http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/03/23/the-ecodrain-cuts-water-heater-use-by-40/
- Personal correspondence with David Velan, manager of EcoDrain, July 6, 2009.