We already put together a guide outlining how we use water at home, and how much.
In this guide, we look at how much water common household appliances and devices use.
These devices and appliances include dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, taps/faucets and so on.
We also briefly outline outdoor water use.
Summary – How Much Water Common Household Appliances & Devices Use
Home appliances and devices use different amounts of water
Newer appliances and devices are available that are water efficient and use less water
With some appliances and devices, there are different models or settings available that use less water, such as single vs dual flush toilet settings
Water use can be measured according to different metrics – per load, per cycle, per minute of use, per flush, and so on – it depends on the appliance or device
Although it can be hard to compare one appliance to another because of these different units of measurement, when we look at how we use water at home, we see that toilets, showers, faucets/taps, and clothes washing machines might use the highest % share of water
In dry or hot climates, or households with extensive backyard or outdoor vegetation and plants, outdoor water use might be much higher for irrigation, hoses, sprinklers, and so on
Houses with pools and other water intensive water uses, might have a higher volume of water required for outdoor use
Water leaks can sometimes make up a % of overall water use in a house – so make sure to check taps, your toilet, and pipes, for any signs of potential water leaks
There’s a range of water saving and water efficiency you can use to try to reduce your water use in the house. Some of them we’ve listed at the bottom of this guide
Something that is worth noting is the total water footprint at home. Apart from direct water use at home, indirect water use through electricity used and food consumed is important to consider too
How Much Water Do We Use At Home, & How Do We Use It?
We outline more about these factors in this guide about how much water we use, and how we use that water at home.
Water Use Inside vs Outside The Home
Water use inside the home vs outside depends on several factors individual to the house being assessed.
Some studies show more water use inside the house, whilst others show more outside.
Read more about inside vs outside water use around the house in the guide linked above.
What Devices Use The Most & Least Water In The Home
According to Wikipedia.org, one study provided a general breakdown of how water is used in the house amongst different uses and devices. The results in % share were:
17% Clothes Washers
4% Other Domestic Uses
Now, looking at how much water each individual type of appliance or device might use …
How Much Water Does A Dishwasher Use
New water efficient dishwashers might use around 13.4 litres, or 3.5 gallons of water, for one load/cycle
Old dishwashers can use up to 60 litres, or 18.5 gallons of water, for one load/cycle
How Much Water Does A Washing Machine Use
Top loader washing machines can use 150 litres, or 40 gallons of water, per cycle/load
Front loader washing machines can use 60 litres, or 15.8 gallons of water, per cycle/load
How Much Water Does A Shower Use
An ordinary or old shower head can use 17 litres, or 4.5 gallons of water, per minute
A water efficient shower head can use 8 litres, or 2.1 gallons of water, per minute
How Much Water Does A Toilet Use
A single flush toilet (full flush) can use 12 litres, or 3.17 gallons of water, per flush
A dual flush toilet (with half flush) can use 8 litres, 2.1 gallons of water, per flush. Sometimes they use less
How Much Water Does A Bath Use
Depending on the size of the tub, an average fully filled bath tub might have a capacity of 140 litres, or 37 gallons of water
How Much Water Does A Tap/Faucet Use
A running kitchen or bathroom tap/faucet can use 8 litres, or 2.1 gallons of water a minute
How Much Water Do Hoses, Sprinklers & Outdoor Devices Use
A standard garden hose (with or without a trigger head) or sprinkler can use 18 litres, or 4.75 gallons of water, per minute
A high pressure cleaner can use 6 litres, or 1.6 gallons of water, per minute
A bucket or watering can can carry 9 litres, or 2.37 gallons of water, per bucket
An average backyard swimming pool can hold 20,000 to 40,000 litres, or 5283 to 10566 gallon of water
Other Appliances And How Much Water They Use
An average fully filled kitchen sink might have a capacity of 18 litres, or 4.75 gallons of water
An average fully filled laundry trough might have a capacity of 80 litres, or 21.13 gallons of water
How Much Water Do Leaky Taps/Faucets, & Leaky/Running Toilets Waste
A dripping/leaking tap might waste 30-150 litres, or 7.93-39.6 gallons of water, per day
A leaky/running toilet might waste up to 700 litres, or 184.9 gallons of water, per day
A 1999 study estimated 13.7% of household water use goes to leaks (epa.gov).
If you are unsure about how to fix a leaky tap or toilet, it’s best to call in a plumber to fix it for you.
But, if you have a leaky tap in particular, it might mean the washer is loose or needs replacing.
Check Product Specifications For Water Usage, & Water Holding Capacity
When checking water usage for an appliance or device, you can go to the manufacturer’s website beforehand to check water usage.
The specification sheet should tell you the water efficiency rating and amount of water used per load or cycle with a dishwasher for example.
For baths and sinks, you should know the volume they hold.
With hoses, single sprinkler heads (turn them upside down and face them into the tub), cleaners and taps/faucets, you can run them for one minute into a plastic tub or sink/trough as a test, and measure how much water is in that tub after a minute, to get an idea of how much water they use.
Look At Water Saving/Water Efficiency Devices
There’s many water saver/water efficiency devices on the market for different appliances.
With washing machines, dishwashers, shower heads, and taps for example, you want to look for appliances that have a higher water efficiency rating and are sold as water efficient appliances.
But, you can also get separate water saving devices such as timers, aerators, low flow settings devices and more.
Other General Water Saving Tips
Buy 5 star water rated, and water efficient appliances
Use low flow or water efficient shower heads
Use a tap aerator, or low flow tap device
Use dual flush toilets
Use a front loader washing machine over a top loader
Get water leaks fixed
Run washing machines and dishwashers with full loads
Run washing machines and dishwashers on lighter cycles/settings for lighter loads
6. Various appliance brand sites, and product specifications (Bosch, Samsung, GE etc.)