It was nearly 20 years ago that many water saving gaskets appeared in significant numbers in the USA[1].

This is especially relevant to hotel management since their buildings have all sleeping accommodation normally coupled with a bathroom and water consumption is left to individual users’ whims.

Most guests forget that water conservation practices which are carried out as a matter of course at home, where the water bill is their responsibility, should be continued at their hotel stay.

Since these rules seem to be promptly discarded by guests the moment they step into a hotel shower, hotel managers should be prepared to take action to keep business costs down and help the environment.

What can be done is to look at all appliances and study all areas where guests are likely to use water and start with these, since staff can easily be trained to save in the rest of the building.

But not all water loss is to be tagged to the guest, since hotel managers have plenty of choice to cut down water consumption if they start to maintain their hotels as if they were their home.

A drop of water leaking 24/7 adds up to nearly a 60 litre per day loss – equivalent to a dozen 5 litre water cans you could be serving guests – and considered to be responsible for 14% of everyone’s water footprint for indoor use.

Leaks are sometimes difficult to detect – especially those outdoors – and managers are increasingly concerned enough to compare monthly water consumption averages so as to detect unusual increase in spending on like-like situations.

And again this can be difficult due to monthly fluctuation with guest type and numbers or the time of the year when readings occur.

Managers can start outdoors by tapping on to the main water reservoir and finish indoors checking their taps or faucets – with valves which provide water intake to pipes and assure control over water flow –and check if they still hold enough power to impede water leaking when taps are closed on kitchen and sinks, showers and bath-tubs.

There are four types of taps with work by:

  • compression – when one turns the tap, the valve stem is compressed against the inlet;

   Dripping can be bad 1

Image source:

  • cartridge – when the perforated cartridge made of metal or plastic inserts rotates;

Dripping can be bad 2

Image source:

  • ball-valve – it also rotates but has the shape of a ball and is placed on top of the tap;

Dripping can be bad 3

Image source:

  • disk – made of two ceramic disks fitting tightly together.

 Dripping can be bad 4

Image source:

The sealing of these taps is of paramount importance since water seeps easily along metal and plastic features and the maintenance of rubber washers should be checked regularly at the end of threaded stems and gaskets re-fitted to inlets.

Video Source: presented by Chris Wade.

By Silvia Pelham

[1] USA Federal Energy Management Programme – federally mandated water conservation guidelines were applied from January 1, 1994.