Water saving shower heads allow you to save money on one of the everyday activities taking a shower. The whole procedure is extremely simple you replace your old shower head with a water saving one and you’re done. The investment will return usually within a couple of months. It depends on how much water you (and your family) use for shower purposes. Of course if you already have a water saving shower you probably won’t benefit from a new one, unless the new one will save even more water. In order to make that decision you need to know whether buying new shower head is a cost-effective decision.
How to determine whether you could benefit from a water saving shower head
Measure flow rate of your shower head
If you know the flow rate of your shower head please proceed to the next header. If you don’t know the flow rate of your current shower head, you need to measure it. In order to do that you need a bucket of known capacity, possibly 1 gallon (3.8 liter) or 1 liter. Now you should place it under your shower head, turn on the water at normal water pressure (the same you use when taking a shower) and measure how long does it take to fulfill the bucket.
Now it’s the time to convert the bucket’s capacity to gallons. If it’s already measured in gallons you don’t need to do anything. If it’s in liters, you should divide it by 3.8 ( 1 liter = (1 / 3.8) gallons = ~0.26 gallons). Now you need to multiply the capacity (in gallons) by 60 and divide by time (in seconds) it took to fulfill the bucket. The result is flow rate measured in gallons per minute.
Flow rate = Capacity * 60 / Time
I’ve got a 5 liters bucket and it took 20 seconds to fulfill it. 5 liters = ~1.32 gallons.
Flow rate = 1.32 * 60 / 20 = 3.96 gallons per minute.
You can easily find 2.0 gpm (gallons per minute) or even 1.5 gpm shower heads on the market. If your current shower head’s flow rate is noticeably bigger than 2.0 (e.g. standard 2.5 gpm), it seems to be a good idea to replace it with a new one. The investment will return within a couple of months.
Types of low-flow shower heads
There are two types of low-flow shower heads: aerating and laminar-flow ones. Aerating ones mix air with water which comes out as something similar to spray. There is a little drawback of this solution the water seems to be colder than it usually was. That’s caused by the presence of air. Laminar-flow shower heads work differently there are a few small streams of water (similarly to standard shower heads). Please note that it’s easier to lower the flow rate utilizing the aerating technology, so that kind of shower heads will be able offer lower gpm. If the producer doesn’t clearly state what type of low-flow shower head his product is you should read the reviews. In most cases someone will mention that water seems to be colder that’s a sure sign of aerating shower head.
Choosing water saving shower heads is an easy way of saving thousands of gallons of water per year. It allows you to save money in two ways you use less water and less gas (or electric power).