One of the easy and relatively inexpensive ways to conserve water in the bathroom is to buy a low-flow showerhead. Water is usually the second most expensive energy utility in a home, and low-flow fixtures are a smart way to save money while saving the planet. A water-saving showerhead is essential when you’re trying to cut back and conserve, as the shower is one of the main uses of water in the home, right behind the clothes washer. These models use pressurized chambers and high-tech showerhead engineering to save water while still giving you a quality shower. A low-flow showerhead can end up saving you up to $200 a year on your water bills.
When selecting a low-flow showerhead, try to purchase one that pumps less than 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). This saves you significant amounts of water, since older showerheads often used 6 GPM, and many showerheads manufactured prior to 20 years ago had flow rates at or around 5.5 GPM.
While you may have concerns about a reduction in shower quality or water pressure, you shouldn’t worry. These new models are efficient and improving all the time. You no longer have to compromise a good shower for the sake of saving water. It can be well worth your while to take time and pick the right water-saving showerhead for you.
A good way to determine if you need a new showerhead is to time how long it takes for your shower to produce one gallon of water. You can use a bucket, so long as it has a marker for a gallon. If it takes less than 20 seconds to fill the gallon, it may be time to replace your showerhead. You can also measure the flow rate of your current showerhead manually. Using a bucket, let water run from the showerhead for 10 seconds. After that time, measure the amount of water, and multiply by six. This is the number of gallons per minute that your shower uses. If the flow rate is more than 2.5 GPM, you’re probably losing money and wasting water on your current showerhead.
When buying a new showerhead, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always check the flow rate of the new model. With 2.5 GPM becoming standard, a low-flow showerhead’s GPM should be significantly less. There are some fine models that use only 1.5 GPM. Next, make sure to look for a model that suits your needs. Do you like a wide spray on your showerhead? There are models that use pressurized systems to meet those needs. Finally, while checking for bargains is important, make sure to read user reviews and performance ratings before paying. If it’s for sale online, there’s sure to be a review of it. To learn more about low-flow showerheads and other water saving plumbing fixtures, visit our ROTOGreen Plumbing page.