Typically, the first step to limiting your water use or living a more sustainable life is to invest in a low-flow showerhead. What makes a showerhead low-flow is the amount of water that it expels per minute. The average shower head releases anywhere from 3 to 8 gallons per minute, while a low-flow one uses as little as 1.5 gallons per minute.
We've all seen the bit on the hit comedy, "Seinfeld," where everyone in Jerry's building has flat hair because the new low-flow shower heads don't provide enough water pressure to wash away their shampoo. Many people are under the impression that investing in a shower head like this will have a negative effect on their water pressure. While this may have been true back when that episode aired in the '90s, that isn't the case anymore. Here's what you should know about modern low-flow showerheads and water pressure.
Aerating vs. non-aerating
There are two types of low-flow showerheads, both of which make a point to ensure that users get to enjoy ample water pressure. These are aerating and non-aerating. Aerating showerheads expel a mix of water and air, so the flow of water stays constant. Non-aerating showerheads maintain their pressure with pulses. However, while the pressure stays constant in aerating showerheads, the water temperature can be affected, dropping the temperature between 5 and 15 degrees, so it may not be the best choice for people who like a hot, steamy shower.
Test it before committing
Most showerheads have multiple settings, some of which offer more pressure than others. If you're not sure if your shower head is low-flow or not, you hold a 1-gallon bucket beneath your showerhead, turn the faucets to the setting you would normally use, and see how long it takes to fill up the bucket. If it takes fewer than 24 seconds, it's not low-flow. If you purchase a new shower head that is low-flow, but it doesn't seem to have the pressure you desire, chances are simply changing the setting to a stronger stream will be all it takes for a satisfactory flow.
There is a host of ways to conserve water in your home or business. Low-flow showerheads play an important role and with today’s modern, well-engineered low-flow showerheads, you won’t sacrifice comfort or quality when taking a shower.