Imagine cutting your water use by 30 percent or more. That’s the advantage of low-flow showerheads and faucets. These fixtures are engineered to use substantially less water without sacrificing performance and comfort. Here’s what you need to know about upgrading.
Take a More Efficient Shower
The average family uses 40 gallons a day showering, accounting for nearly 17 percent of water use, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Simply swapping out your old showerhead with a new one will curb the amount of gallons going down drain. That’s because the federal standard for all new showerheads is 2.5 gallons per minute. Which is good. But there’s an even more efficient option.
Showerheads with the WaterSense label cannot exceed 2 gallons per minute with some of the highest performing models using as little as 1.5 gallons per minute. WaterSense-labeled showerheads can save the average household about 2,700 gallons a year.
Among low-flow showerheads, you have two options to consider:
- An aerating showerhead mixes air with water for a more misty spray. One drawback: They tend to create a lot of steam, so they’re not ideal if humidity is a concern.
- A laminar showerhead produces individual streams of water.
Some showerheads that predate federal efficiency standards have flow rates of 5.5 gallons per minute. Here’s how to tell if your current showerhead is a water hog:
- Fill a bucket with exactly one gallon of water and mark the water level on the side.
- Empty the bucket and place it under the shower and time how long it takes the water to reach the 1-gallon mark.
- If it takes 20 seconds or less, consider upgrading.
Replace Faucets, Too
Don’t underestimate how much water your bathroom faucets use. WaterSense faucets use no more than 1.5 gallons a minute compared to the federal standard of 2.2. Simply replacing your faucets with WaterSense models can save about 700 gallons per year.
Beyond Water Savings
The hot water heater is the second biggest electricity user in the home. Showering uses 10 gallons of hot water per use, while bathroom faucets use 2 gallons of hot water per minute. That’s another advantage of low-flow fixtures: The less hot water you use, the more money you save.
Before & After Plumbing and Drain is Surprise, AZ’s experts in low-flow plumbing fixtures. Call 602-842-0305.