A Simple Step You Can Take: Install a Low Flow Shower Head

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If you’re like most Americans, you probably take a shower every day.

Unless you’re already using a low-flow shower head, you have an opportunity to save some money in addition to cutting back on your family’s environmental impact.

Low Flow Shower Heads are designed to restrict water flow while providing a good shower. We found one at the Real Goods store for $12.00 that they claim will save you 50-70% of your water usage (which for a family of 4 could be up to $25/year in savings).

In terms of Carbon savings, according to this analysis by Environmental Defense, a single low-flow shower head could save over 350 pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere.

I installed one of these recently and it took only about 5 minutes. I purchased the shower head and some “plumber’s tape” for under $10 at Walmart, and I used only a pair of pliers to do the installation.

The water pressure is only a little less that my old shower head and it works fine. After using it a few times now, I don’t even notice a difference.

Overall, it was an easy project with a nice payback — and an easy way to cut down the energy my family uses.

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12 thoughts on “A Simple Step You Can Take: Install a Low Flow Shower Head

  1. It really is amazing what an impact more efficient shower heads have:

    - obviously save water
    - you save water heating costs
    - you emit less carbon dioxide – well, not you *personally* ;)
    - you cause less thermal pollution going into waterways
    - you get bragging rights and that fuzzy feeling.

    These days there’s really no excuse for anyone not to have one of these.

  2. I learned about low-flow showerheads about 7-10 years ago, and have been using them ever since. It’s great that Delta and other popular manufacturers offer quality, high pressure shower heads with low flow. Low flow doesn’t have to mean a boring, limp drizzle; my current Delta showerhead has several different settings possible including pulsating massage.

  3. My company (large electric utility) gave these out about 10-15 years ago and I installed one then. It was like taking a shower in a wind tunnel. The air entrained in the reduced volume of water made it like standing in a cold hurricane. You could not get warm. I took it out and threw it in a drawer. Have they licked this problem?

  4. I’ve seen these in hotels like ‘Uncertain’ said and had the same wind tunnel experience. :(

    Methinks that you would save a lot more by getting a more efficient water heater and ensuring that the pipes are properly insulated.

    I’m not sure if this is better or not, but I bet a lot of energy is wasted when you’re not running hot water and the hot water is sitting in the pipes and eventually cools down. I know that there are re-circulation systems that keep the hot water running around constantly between the closed faucet and the heater so that it doesn’t just sit and cool down. I would think that it would take less energy for the water heater to heat slightly cooled water rather than just having that water cool down in the pipes and go to waste as you turn on the faucet and wait for the hot water to start flowing from the heater again.

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