Ask a plumber

Looking for ‘constant’ shower water savings

 
 
The water-saving Awaken handshower from Kohler allows users to get an extra boost of water for rinsing, with the push of a button, but have a constant flow of warm water for regular washing.
The water-saving Awaken handshower from Kohler allows users to get an extra boost of water for rinsing, with the push of a button, but have a constant flow of warm water for regular washing.
HANDOUT / Kohler

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q: I’m planning to remove my old outdated shower head for a new water-efficient shower set-up. I have seen some models that allow you to turn the water “on and off” during use, but I want to keep the water running “constantly” and still be efficient. Can you please give me more information and suggestions on water efficient showering?

Bob, Texas

A: In many areas, a new shower head can use up to 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM). In some areas the GPM may be reduced, so find out what your local flow rate is per shower head and follow those codes. Flow rates for most shower heads should be noted in the product information.

Today, many shower head manufacturers have come up with clever ways to make the shower spray feel more powerful, while still being water efficient at less than 2.5 GPM. One of those ways is called “air-induction” technology. Air-induction shower heads can automatically mix air into the water flow, creating a larger, fuller spray that can feel stronger than a standard shower spray.

Some efficient shower head set-ups even offer a “high-low feature” that can change the water flow rate from 1.5 GPM to 2 GPM with the press of a button. This way you can have the constant flow of warm water for washing and the selected power boost for rinsing. Bottom line: A hi-low shower can offer savings and power.

Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com.

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