How to Save Water When You Shower

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Just a quick spritzer or the proverbial “hour in the shower” type — which one are you? If you want to admit to being average, the average American spends 8.2 minutes taking a shower. There are two ways to cut water consumption related to showering, as well as waste of this increasingly precious resource here in SoCal where drought conditions have become our new normal. One is to use less water while you shower; the other is to take shorter showers.

Many people find reducing water usage to be more appealing than turning their daily relaxing bathing experience into a race against the clock. Upgrading to a water-conserving showerhead is the primary method to save water while you shower. If the year of your last showerhead purchase isn’t inscribed in your memory, it’s probably a water-waster.

Here’s how the numbers look:

  • Pre-1993 showerheads can use up to 8 gallons per minute (gpm), shifting your water meter into fast-forward and, if you’re timing 8-minute showers with a stopwatch, draining as much as 64 gallons out of the municipal reservoir.
  • If you’ve got one of the post-’93 standard showerheads, you’re probably using 2.5gpm — unless the box specifically stated otherwise. Delightful minutes under steamy hot water go by fast, however, adding up to at least 20 gallons for the average shower.

Why WaterSense Makes Sense
Today’s water-conserving showerheads improve vastly on those statistics. Easily identified with the EPA’s “WaterSense” certification label, these units consume no more than 1.5 gpm, a reduction that could save the average family nearly 3,000 gallons of water per year. If everyone in the U.S. upgraded to certified water-conserving showerheads, the savings could equal 260 billion gallons of water every year.

The first generation “low-flow” showerheads of yesteryear got a well-deserved reputation for sub-standard performance and shampoo residue in your hair. Today, however, showerheads with the WaterSense certification are engineered and laboratory-proven to provide showering performance equal or superior to a 2.5 gpm “standard” showerhead. The EPA even road-tests WaterSense showerheads with actual human testers (nice work if you can get it) who evaluate water coverage and spray intensity to ensure each model meets today’s high-performance criteria — as well as saving water with every shower.

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “How to Save Water During the Summer Months” 

North County Plumbing is located in Oceanside, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services…with no overtime charges! Contact us today!

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