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low flow showerhead and aerators
Old 06-23-2011, 04:37 PM   #1
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low flow showerhead and aerators

In order to cut the water bill, my friend in her apartment switched over to a low flow showerhead and areators for the bathroom and kitchen sinks. Before the showerhead was putting out about 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), then the sinks about 2 GPM each. Now the showerhead puts out 1.25 GPM, kitchen sink 1.5 GPM and bathroom sink .5 GPM.

I think the biggest challenge getting used to is the showerhead (sometimes one just wants to take a drenching shower).

Surprisingly, the bathroom sink at only .5 GPM is great for hand washing and I can really see/feel the water savings and no water wasting.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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My problem with the low flow showerheads is that I tend to take much longer showers with them, and probably end up using twice the water that I would use with a conventional showerhead.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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My problem with the low flow showerheads is that I tend to take much longer showers with them, and probably end up using twice the water that I would use with a conventional showerhead.

Yes...that is a challenge. Kind of like when getting a container of frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. I end up eating twice as much of the yogurt

As I mentioned, the low-flow showerhead is a challenge to get used to. Time will tell.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:03 AM   #4
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My water costs a penny a gallon. I calculated a low flow shower head would save me about $50 a year. Yeah, that's like a 400% return on the investment, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:50 AM   #5
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I drilled out restriction in my low flow shower head - had been using carefully saved oooold shower heads, but they got to be pretty much bad - too many leaks, not a consistent spray pattern even with careful cleaning.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:05 AM   #6
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I put one on about two years ago, because I noticed my water wasn't staying hot the entire length of my shower. I think my water heater is accumulating sediment. Haven't had a problem since and noticed I have shaved $10 a month off my water bill. It took about a week to get used to the water flow change.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:47 AM   #7
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I've found a huge difference from one brand of low-flow showerhead to the next.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:52 AM   #8
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When we remodeled our bathroom I saved the old showerhead, it's the original from 1955. I tried a low flow and it was pretty awful so I put back the old one. This was back in the early 90's so I should probably try one of the newer ones.

I'm pretty darn frugal and conservative in most aspects of my life. When it comes to a good strong, long, hot shower I'm selfish and stubborn.

I clean the old one every few months by putting LimeAway in a ziploc bag and tying it up on the showerhead and let it soak. Works like new after that.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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@ Nords:

You mentioned some super-duper low flow shower head that was actually good to shower under in the past whose brand you & your wife beat out of some hotel manager AIR. What was that?
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:39 PM   #10
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For my friend's apartment, I'm gonna return the one I just purchased for another one.

The first one: Amazon.com: Niagara Earth Massage 1.25GPM Low flow showerhead: Home Improvement

The second one: Amazon.com: Ultra Saver Showerhead, 1.5 GPM: Home Improvement

The first one was not bad. But hope the second will have a stronger flow and I like the pause option.

At my place, all I use is a cheapo showhead from Wally World
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Peerless-P...hrome/15149026 that I am quite satisfied with. It's not low-flow (my water expense covered in the condo monthly fee).

Maybe if the second low-flow works out really well, I'll have to get that for my place to save the earth and get a good shower in the morning.

P.S. I really starting to like Amazon's Prime shipping service
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:19 PM   #11
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My shower has a low flow head. The day we moved in, removed shower head, drilled 3 ea 1/4" holes in the plastic disk. Then it gave satisfactory flow for a good shower.

Then DW wanted her shower modified the same way.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:52 PM   #12
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I have a love/hate relationship with the .5 gpm aerator in the bathroom. I love that the flow is slow, but just right for hand washing. But for face washing, I've learned to just tolerate it as I let the slow flow run and fill the sink basin as I gather my face towel, set up my toothbrush, etc.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:37 PM   #13
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I found that a low flow showerhead is great if you don't want to rinse off all that soap in the shower. When I had one I removed the restrictor and it worked like it is supposed to.

If you have a removable showerhead (my favorite type) a low flow may work for you as you can put it 6" from the soapy parts and rinse them.

I don't care for the low flow showerheads but that's me, I'm on a well and other than electricity and eventually a well pump my water is free.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #14
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We have the standard low flow type, and then a switch for redirecting to a handheld:

shower.jpg

The latter can be used to rinse of the sides of the shower, but we actually both prefer the low flow head.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpmyretirement View Post
My water costs a penny a gallon. I calculated a low flow shower head would save me about $50 a year. Yeah, that's like a 400% return on the investment, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.
I know of people that pay $4 a day on coffee or some such. I'd much rather pay that amount per month for a long hot shower that actually gets me wet. If I lived in hell Southwest Texas I might do it for the conservation, but I've got a river, a bay, and an ocean all within a mile or so of my house. I don't waste, but I don't conserve too much either.

On a side note, I have a question maybe some of y'all smart folk can answer. I always hear about "wasting" water, like leaving the sink running or watering the grass or whatever. But is that really wasting it? Doesn't it just go back into the ground or the treatment facility, then cycle back into the circle of life? I can see (even if I don't agree with) conserving to save a few dollars, but I don't see the resource waste. What am I missing?
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:03 AM   #16
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I am always charged the minimum, $2.61/month, for water. Water is cheap in my Parish (=County), maybe because we are surrounded by it and because it rains 60"/year. It is unnecessary to water the yard here (and so I don't), and I am the only person living in my home.

So really, I'm not financially motivated to seek low flow solutions. I just want a quick shower with plentiful water in the morning. I don't waste it or just stand in the shower for a long time doing nothing, without washing vigorously. I was brought up to be pretty frugal about things like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harley
On a side note, I have a question maybe some of y'all smart folk can answer. I always hear about "wasting" water, like leaving the sink running or watering the grass or whatever. But is that really wasting it? Doesn't it just go back into the ground or the treatment facility, then cycle back into the circle of life? I can see (even if I don't agree with) conserving to save a few dollars, but I don't see the resource waste. What am I missing?
Whether or not you are wasting it in an absolute sense, you are definitely wasting the particular volume of water that you have paid for that month. In other words you still have to pay for it no matter where it goes when you are done with it. Maybe that is what was meant.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #17
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I know of people that pay $4 a day on coffee or some such. I'd much rather pay that amount per month for a long hot shower that actually gets me wet. If I lived in hell Southwest Texas I might do it for the conservation, but I've got a river, a bay, and an ocean all within a mile or so of my house. I don't waste, but I don't conserve too much either.

On a side note, I have a question maybe some of y'all smart folk can answer. I always hear about "wasting" water, like leaving the sink running or watering the grass or whatever. But is that really wasting it? Doesn't it just go back into the ground or the treatment facility, then cycle back into the circle of life? I can see (even if I don't agree with) conserving to save a few dollars, but I don't see the resource waste. What am I missing?

I'm not an expert on the subject, but I'd think the comparision would be like if one elects paperless billing vs papered billing and then recycles the paper.

Seems like first option (to no receive paper at all) would use less resources than to receive the paper bills, then send it back into recyling. The resources needed to recycle the paper is the extra waste. Not using the water in the first place is like not receiving the bill by paper at all.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:16 PM   #18
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Whether or not you are wasting it in an absolute sense, you are definitely wasting the particular volume of water that you have paid for that month. In other words you still have to pay for it no matter where it goes when you are done with it. Maybe that is what was meant.
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I'm not an expert on the subject, but I'd think the comparision would be like if one elects paperless billing vs papered billing and then recycles the paper.

Seems like first option (to no receive paper at all) would use less resources than to receive the paper bills, then send it back into recyling. The resources needed to recycle the paper is the extra waste. Not using the water in the first place is like not receiving the bill by paper at all.
Good answers, both. Actually, I'm on a well, so the only cost is the sewage bill (fixed). But easysurfer, that's a good analogy. I was thinking "they" were saying that once used, the water is gone, which obviously isn't true. But avoiding the treatment facility would be a savings. Although the community takes our grey water and treats it to use watering the golf course. But my question was generic, and I appreciate the responses.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #19
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re: 'wasting water'

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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Good answers, both. Actually, I'm on a well, so the only cost is the sewage bill (fixed). But easysurfer, that's a good analogy. I was thinking "they" were saying that once used, the water is gone, which obviously isn't true. But avoiding the treatment facility would be a savings. Although the community takes our grey water and treats it to use watering the golf course. But my question was generic, and I appreciate the responses.
Yes, the processing and delivery costs are factors in 'waste'. But, depending on the source, it might be more accurate to say people are 'wasting' fresh water.

For example, I am also on a well. I pump 'fresh water' out of the ground. But it leaves my house as water that is mixed with other 'stuff', so it isn't fresh, potable water any more. And from what I've been told, it takes something like 100 years for 'fresh' water to filter down to the aquifer. So if I use a lot of water, I can be wasting a limited resource of 'fresh water'. So I think that qualifies as waste.

We have had watering bans in dry summers. The amount of water entering the aquifer is the same in dry or wet weather, but people watering the lawns can empty it faster than the average fill rate, so we need to stop 'wasting' it at those times.

But it's still water, just not fresh water that is available to us from our wells.

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Old 06-25-2011, 02:08 PM   #20
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I'm very happy with our current one, similar to this:

Amazon.com: Evolve Showerheads SS-2104CP-US Roadrunner Water-Saving Shower-Head, Chrome Polish: Home Improvement

1.5 gpm is plenty for me. My shower times don't get extended since I only have limited number of minutes to shower every morning before running to netherworld w*rk. It is a more expensive one, but the beauty of it is that once I start the water it I can forget about it and go shave since the flow slows down to minimal drip once it reaches about 95F. When I finish shaving I go under shower and release the pre-heated water. Much cheaper option than those systems that circulate hot water in pipes all the time to keep it ready. Since we have our own well and septic, we see the main savings of lower water consumption long term as a longer life and lower maintenance cost of our septic system. Probably also some pennies are saved per month for less running of well pump.

DW who has long hair says that it takes her longer to rinse her hair, but is not complaining because she also likes the savings and the functions of this shower head. Also worth mentioning is that our well water is off-the-charts hard, but the self cleaning design of this shower head has worked flawlessly for 13 months we have had it.
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