The average home in the United States uses approximately 260 gallons of water per day (up to 3,000 during the summer months). Warnings of potential water crises within the next 20 years are ringing loudly, as we only have approximately 1% of the water on earth available for our use. There are many ways to decrease our water usage throughout the year. Replacing your current showerhead with a water efficient model can get you started on the right path.
What is GPM?
When searching for a new showerhead you may run across the phrase "Showerhead GPM." Ever wondered what exactly this means and how it will help you choose the best showerhead for your home? Showerhead GPM is the phrase used to describe the amount of water measured in “gallons per minute” the showerhead uses. For example, running full flow an older showerhead model can use between 5-8gpm. This means for a 10 minute shower you can end up using between 50-80 gallons of water, a serious waste.
Why should I pay attention to GPM?
Consider this: When eating chips, you may see 170 calories on the FAMILY SIZE bag, eat half the bag, and think you’ve just decreased your daily calorie intake. However, depending on the amount per serving and how many servings you’ve had, it is possible that you have actually increased your calorie intake for that day.
Even though 5-8 showerhead gpm may not seem like much, these numbers represent the amount of gallons of water used per minute and not per shower. Running this showerhead at full flow will result in the use of 50-80 gallons of water within 10 minutes. Efficient shower heads use at least 1.5gpm. Taking the same amount of time in the shower uses only 15 gallons of water. The water savings amount up to 65 gallons of water!
Will the change be worth it?
Using the 5gpm showerheads and taking a 10 minute shower every day will amount to the use of 18,200 gallons of shower water each year. With the efficient shower heads only 5,460 gallons would have been used in the shower by year’s end. This is an improvement of 30% in water usage! Showering with 30% less water will definitely save you money on the overall water bills.
Water efficient shower heads are designed with not only water efficiency, but comfort in mind. People are often unsure about making the switch because of this uncertainty. However, the showerhead technology is such that the low flow showerheads have adjustable spray settings. In addition, it has a non-aerated spray. This means that you will feel less temperature loss between yourself and the showerhead. No more standing to the side for 2 minutes waiting for the water in the shower to heat up.
How can I tell the savings for myself?
You can measure the efficiency of your new showerhead yourself using a flow meter bag. Place the flow meter bag under the water efficient shower head. Next, run the water for a certain amount of time. The markings next to the water level you have filled in the bag will show the amount in gallons per minute the shower head is using.
Installing your new efficient showerhead should take no more tools than a set of pliers and Teflon tape. Twist the existing shower head off the pipe. The pipe is where you will wrap the tape. Afterwards, tighten the new showerhead onto the pipe. Once this is done, check for leaks, and enjoy your shower!