Do Low-Flow Shower Heads Save Water?

Last Updated on November 27, 2019 by Terry Ohara

Saving water should be everyone’s priority these days since water sources are scarce and to save the planet we need to take a lot of measures. However, there is an ongoing debate whether a low-flow showerhead will save water or no, and I can straight up say yes it saves water, and a significant amount at that. That was the short answer and I’m going to give you the long answer now and while you are at it check the best low flow showerheads in the market.

What is a low flow showerhead? First things first, a low flow showerhead is a showerhead that decreases the flow rate of the water, so you will spend less water when you are in the shower, meaning that you will save water while showering.

First off you need to identify a showerhead flow rate that is written in gallons per minute or GPM. Most of the showerhead sold today in the US have a maximum flow rate of 2.5gpm with the recent law changes, this means that a run of the mill shower head will allow 2.5 gallons of water per minute to flow, and that is mostly hot water, since we prefer to shower that way as a community. With that in mind, we can calculate that during a 10-minute shower you will spend 25 gallons of water.

A low-flow showerhead will always have a flow rate under that normal number, the most common is 1.5 gallons of water, which is mediocre. However, you can choose to go even lower than that, at 1 gallon per minute, and there are even 0.5gpm ultra low flow showerheads, that will save about 20 gallons of water in a 10-minute shower.

The average shower time of an American is about 8 minutes, and this is a nationwide survey, that is carried out with amazing precision. Of course, there have been answers from people that love showers and need to have 20-minute showers, and there were also polar opposites that preferer short shower in the morning cutting it at just 3 minutes.

Let’s say that you take a 7-minute shower for 25 days a month, which brings a total shower time of 175 minutes, and if you have a normal showerhead with 2.5gpm, you will use 437 gallons of water a month just for showering. But if you choose to go a little lower and opt for a low flow 1.5gpm showerhead, during the same time you will use just 262 gallons of water monthly for showering, reducing the water waste by 40 percent, and this number translates to 2,100 gallons of water yearly, just for one person at that, and take all your family into consideration, and you will see how much can be saved.

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