by Staff Writer
Low-flow showerheads conserve water while still giving the feel of standard or high-pressure shower heads. In the past, low-flow showerheads did not produce very good water pressure, making for a poor shower experience. These days, low-flow showerheads are just as good as standard or high-pressure showerheads, and they help to conserve water, too. They are becoming more popular due to better design and operation. There are even local governments in some areas that are requiring low-pressure shower heads or are helping residents to acquire them. The following are some frequently asked questions about low-flow showerheads.
Why is it called low flow?
It's called low flow because of how little water it actually uses. Low-flow showerheads use about 2.5 gallons per minute while standard or high-pressure showerheads use 3 gallons to 8 gallons per minute.
How does it work?
Low-flow shower heads work by restricting water flow while still maintaining pressure for a strong spray. There are two types of low-pressure shower heads to choose between: aerating and non-aerating. Aerating shower heads mix air into the water in order to maintain a constant pressure while using less water. The only drawback of aerating shower heads is that the air can cool the water temperature slightly. Non-aerating shower heads use pulses to keep the stream strong while maintaining a constant temperature.
What are the savings?
Using a low-flow shower head saves you money on your water bill. The savings can add up to as much as 50 percent less than your regular bill.
How much does it cost?
On average, a low-pressure shower head can cost anywhere from $10 to $50. There are some more expensive models that have plenty of luxurious special features.
Will it prevent scalding?
Some showers have a water temperature change when the toilet or bathroom sink is used. Water temperature shifts can be prevented with the use of 3/4-inch size piping, anti-scald valves, thermostatic mixing valves or pressure-balancing valves. A plumber can install an anti-scald valve if needed. Another option is lowering the temperature on the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.