How I (Johnny) Installed A Water Saving Showerhead
Installing a water saving can save a lot of water. Because the water going to the showerhead is heated water it will save you both on water usage and water heating costs. Throughout history water saving devices were met with skepticism especially when law mandated the water reduction. Often in these cases we ended up with marginal performing products being crammed down our throats like the early 2.5-gallon per minute showerheads that couldn’t rinse shampoo out of your hair and 1.6-gallon per flush toilets that had a plumbers helper (plunger) in permanent residence next to the toilet.
Pulling out the 2.5 gallon per minute restrictor in the showerhead and double flushing became the norm in our lives. Interestingly enough in recent years the loophole became apparent in the 2.5-gallon per minute showerhead law, while the law stated that each showerhead was limited to a flow of 2.5 GPM there was no limit on the number of showerheads you can have. A showerhead, rain showerhead overhead, and four body sprays provided an invigorating entirely legal 15-gallon per minute shower.
Today’s water saving showerheads are very different from the showerheads that were first available when the water saving showerheads were mandated. Tremendous advances in the design engineering of both showerheads and toilets have actually made a number of water saving products quite nice to use and have actually lead to further reductions in water usage while keeping the performance and customer satisfaction high. Some of the newest generation water saving showerheads can deliver an excellent shower with as little as 1.5-GPM that may leave you saying it was the best shower you ever had. Recently researchers in Melbourne, Australia found a way to have each water droplet filled with a bubble of air, which resulted in a 30% reduction in water usage. Look for additional water savings as new products are developed.
Changing the showerhead is easy in most cases. The showerhead is threaded onto the threaded end of the shower arm, which is the chrome pipe that comes out of the wall. Unscrew the showerhead off the end of the shower arm, clear any gasket or restrictor material from the end of the shower arm leaving a clear pipe. Put several wraps of Teflon tape around the threads on the shower arm and screw the new water saving showerhead onto the shower arm and tighten the connection checking for leaks when done.
In some cases the showerhead attaches to a ball on the end of the shower arm. If you have the type of showerhead that attaches to a ball on the end of the shower arm they do make several different adapter kits for this but I personally would just unscrew the shower arm out of the drop-ear elbow inside the wall and replace the shower arm and the showerhead together. Enjoy your new water saving showerhead saving money on your water usage and water heating costs just some of the benefits of being green.