Let’s face it. Most of us want to conserve water when it comes to showerheads, but we don’t want to pay extra for water conserving plumbing products in order to do so. Nor do we want a low flow shower head to give us lack luster water pressure that requires us to spend longer periods of time in the shower rinsing soap and shampoo off of our bodies either.
That would defeat the purpose of water conservation, would it not?!
Have you ever stood under a so-called water efficient shower head and it didn’t meet your standards for rinsing? Was the water (seemingly) dribbling out of the shower head?
Maybe you’ve had the opposite problem where the water was being forced through such a tiny spray former in a poor engineering effort to conserve water that you couldn’t stand under the water spray for any length of time, if you wanted your skin to stay in one piece.
This is where the EPA’s WaterSense program comes into play.
Image via EPA WaterSense
Hopefully, those days have gone the way of VHS cassette tapes.
If you’re shopping for shower heads, the EPA WaterSense label is your assurance that you’ve got a decent plumbing fixture in your hands that has been thoroughly tested and engineered well enough to exceed federal guidelines for low flow showerheads.
Fact: If it is a WaterSense labeled shower head:
a) it will conserve enough water to exceed current federal guidelines
b) you’ll have a pleasant shower experience that will thoroughly rinse your body without pummeling you into oblivion with "water needles". It will still get the job done as well as, or better than, non-EPA certified water hogs.
Let’s take a quick look at the latest and greatest in water-efficient shower heads and the guidelines that they must meet in order to earn the EPA’s WaterSense label:
Guidelines For WaterSense-Certified Showerheads
The guidelines for showerhead manufacturers are very strict and somewhat complicated but all you need to know, as a consumer, are a couple of criteria to keep things simple and for your peace of mind:
- WaterSense-labeled showerheads must use 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm), or less, in all modes offered. There must not be instructions included for the consumer on how to override or reconfigure the unit to allow it to exceed the specified gpm.
- All showerheads with the WaterSense label must be tested and certified by an approved thrid party laboratory to ensure that they meet EPA water efficiency and performance standards.
- Showerhead performance is crucial. The EPA chose to work with stakeholders, including consumers, on the performance and quality of the shower spray. It must give as good, or better, results than conventional showerheads. They have criteria that includes spray patterns, force, diameter of the spray and much more boring stuff.
All you need to remember is that if it is labeled as a WaterSense-certified product (see the WaterSense image I provided earlier in this post), it should give good shower.
What Brands & Models of Showerheads ARe WaterSense-Certified?
I could list the 200+ models and brands of certified showerhead models, but that list would quickly become outdated in just a few months. Instead, I’ll offer this link that will be continuously updated with all of the showerhead models that are WaterSense-certified.
Remember: Showers gobble up approximately 17% of our indoor water usage. You could conserve quite a bit of water (not to mention big bucks), over time, if you switched out all of your plumbing fixtures to WaterSense certified units.
Rebate Finder ; also, try contacting your local municipality for rebates