The Low-Flow Shower Head: Get 640% ROI in One Year

by G.E. Miller on 26 November 2010 2 comments
Photo: gcfairch

Bold statement alert: The best money saving device that you may ever purchase in terms of return-on-investment is a low-flow shower head. 

Why Use a Low-Flow Shower Head?

One 10-minute shower with an inefficient showerhead uses 55 gallons of water (5.5 gallons per minute, or gpm) on average, while an Energy Star model uses less than half that at 2.5 gpm. Most showerheads made before 1992 have a 5.5 gpm flow.

I specifically purchased an Alsons low-flow shower head on sale for $35, but any Energy Star shower head will do.

Your mileage may vary, but making the switch could save a family of four 27,500 gallons of water and about $260 in energy costs to heat water per year, not to mention saving water, which is relatively small in terms of cost but has huge environmental implications.

That's right: A $35 investment would save you $225 in year one and $260 every year thereafter. Where else can you get a 640% return on investment within just one year while helping to preserve the environment?

Not Sure If You Have a Low-Flow Shower Head?

Take a bucket with gallon measurements and hold it up to your showerhead. Turn on the shower and measure out how many buckets you fill in one minute. Many newer showerheads will actually have their GPM listed on them, while older ones typically do not.

How to Replace Your Shower Head

Swapping shower heads is very easy. Simply take a standard set of pliers and turn the fastener counter-clockwise to remove the old shower head. Next, turn the fastener on the new shower head clockwise to fasten. If you're concerned about leaks, apply a little plumbing tape to the inside of the new showerhead before fastening.

It's literally a two-minute job! If you live in an apartment, simply take off your standard shower head, put on your Energy Star shower head, and when you move, swap again.

What's great about the Alsons shower head that I purchased is, among other things, that it has a switch to flip between 1.85 gpm and 2.5 gpm. I use the 1.85 gpm setting, and it makes for a great shower. My guests are welcome to use the higher setting if they choose. Contrary to popular belief, I don't miss the energy-, money-, and water-wasting old shower head at all. This shower head has a special high-volume spray design that makes for a satisfying shower. Money well spent.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link.

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Anthony

I love tips like these... EXCEPT...

My water and sewer bill (it's combined) is about $12.58 a month. Best case, I can only save $150.96 a year. (Actually, $12.58 is the bare minimum for services, so I technically can't save any money regardless of what I do.)

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jim

Anthony, MOST of the cost of hot water is from the energy it requires to heat the water. Depending on your electric or gas costs it can cost 1-2¢ per gallon to heat water. So while your water itself is not so expensive, heating it up is what is costing you.