Water-saving shower heads are often marketed as a quick and simple way for households to reduce their environmental impact. But are they an effective way of saving water?
In this blog, we will take a closer look at how water-saving showerheads work to provide a definitive answer. So if you are thinking about fitting one, keep reading to find out more.
Water-saving shower heads are designed to restrict the amount of water that flows through them. A conventional showerhead has a flow rate of around 25 litres per minute. In comparison, a water-saving showerhead can have a flow rate of 7 litres per minute or less.
In most cases, a plumber can fit the water-saving showerhead to an existing shower without any modifications. This makes them quick and easy to install, which is one of the reasons they have become so popular.
Water-saving heads are designed such that once installed; the homeowner should not notice any difference in water flow compared to a conventional head. But this will depend on the type of head you install.
Water-saving showerheads come in the following two main types:
With an aerated head, the air is mixed with water to give the impression of a higher flow rate. The air is drawn in from vents situated in the side of the head itself. Aerated heads sound great in principle, but there are some drawbacks to this type of unit:
Firstly the process of drawing in the air cools the water. This means you will either have to put up with a cooler shower or turn up the temperature. Naturally, this means more energy is used in the process.
Secondly, aerated heads can draw in bacteria from the moist air surrounding them. If not cleaned regularly, this bacteria can grow in the showerhead, eventually falling on the occupant.
Thirdly, the vents themselves can become clogged. This will result in a lower volume of air being sucked in, causing the head to become less effective over time. The solution is to clean the head regularly.
With a non-aerated head, increased water flow is simulated by reducing the size of the holes in the head itself. This increases the water pressure but reduces the flow rate, with an overall result resembling a conventional head.
The drawback to this type of head is that the increased pressure gives a massaging type effect. While some people enjoy this sensation, others do not, so it is wise to try out this type of head before you install one.
According to MDBA, the average shower time in Australia is around 7 minutes. Assuming you have an older showerhead fitted with a flow rate of 25 litres per minute. You will use approximately 175 litres of water for each shower.
By converting the head to a water-saving head with a flow rate of just 9 litres per minute, you will save 112 litres per day for each shower. In a four-person home, this amounts to a saving of 448 litres per day.
And it’s not just water you’ll save. You won’t have to pay to heat all that extra water, so you’ll save money there as well. Red Energy estimates that households could save as much as $114 a year on their energy bill just by installing a water-saving showerhead.
Water-saving showerheads can be fitted to all homes, but they are less effective in homes with low water pressure. This is because homes with low water pressure already have reduced flow rates in their existing shower. Reducing it even more may result in a substandard showering experience.
Homes with instant hot water systems may also experience problems. This is because a minimum flow rate is required by most instant hot water systems, which is unlikely to be achieved through a water-saving head, meaning your morning shower will always be cold.
If you would like to know if a water-saving head is suitable for your home, get in touch by calling 9017 5092. Or, you can complete the contact form here, and we’ll get back to you at a convenient time.
Our expert plumbers will carry out a survey of your home and provide you with a FREE quote for installation should a water-saving head be suitable. We are located in the heart of Oakleigh VIC and service homes across the South Eastern Suburbs.
Professional local plumbers you can trust. Call us for your domestic plumbing needs and you will not be disappointed.
Andrew J. Robertson Plumbing
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