Switch to a WaterSense labeled showerhead, and you will automatically use 20% less water when showering. No other action needed.
Of course, you could also take a shorter shower. Cutting just one minute from your daily shower could save about 75 gallons a month, or about 300 gallons for a family of four.
Either way you will use less water. Using less water also means you'll use less energy to heat water, and send less of it down the drain, thus lowering your energy and sewer costs.
Many water providers give high efficiency showerheads out to their customers for free (click here to find whether your provider offers rebates). If not, the good news is that you can purchase one at most home improvement stores for about $10-20.
How to install your water efficient showerhead:
- Remove old showerhead from shower arm. If you need to use a wrench to remove it, use a second wrench to hold the shower arm while you loosen the old showerhead. Use pieces of cloth to protect the finish.
- Briefly turn water on to rinse out pipe (turn it off before going to next step).
- Screw on the new showerhead and hand tighten.
- Test the showerhead. If it leaks, tighten by using one wrench on the shower arm and another one on the showerhead. Tighten until snug (DO NOT over tighten!). Leaks may also be prevented by applying two or three wraps of Tephlon tape in a clockwise motion to the threads of the shower arm before installing the new showerhead.
How to determine your showerhead's flow rate:
- Place a bucket-marked in gallon increments under your shower head.
- Turn on the shower at the normal water pressure you use.
- Time how many seconds it takes to fill the bucket to the 1-gallon mark. (If it takes less than 20 seconds to reach the 1-gallon mark, your shower uses about 3 GPM and you could benefit from a showerhead with a more efficient flow rate.)
What to do if your showerhead leaks:
Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection. See number four in the how to install your water efficient showerhead for more specific instructions on how to tighten the connection.
According to WaterSense, a showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That's enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.