Install efficient showerheads
Showering accounts for about 25% of the average home's hot water use. Installing energy-efficient showerheads can cut that use in half. Energy-efficient showerheads reduce water usage without compromising water pressure so your shower can be less costly and just as comfortable. Check your showerheads and see if you could save with a more efficient model.
How it works:
This quick test can help you determine if your showerhead is a good candidate for replacement. Turn the hot and cold water taps fully on and place a two litre milk carton under the showerhead. If it fills up in less than 10 seconds you should switch out your showerhead for a water-efficient model.
Good to know: The newest water-efficient showerheads have been engineered specifically to maintain water pressure while reducing flow. This means you can still shower under a strong blast if you replace your showerhead.
What to look for:
- A low flow rate — it should be 1.6 GPM or less. Usually this information will be on the showerhead itself.
- An integrated pressure compensator.
- Other energy-saving features like a pause or shut-off valve. This option allows you to slow water to a trickle when you're not rinsing — while keeping the water temperature up.
Good for kids: Having kids in the home means more showers. An efficient showerhead can help limit the amount of hot water used, even if you have a household member who likes to take extended showers. Use the installation of your efficient showerhead as an opportunity to discuss — as a family — the costs associated with hot water and other energy uses throughout your home.
The installation process should take about 15 minutes.
- Assemble tools: You will need pliers or a wrench along with Teflon plumber's tape, which you can purchase at your local hardware store.
- Drain showerhead: Open and close your shower valve, letting all water drain from the showerhead or faucet.
- Remove showerhead: Use your pliers or wrench to loosen the old showerhead from the fitting. Manipulate the showerhead until you can twist it off with your hand. Be careful not to twist the shower pipe coming out of the wall that holds the showerhead.
- Prepare shower arm: Clean off and dry the threads on the end of the shower pipe. Next, wrap them a couple times with the Teflon tape. The tape will help prevent water leaks.
- Install new showerhead: Twist on the energy-efficient showerhead and tighten the base to the fitting.
- Test: Turn on the shower. If there are leaks, either unscrew the showerhead and apply more tape or tighten the showerhead further. Be careful not to over-tighten the showerhead as the shower pipe could break.