Install efficient showerheads

Why? Showering accounts for about 40% of the average home's hot water use, but energy-efficient showerheads can cut use in half. Energy-efficient showerheads with the WaterSense label 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: To test the flow rate of your current showerhead, place a gallon bucket in the shower while the water is running. If the bucket fills in less than 20 seconds, you use more than three gallons of water per minute. All new showerheads sold in the U.S. reduce the flow rate to 2.5 gallons per minute, and some energy-efficient units reduce the flow to 1.5 gallons per minute.

What to look for:
  • A low flow rate—it should be two gallons per minute or fewer. Sometimes 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.

Step by step:
The installation should take about 15 minutes.

  1. Assemble tools. You will need pliers or a wrench along with plumber's tape, which you can purchase at your local hardware store.
  2. Drain showerhead. Open and close your shower valve, letting all water drain from the showerhead or faucet.
  3. 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.
  4. Prepare shower arm. Clean off and dry the threads on the end of the shower pipe. Then, wrap them a couple times with plumber's tape. The tape will help prevent water leaks.
  5. Install new showerhead. Twist on the energy-efficient showerhead and tighten the base to the fitting.
  6. 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 shower head as the shower pipe could break.

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