Good, Better, Best Under Pressure
Good, Better, Best Under Pressure. Brian Klutch
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Decades ago, our showerheads blasted away suds with boom-time abandon. Then, in the ’90s, efficiency standards cut water flow by half or more—to 2.5 gallons per minute. Faced with ever-tightening laws, engineers are getting crafty.

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"Waterpik

Better: Waterpik SideWinder

Its max flow rate is only two gallons per minute, but in massage mode the SideWinder can double its apparent pressure. An internal wheel rotates back and forth on a cam, opening and closing banks of nozzles as it moves. With one set closed, water diverts to the open holes. The switchback happens so quickly—up to 40 times a second—that it almost feels like the ’50s again.

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This article was originally published in the March/April 2017 issue of Popular Science.