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The federal standard for water flow in showers is a maximum of 2.5GPM (gallons per minute) at a water pressure of 80PSI (pounds per square inch). Showerheads can gain the EPA’s WaterSense designation if they have a maximum flow of 2.0GPM, and some low-flow showerheads use even less water. The best water-saving showerheads save you money without taking away your ability to wash shampoo out of your hair. Here are four great options.
Committed environmentalists can affordably swap out existing showerheads for this model, which offers an exceptional reduction in water usage to just 1.25GPM. It’s designed to maintain a consistent stream of water through nine spray jets, even if your water pressure fluctuates. You will notice a difference between this low-flow model and a regular showerhead, but you can adjust the spray from a finer mist to a more powerful stream as needed to rinse stubborn soap out of your locks. Just reach up and turn the showerhead mechanism to your desired setting.
A handheld showerhead is optimal for people who turn their tub into a doggie day spa, or frequently dye their hair. It’s also a great way to maximize the power of a low-flow showerhead. This brushed-nickel style model is made from ABS thermoplastic with a 72-inch PVC hose reinforced with nylon. The spray is adjustable just like the regular Niagara Earth. You’ll spend a few more dollars on the handheld model and use slightly more water (1.5 GPM vs. 1.25 GPM), but it’s worth it if you need more control over your water stream as you rinse.
If you’d like a low-flow showerhead on principle but are reluctant to give up any creature comforts, a WaterSense designated shower is a nice compromise. This attractive metal showerhead and hose has a chrome finish and reduces water usage by 20 percent based on the federal standard (2.0 GPM vs 2.5GPM). Customize your experience by choosing from six different spray settings on the showerhead, which is 3.5 inches in diameter. People with chronic pain may appreciate the magnetic docking system, which makes it easier to snap the showerhead into place from a handheld position.
It’s hard to believe that this solid brass, polished-chrome showerhead featuring 48 separate sprays of water through six jets reduces your water usage to 1.75GPM. But it does—unless you follow the plethora of online modification tips that get around water restrictions, which defeat the whole purpose of conservation. (Don’t do this.) Just rotate the easy-to-grab handle to enjoy rain, intense, or flood settings for a refreshing and more eco-conscious shower routine. While this model is also available in a brushed nickel finish, be sure to double-check that the finish you want is available at the flow-level you choose.