b) Shut-off valves allow you to turn the water off
while soaping up, then on when rinsing. These can be used with
high-efficiency showerheads as well.
center hole that reduces water flow when placed inside the
Replacements. Many brands of high-efficiency, low-flow
showerheads are commercially available and come in many shapes
and sizes. There are three basic designs by which these heads
a) Aerating. "Aerating" showerheads work by drawing
air into the flow of water producing fine water droplets over a
larger surface area.
b) Atomizer. "Atomizer" heads mist the water and
deliver it in extremely fine droplets over a large surface area.
c) Pulsating. "Pulsating" heads cause the water to be
delivered in pulses alternating between high flow and mist. Some
showerheads have adjustable flows which can change the water
delivery from pulsating to mist.
In any case, the latest technology allows high-
efficiency showerheads to provide as "satisfying" a shower as the
conventional types while still conserving water.
Consider, also, installing the showerhead as a hand
held unit instead of a fixed-in-place model. Shower users may
decrease their amount of shower time with a hand held head
because of the ability to precisely direct the spray, thereby
reducing rinse time. Hand held models, however, are at greater
risk to be mishandled or vandalized.
Problems and Pitfalls. Restrictor retrofits often
result in poor shower performance and are not recommended for
long-term conservation. Certain locations, with extremely hard
water, cannot use restrictors due to plugging. Shut-off valves
may cause temperature differences in the water and could result
in scalding when the water is reactivated. The risk of scalding
may also increase with low-flow showerheads if plumbing lines do
not maintain proper water pressure while nearby toilets are
flushed. Lowering the temperature at the water heater and