How to install a water-saving showerhead

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to decrease bathing-related water use, and its WaterSdiy showerhead fittingense standards for showerheads will call for flow rates below the current federal limit of 2.5 gallons per minute. The challenge for manufacturers is to meet that standard without affecting shower feel, since an anemic flow can result in longer shower times and greater water use.

If your showerhead isn’t looking its best or is delivering less than a satisfying flow, read our latest report on showerheads (full story and ratings available to subscribers), which covers single- and multisetting models as well as shower towers.

Installing a regular showerhead is a fairly easy job. You unscrew and remove your existing head and the plumbing tape in place, apply fresh tape (usually Teflon tape) for a tight seal, and screw the new head in place.

But when you’re installing a rain-shower model, installation might not be as straightforward. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Angle the showerhead properly. Because water literally falls from some rain-shower fixtures, it will dribble out one side if the fixture isn’t installed at the correct angle. You can mount many models on an existing shower arm, and some include an adapting arm to position the head at least 12 inches from the wall, facing straight down.

Determine whether extra hardware is needed.
Some fixtures require a 90-degree angle to work properly. If that’s the case, you’ll have to get additional hardware.

Ensure proper support. Rain-shower models that weigh 6 pounds or more might require additional support beyond the standard shower arm. That could entail carpentry work. Unless you’re skilled, call in a pro.

One final piece of advice: If your shower pumps out ice-cold water when the dishwasher cycles on or scalding-hot water every time a toilet is flushed, you need to replace your present shower valve with a pressure-balancing shower valve to maintain the proper mix of hot and cold water at the showerhead.

If your hot-water temperature varies, as is possible with some immersion coil water-heating systems, then you need a temperature-balancing shower valve. If that’s too expensive, you can find some after-market devices that will prevent scalding by simply stopping all water flow from the showerhead if the water temperature exceeds the device’s  allowable temperature


Installing low-flow shower heads is a relatively inexpensive and effective water-saving action.  Although more expensive than conventional showerheads, low flow models will pay for themselves over time with the amount of water that they can save.  When building a new house, budget for lowflow showerheads and other water saving devices as they only have a minimal cost compared to the total cost of building.  Rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling systems are another way of saving substantial amounts of water and can help a household or business to become water self-sufficient and eco-friendly.

Contact us for all your water conservation and solar energy requirements.  Our WWF Award Winning water conservation systems include rainwater harvesting systems, rainwater tanks, grey water recycling systems, greywater irrigation systems, water-saving toilet flush mechanisms, swimming pool backwash recycling systems (see product demo) as well as the full range of JoJo water tanks and water tank stands (we are authorized JoJo Tanks dealers in South Africa). Yes Solar Mpumalanga supplies SABS and Eskom-approved solar water heaters that are installed professional Eskom-accredited solar installers.  We supply FREE QUOTES on all our eco-friendly products and services.

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