For the last several years multi-spray showerheads have been marketed as a luxury fixture for high-end bathrooms. But really, as nice as they probably feel, they always seemed a bit, wasteful. Adding to the fact that in 1992 the Department of Energy set showerhead limits to 2.5 gallons-per-minute, 12 gallon-per-minute multi-spray showerheads also seem, wrong, and finally the DOE is taking action.
Somehow manufacturers found a loophole in the 1992 regulations and have continued selling high-wateruse shower heads for thousands of dollars and a water price tag of as much as 12 gallons a minute. These type of multi-spray fixtures caught on during the housing boom, but with the housing bust, so too are the waterhogs.
Previously each nozzle on a shower head was considered a separate unit and thus each individual nozzle was subject to the the 2.5 gallons-a-minute limit, but earlier this year the DOE decided to change the definition of a showerhead to having "one or more sprays, nozzles or openings." This means that the entire unit, not each nozzle, would now be subject to 2.5GPM.
Of course the plumbing fixture industry is up in arms about the stricter regulations and limits on consumer options, even though many are also simultaneously trying to market themselves as "green".
We think it's great to ensure that manufacturers deliver a consistent and eco-friendly product, and the DOE agrees, "Did Congress limit consumer choice? Absolutely. When you waste water, you waste energy." And according to The Wall Street Journal, "each multi-head shower fixture uses an extra 40 to 80 thermal units of energy per year, equivalent to 50 gallons of gasoline, or one barrel of oil." That's a lot of energy down the drain!
To find out more information, and which products will be affected by the revised regulations, visit the DOE website.
(Image via Hudson Reed)