They say a long journey begins with a few small steps. Yesterday, I unofficially initiated my long-term, precise energy retrofit of the Poole Ancestral Homestead by simply installing a water saving, low flow shower head.
The new shower head is a 1.5 gallon-per-minute, all brass, chrome finished, Victorian-styled shower head made by Danze, which I obtained from my friends at Energy Circle.
It replaces an older, still functional but somewhat less decorative, 2.5 gpm shower head that I’d gotten some time ago in a water efficiency kit from the water company.
Installation began with a diverter, since we have a need here for a hand-held shower for an elderly person. The hand-held I’d chosen was a less expensive Delta, also Victorian style, with a 2.5 gpm flow. That was fine, because over time, the hand-held doesn’t get quite as much use as the fixed one, so it was important to me that the fixed shower head be more efficient.
Next, I replaced the shower caddy, because there was no way it was going to fit back on after the installation was completed (I gave myself a big pat on the back for thinking of this at this stage in the project ) Then, I installed the hose for the hand-held, and the new shower head.
Here’s how it looks with everything in place. The two heads side-by-side are somewhat imposing, aren’t they? But so be it (I actually rather like some heft to installed fixtures, anyway).
When I “test fired” the Danze shower head, I found that, true to advertising, it didn’t seem like a low flow fixture. It felt just like the more generous showers of the past.
My only (rather minor) complaint is that the Danze seems to amplify changes in water temperature. In this bath, there are hot and cold valves controlling the water, and when I ever so slightly turned the hot water up, it felt like I got a much more dramatic rise in temperature than with the older shower head. I can’t explain why this is the case, but it just means being more careful when adjusting the hot water. (I’m not sure if a smart shower control value would work in this case, but it might be worth investigating).
Otherwise, the Danze water saving shower head is clearly a winner. And it will conserve a lot of water over the long run.