A Greener Indiana

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http://e3living.com/earth-1%205-gpm-chrome-handheld-massage-showerhead

Our showerhead was leaking so we decided to replace it with a low-flow model.  I did an extensive amount of research and had narrowed my choices down to the following:

Showertek Green Choice Power Shower Handheld
Niagara Earth Massage
Oxygenics Evolution

I ended up getting the Niagara model from the link at the beginning of the message.  This shower head is rated at 1.5 gpm, very low even compared to many other showerheads that claim to be low flow.  I read a lot of reviews and it seems that all the low flow showerheads have about an even mix of people that hate them and people who are happy with them.  I liked the Showertek because I figured if we couldn't tolerate the low-flow, we had the option to turn the flow up.  On the other hand, I figured we'd probably end up just setting it on the highest setting and it would defeat the purpose.  I though the Oxygenics might offer the best water pressure, but I heard a lot of negatives about the noise and temperature change of heads that mix air with the water.  Almost all showerhead reviews include comments about the cheap construction of anything under 100$ nowadays, and I won't disagree with that.  The Niagara is mostly plastic but it seems solid enough and there was nothing about the construction that was problematic.

The showerhead installed very easily.  I bought thread seal tape (under 1.00 at Lowes), and took the preassembled showerhead apart and sealed all threads, and the threads on the main line.  This isn't required but I figured it was cheap and helped assure no leaking while lessning the chance I would have to over-tighten something.  I tightened everything by hand only, and had no leaks anywhere.

The showerhead really only has two flow options, a radial spray and a pulsing (massage) spray.  The pulsing spray is ok, but it's not especially forceful.  The radial spray is good, plenty of pressure, but not a hard stinging spray like some of the showerheads that add a lot of air.  I'm not going to say you won't notice the difference between this unit and a maximum flow showerhead, but I will say neither my wife nor I miss a full flow showerhead at all.  I think one advantage of this unit is the head is small, and the diameter of the spray pattern is small.  I noticed immediately that all the water is focused on your body, not spraying all over the shower.  We don't really notice a decrease in water to the extent that we have to take longer to rinse or anything like that.  The water stays very hot, hotter than our previous showerhead, so I don't believe that as some reviewers on other sites mentioned, this unit is mixing air with the water.  One of the most important things I noticed is that now I never have to decrease the amount of cold water, no matter how long I'm in the shower.  With our previous showerhead we went through hot water fast and by the time we were done we'd usually be running hot water only.  It's obvious that the flow is greatly reduced, just due to this decrease in hot water usage and you can definitely notice that you are not just saving water, but energy too via the decrease in hot water use.

All in all, we really feel good about using this showerhead.  It makes you feel good because you see less water pooling in the tub, less water spraying all over the shower, and less hot water being used, but you don't really notice any significant detriment to your shower experience.  We are on septic so I think there's some added benefit to any reduction in our water usage.  I could definitely see where other people might be used to having tons of water spraying everywhere, and not be happy with one of these, but we were hesitant to go with such a low flow showerhead and I can say we have no complaints whatsoever.

Vern

 

Tags: flow, green, low, niagara, showerhead

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