I had someone ask me if it's possible to increase the flow from the shower
head. This is what I told him and thought I'd check here to see how much I
got right (along with some questions):
1. Shower heads (including hand held showers) are low flow in California.
It might be possible to get one (new, hand held) that isn't low flow in
another state, but I wasn't sure.
1.1 Is there a source for "increased flow" hand held shower heads?
1.2 Is a standard shower head likely to deliver more flow? If it does
(at the same current pressure) I assume the force felt in the new stream
would be less than the current shower head since the existing pressure is
coming out through more holes.
2. The early forms of low flow were made by inserting a plastic washer in
the shower head. These could be removed to increase the flow. Now,
however, the modifications are within the unit, or harder to get out and
it's difficult to modify the head to increase the flow.
3. His flow looks what I'd consider "normal". He is thinking that
increasing the diameter of his pipes (in the walls) would help increase
the flow. Since he's in a condo unit, with other units in the same stack,
increasing his pipes wouldn't achieve anything, since the stacks' delivery
piping would still be a smaller diameter, and this is what would limit the
4. The diameter of the hose on the hand held portion of the shower is
obviously smaller than the 1/2" pipe that feeds it. However, this diameter
is fine for the amount of flow that comes out of the shower head. That is,
putting a larger hose between the source and the head woudn't increase the
amount of flow, since the shower head has a set flow rate.
5. Increasing the pressure would increase the flow, but there is no way to
increase the pressure in his shower, considering that he is in a condo
with a common supply.
5.1 Similar to 1, above, if he puts on a shower head that allows more
water to come out, the pressure of this new stream is going to be less.