Shower flow


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 flow.
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.
Thanks,
charles
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On Feb 15, 8:32�am, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.netttt (Charles Bishop) wrote:

All the hand held shower heads I have seen have easily removable flow restrictors. If california bans their sale you might travel and buy one in another state.
The hand held ones have a interesting failure mode where flow just drops, or starts out GREAT for a moment then slows to a anemic drizzle: (
Mine did that I didnt realize how bad it was till spending a night in a hotel. WOW WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
Not only can the heads get clogged fom minerals but the interior rubber lining of the hose fails, and during high flow ripples inside, the rubber interior trapped acts as a flow restrictor.
This was my problem after replacing the shower wand I cut the old line apart out of curosity. flexing probably makes this more likely.
Its really hard to put into words what happens but I suggest he just replace the entire assembly! and try to remove the flow restrictor........
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Charles Bishop wrote:

No the restriction is throughout the US and I believe Canada.

Not really.

No. Different designs both hand held and traditional can change the apparent flow, but the restriction is the same and is based on volume per unit of time under specific pressure.

Too little difference to measure.

Again too little difference to measure.

True, but I would expect that the pressure would need to be increased beyond what would be acceptable for the plumbing and things like valves throughout the home or condo.

Yes, but here the additional water will be very noticeable. The decreased water pressure will not likely be noticed.

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Joseph Meehan

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None of this really matters. What does matter is how hte shower feels to the person under the water. The right shower head makes a huge difference, regardless of hte flow. Our town had a program to reduce water use and they gave us a shower head called "Saver Shower". It is a better feel that an other that I've ever used.
Rather that try to change pipes, modify heads, just get one that you like and be done with it. The Saver Shower is available if you do a Google search for them.
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Increasing the pipe size will do nothing , except make you wait longer for hot water Larger pipe more volume but this would be more noticible in a long run of pipe. Increasing presure: you have what you have at the metter. unless you have a presure reducer in the system already witch would mean your city presure is to high and has to be reduced. Increasing the pres. can also cause other problems. Your best bet is to replace the shower head that would be were to start. After that if that dosent work you might want to install a new shower valve. You might want to check what your presure is. Mine is about 70 to 80 PSI.. It also might just be debies in the shower head or vavle. The low presure fixtures have come a long way.

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It also might just be debies in the shower head

how'd she get in there?
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If it's an old galvanized system the pipe corrodes over time. If some other modifications were done crap can get in the lines. If they ever had an underground break dirt will get in there. Something could come threw the main. Take the little aerators of your fixtures look at the screen. At best especially in housing crap gets in the pipes most installers will flush the pipes ( let the water run) the smart ones will take the aerators off the fixtures. The real smart ones will flush before they install the fixtures.
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Charles Bishop wrote:

The Delta (made by Alsons) handheld shower that I just bought had the flow set just a little too low. My shower mixing valve has separate knobs for flow and temperature, so I don't need a restrictor. All I had to do with this one was remove the screen in the bottom, then remove a little O ring from the restrictor plate, then put the screen back. This gives more than enough flow now; if I had low water pressure I could have removed the restrictor completely.
I think all shower heads have the restrictor where it can be easily removed or altered if you have low water pressure. You just might not be able to easily *see* the restrictor unless you go digging for it or call the manufacturer (that's what I did since the restrictor was hidden behind a screen)
Bob
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FIRST MOVE Buy a NEW wand unit like a water pic, namebrand is better. Try to check directions before purchase on how to remove restrictor!
The wand ones with lots of different water flow choices are nice, it helps find a flow that feels good..........
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