Water-waster/time-waster shower head solutions.

Last month we went on a road trip looking at colleges for my son. At one motel in San Diego they had the worst shower I can remember. It was designed for vertically challenged people and the flow was so low that it took a very long time for each person to take a shower.
A long time ago I used to take a shower head along when I rented ski cabins or condos and I am going to start doing the same when I go to a motel. Just an adjustable wrench and a modified shower head is all that is required.
Not all shower heads lend themselves to modification. Twenty years ago there were shower heads with removable restrictors where the instructions advised you to be sure to replace the restrictor after cleaning the shower head so that the water saving feature would still function (wink, wink). Not sure if there are any of those still around. I bought an inexpensive, solid brass shower head at Home Depot for $18. I removed the water-restriciting rubber washer and replaced it with normal washers <http://www.homedepot.com/p/204511132>. Then I disassembled it and drilled out the water restrictor hole, increasing the diameter by about 4x. I would not try this with a plastic shower head and many of the shower heads sold at Home Depot, even the more expensive ones, are plastic with a metal coating.
Apparently this is all going to get worse. In NY, they already have reduced the GPM for showerheads to 2.0, from the federal guideline of 2.5.
I saw a shower head on Amazon that is supposed to be 4-5 GPM <(Amazon.com product link shortened)> (apparently it ships with a restricting washer in order to stay legal).
I don't get these low-flow shower heads. It just takes far longer to take a shower and you end up using the same amount, or more, water. They need to rate shower heads in gallons per shower, not gallons per minute.
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wrote:

I'm assuming my new shower heads are 2.5, but they work very well as they are. One is a rain can overhead, the other is on a hose and can be hand held. I thought about making modifications, but I have no complaints. Although everything I have is Kohler, the plumbing supply recommended these from Delta because they work well.
Delta RP52382
http://www.deltafaucet.com/bath/details/rp52382.html Don't let the list price fool you, it can be had for half that. Hand held is five function D51505 http://www.deltafaucet.com/bath/details/51505-ssds.html
I do understand your frustration with hotels though. They must throttle them back to about a half gallon.
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what you fail to understand is the fact that, while you and I use a shower to quickly get clean, many people use it as some sort of therapy device.
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On 05/03/2014 11:01 PM, Pico Rico wrote:

It's important for wage slaves to conserve water while in the shower so that wealthy people can spew hundreds of gallons per minute on their golf course-sized lawns.
God bless the wealthy republicans!
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On 5/4/2014 8:25 AM, Joe Taxpayer wrote:

Right, Democrats never play golf. Al Gore never waters his lawn.
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Per Joe Taxpayer:

What bugs me is the assumption that everybody is getting their water from some non-replenishable source - like an underground aquifer.
If I'm getting my water from the Delaware river, "Wasting water" is not a correct description for leaving a faucet on What I'm really doing is diluting the waste stream that gets processed and dumped back into the river.
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 5/3/2014 10:01 PM, sms wrote:

All the hand-held WaterPik PowerSpray models I've bought have removable flow restrictors. And I do remove them.
They're not easy to remove; you need a miniature needle-nose pliers to get in there, like the kind you use for delicate electronics work.
--
Steven L.

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On Sun, 04 May 2014 12:22:08 -0400, "Steven L."

Would be nice if you just slid them in and out. Out for when I shower, in for when grandson takes 20 minutes. He's gotten better since I turned the hot water off while he was in there.
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On 5/4/2014 9:29 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I do that with my son.
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There are. Speakman, for one. From their PDF...
**************************** "The gleaming finish of your SPEAKMAN ANYSTREAM showerhead can be cleane d by using mild soap andwarm water. Dry immediately with a soft, clean cloth
for best results.
The flow control device limits water flow to 2.5 gallons per minute. The small orifices may become clogged with scale and other minerals found in potable water.
To clean the flow regulator, simply remove the showerhead from the bent arm , pull out the locking tab from the ball,dislodge the flow regulator and clea n as necessary."
********************** Just don't put it back :) There are more detailed instructions all over th e web.
If you decide to buy one of their heads, this is the one I would suggest...
http://www.speakmanshowers.com/pub/shop/product/solid-brass-high-pressure-s hower-heads/anystream-6-jet-high-pressure-showerhead
They also have them in a bigger diameter with more jets but if you like a piercing spray, get this one. I first ran into them in a motel in Bryan, Texas in 1958...the spray could be adjusted so that it damn near flayed you alive. I wouldn't have any other.
--

dadiOH
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I suggest also bringing along a roll of Teflon tape. To be sure you get theirs back on without it leaking.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 5/4/2014 12:13 PM, Don Wiss wrote:

Yes, I bring teflon tape along with a wrench and the shower head.
BTW, according to the TSA web site, wrenches less than seven inches long are okay to carrry on <http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items#7 . Not all six inch adjustable wrenches will open wide enough for a shower head. You want at least 1" opening.
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aren't wrenches and Teflon tape items that the front desk would typically provide upon request?
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SMS:
The difference between a good shower and a lousy one is entirely a function of two factors:
1. Is the shower head designed for low flow or is it a full flow shower head with a flow restrictor in it? If it's the latter, it's garbage. You see, if you don't change the size of the holes in the shower head itself, lowering the amount of flow with a restrictor is just going to result in a low flow rate through the holes, in which case you don't get a "spray" but a "spill". That is, the shower head spills water on your instead of sprays it on you. The ONLY fix for this is to replace the shower head with one that's designed for a lower flow rate, which means it will have fewer holes, smaller holes, or both. Then, the flow rate through the holes will be sufficient that the water will spray out of the shower head and you get decent shower performance.
2. How well does the diverter spout work? Cheap diverter spouts made in China are water wasters. That's because when you divert the flow to the shower head, fully 1/4 to 1/3 of the water is still spilling out the tub spout. In order to maximize shower performance, you need to eliminate the water spillage out the spout. Both Delta and Ondine use a closure mechanism that uses the water pressure itself to stop water flow out the tub spout, and so Delta and Ondine spouts work very well. Moen uses a rubber cup. When the rubber cup is positioned in front of the water supply pipe it elongates and seals off the flow out the end of the water supply pipe. Both systems work well. Moen's diverter spout for a copper water supply pipe is the Moen 3931 tub spout, and other models are available for other kinds of threaded spouts. And, the good news is that a Moen 3931 spout costs about $14, or only about twice what a water waster diverter spout costs.
In my building, ALL of my shower heads are made by Niagara Conservation which specializes in water conservation products. And, ALL of my diverter spouts are Moen 3931. Since I changed the shower heads and diverter spouts I have not had a single tenant complain about the shower performance.
--
nestork

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