Efficient Shower Nozzles

showerheadOne of the most cost effective ways of reducing your monthly electricity bill is to simply change your shower head!

It may sound unbelievable, but its true.  In fact by fitting an efficient shower nozzle you can save almost as much money every month as you would installing a solar water heater.

The reason this is so is that by using less water every time you shower you don’t need to heat as much hot water every day.  That means that you will be using less electricity heating water.  Heating water is usually the single biggest use of electricity in the average home.  If most of your hot water is consumed by showering, then you can expect about a 20-50% reduction in the amount of hot water heated each month, which is almost the same order of saving expected from a solar water heating system!

Not only do you save by using less electricity, but your monthly water bill will be reduced as well.  Furthermore, if you are charged sewage based on the amount of fresh water consumed, then your monthly sewage bill will be reduced as well.

Most normal shower nozzles have flow rates of about 20 litres per minute at normal household water pressures.  Although those large “rain maker” type nozzles favoured by some interior designers can use almost double that!  An efficient shower nozzle will typically use less than 10 litres per minute.

So its actually a complete “no-brainer”!  Anyone interested in saving power should, at the absolute minimum, change their shower nozzle/s  straight away!

However there are two important considerations to keep in mind when choosing an energy efficient nozzle:

  • Does it really reduce the flow?  Some nozzles are cleverly labelled or named, such as “eco friendly”, or something similar, in an attempt to imply they are energy efficient, but are only marginally so, if at all. This is very easy to test.  Simply measure the time it takes to fill a bucket, using a stop watch.  The energy efficient shower nozzle should take at least twice as long to fill the bucket.
  • Does the energy efficient shower nozzle provide a satisfying shower experience?  Too many of the efficient shower nozzles available tend to dribble on you, leaving you underwhelmed.  However there are one or two models available that actually produce a BETTER shower experience than a conventional nozzle, whilst using half as much water.

These devices reduce the flow of water but at the same time introduce air bubbles and/or turbulence to the water flow.  Air bubbles make the volume of water feel the same as it was before the flow was reduced, and turbulence decreases the size of the water droplet. Smaller droplets wet the skin to a greater extent.  Some shower nozzles also increase the speed of the water jet to make the water jet feel as substantial as before.

All these effects help produce a pleasant shower, even though up to 50% less water is being used.

We tested one of these shower heads and achieved a 33% saving in electricity used to heat water after showers.

We also simulated two showers a day using the new PowerProphet modelling tool to see what the benefits would be from a theoretical point of view.

Installation

Most tap and shower fittings are standardised so installing these devices is often simply a matter of screwing off the old shower head and screwing in the new unit.

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