[Greenbuilding] low flow shower heads

Jason Holstine jason at amicusgreen.com
Fri May 13 14:15:24 PDT 2011

Excellent point, Steven and Anne. Ability to turn the volume down‹but not
off‹is key. But then, with lower GPM models, are we splitting hairs‹does the
pie get spliced to small‹to be worth the extra cost of the fancy tools and
pain of bashing your head against the wall of public stereotype?

On 5/13/11 4:40 PM, "Steven Tjiang" <steve at tjiang.org> wrote:

> Terminology:
> A navy shower = turn on to wet skin; turn off to soap; turn on to rinse.
> A hollywood shower = turn on full blast; start singing; soap; turn off a the
> end.
> A thermostatic value + volume control is  way better than a navy shower button
> because you can adjust the volume down to a level just to keep you warm while
> soaping.  This may convince more people to actually use less water while
> showering than the pure "Navy shower" approach.   The downside is thermostatic
> valves and volume controls setups are expensive.
> On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM, Anne Judge <anne.judge at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> On May 13, 2011, at 4:05 PM, Steven Tjiang wrote:
>>> > The higher-end shower setups come with thermostatic valves and volume
>>> controls.  You can adjust the volume independent of temperature, so the
>>> volume control on such setups work fine as a navy shower button and in fact
>>> much better as such.
>> I LOVE thermostatic valve + separate volume control ever since I first
>> encountered them in Norway, and put them in the one time we redid a bathroom
>> (and then promptly moved :-( ) but I absolutely can't get other people
>> interested.  I tell them you can turn them on & off without changing temp,
>> and they say why would they want to do this, they just adjust the temp before
>> they get in.  There's a big education threshold here.
>> (Full disclosure: I don't turn the water off to soap.  It just doesn't work,
>> the soap doesn't stay wet enough or something, plus in the winter it's way
>> too cold.  But I do turn it off to pumice my feet.  Maybe if you have body
>> hair to hold water by your skin it works better?  I know my husband's bath
>> towel gets way wetter than mine.)
>>> > On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:43 PM, Reuben Deumling <9watts at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> >
>>>> >> On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Jason Holstine <jason at amicusgreen.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> >>> There are definitely performance differences though, obviously in the
>>>>> potential water and energy savings‹most are 1.75 to 2.5GPM‹and especially
>>>>> in the pressure...many on this list would be fine with a Navy shower or
>>>>> weak shower,
>>>> >> This is what I'm interested in, but I'm surprised you lump Navy with
>>>> weak. My sense of the value of the button is precisely that it does not in
>>>> any way interfere with the 'strength' or other qualities of the shower. It
>>>> represents an opportunity to change the coincidence of acts performed in
>>>> the shower with water consumption, but I'd be inclined to separate pressure
>>>> and the presence or absence of a soap valve.
>> I'm getting the feeling from Jason's context that the responses are
>> misinterpreting his meaning - Is Jason perhaps referring to those really
>> low-flow fine-mist small showerheads when he says Navy shower (I've seen them
>> billed as what the navy uses), not the presence or absence of the shut-off
>> valve that lets you take a "navy shower"?   The former would accurately be
>> lumped with "weak".
>> Again, many moons ago my husband & I used such a showerhead and thought it
>> was OK, but no one else in the family seemed to like it.
>> Anne
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