New US Shower Regulations Limit Multiple Heads, Will Ruin Sexy Advertising

Since 1992, federal regulations have required that shower heads deliver no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. But that never stopped companies like Grohe from putting a half dozen of them together to fire at models in their advertising. Some of these multiple head showers pump out 12 gallons per minute. But that is changing; the Wall Street Journal reports that "In May, the DOE stunned the plumbing-products industry when it said it would adopt a strict definition of the term "showerhead" in enforcing standards that have been on the books--but largely unenforced--for nearly 20 years."
Image: Grohe Raindance, $5427, 12 Gallons per Minute

Previously, manufacturers interpreted the rule as to mean that each nozzle in a shower had to comply. But the Department of Energy has now said that a "showerhead" may incorporate "one or more sprays, nozzles or openings"- they have to add them up, and they cannot exceed 2.5 gallons per minute in total.

Commenters in the Journal, never fans of the rule of law, generally write "Try bringing in more water, there's plenty of it on the planet. defeatist, commie corrections always fail." But the real issue here was that there was one law for the rich and another for everybody else. Some of these fancy multiple shower head setups cost over $5,000.

The industry says that only 1 to 4% of new houses have multiple shower head systems, but some of the multiple systems are used by the elderly and disabled. "One person's waste is another person's therapeutic use of water." This does not ring entirely true; most people who use handheld showers for therapeutic or other reasons have diverters and do not use both at the same time. For that Grohe multiple head shower to work, you need a bigger, 3/4" line to handle the water volume; that is rarely done for "therapeutic" reasons.

Grohe uses another argument, often heard when challenging regulation of waste or pollution: It will "negatively impact an already weakened American industry, just as it begins to experience signs of recovery."

Scott Harris of the Department of Energy tells the Journal:

"Did Congress limit consumer choice? Absolutely," the DOE's Mr. Harris says. "When you waste water, you waste energy." Each multi-head shower fixture uses an extra 40 to 80 thermal units of energy per year, equivalent to 50 gallons of gasoline, or one barrel of oil, he says.

Those screaming "commie" at every regulation forget that not only is water in short supply in much of America, but even where it is plentiful it takes energy to purify it and pump it, energy that is paid for by taxes. It then takes energy to heat it and when it goes down the drain, to treat it and get rid of it. All of which requires more infrastructure and more taxes.

We did a survey on this a few years ago: How Much Water Do You Need To Shower?

Read more on the true cost of the water we use:
More Expensive Water? Experts Say a Price Hike Is a Must
Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It (Interview)
New McKinsey Report Warns of Rising Demand on Water Resources
Surfrider Foundation Calls Us Out on Our Water Cycle of Insanity (Video)
Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It (Interview)

Tags: Water Conservation

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