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Your Old Shower Heads are Costing you Big Bucks

If you’re tired of being shocked every month when you receive your water bill, you’re not alone.  Just know there are some simple fixes you can do that could cut your water bill significantly.  Depending on the size of your household, the use of the showers in your home make up a large portion of your monthly water consumption.  If your still using older style shower heads a simple upgrade can save you hundreds of dollars annually.

What’s the Difference Between Older and Newer Shower Heads?

Most people wouldn’t know that the US government actually regulates the output of shower heads.  Prior to 1992 regulations allowed any shower head manufacturer in the US to produce shower heads that could use as much as 5.5 gallons of water per minute.  So, if you have a family of 4 who shower once a day for 10 minutes, you could use up to 220 gallons of water each day.  If showers last longer than 10 minutes the usage could be much more.

These regulations on shower head output changed in 1992.  The new regulations stipulated that the maximum allowable output for shower heads was set at 2.5 gallons per minute.  The same family of 4 taking a 10-minute shower each day would save 120 gallons per day or over 3300 gallons of water per month!  There are also shower heads on the market that have a lower output than 2.5 gallons, so savings can be even greater.

Why is it Important to Keep Your Shower Heads Clean?

Water characteristics differ across different areas of the state and also because of different water providers.  Regardless of your provider, over time deposits in your water called calcium carbonate will slowly start to build up lime scale on your shower heads.  As this build up increases it will cause the shower head to clog and interfere with normal water flow.  Mold is also an eventual by product on your shower head due to the moist nature of bathrooms.

There are several ways to clean your shower heads and doing so requires no special talent or tools.  Of course, you can go to your local store and purchase products that are designed specifically for cleaning shower heads.  Always make sure to read the labels and follow the instructions.

A simple method that utilizes something most people already have in their home is to use white vinegar as the cleaning agent.  If possible, remove the shower head and place it in a sealable plastic bag filled with white vinegar.  After several hours you can remove and replace the shower head.  If you can’t remove the shower head, simply tie a plastic bag filled with white vinegar around the shower head and let it stand for several hours.  Always rinse the shower head before using it.

Depending on your level of experience there are simple plumbing repairs like installing a new shower head or cleaning them, that you may be able to perform in your home.  However, when in doubt, the safe bet is to call in a professional.  Even if you think you’ve fixed a problem, the fix may be temporary and lead to a greater problem down the road because of improper technique.  If you’re faced with a plumbing problem and aren’t sure how to handle it, call the professionals at The Clean Plumbers for plumbing solutions you can count on.