Introduction: Watersaving: Shower Mixer Alternative
Cape Town is in the middle of a massive drought, so everyone needs to save water. Having a mixer in your shower enables you to turn the water on and off in short bursts, minimising the water usage. However, if you don't have a mixer, it is quite expensive to install one, and having to constantly open and close two taps and regulate the temperature is just not feasible.
Installing a small ball-valve inbetween the showerhead and the water pipe allows users to open the taps to the desired temperature, but cut off water supply with the flick of a switch. So you wet your body, turn the water off, soap, turn water on to rinse (apparently the technique is called a "Navy Shower/Military Shower").
It takes about 5min to install, and costs under R70, and by monitoring my water use, it is evident that it saves a LOT of water!
Step 1: What You Need
Step 2: Thread Seal Tape Clockwise Around the Male End of the Ball Valve
The thread seal tape helps to avoid water leaking through. It helps to put the thread on in a clockwise manner, because that is the direction that you will fasten it onto the showerhead.
Step 3: Fasten the Ball Valve to the Showerhead
Step 4: Wind Thread Tape Around the Pipe in the Shower in a Clockwise Manner
Step 5: Attach the Showerhead With Ball Valve to the Shower Arm
Step 6: Showering
When showering, first open both taps until the water reaches a comfortable temperature. Then use the newly installed valve tap to cut off the water to the showerhead when not needed (e.g. when soaping).
dickworrall made it!
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Please be positive and constructive.
When watch M.A.S.H. on TV years ago I would see these kind of devices in the army showers and wonder where I could get one to save water. (Their's on mash leaked though) Anyway I made one years ago but it has a draw-back-- When you switch your perfect warm water mix back on--the temp. has changed! I think it might be because the hot water rises faster than the cold and you can get surprised by the hot water if you don't wait briefly for the temp to even out!
Do NOT turn the water off 100% when soaping and scrubbing. If you do you can get scalded when you turn the water back on. Hot water will rise into the feed pipe to the shower head (heat rises and cold drops) so when you turn it back on you will get a blast of JUST HOT WATER. if you let it just dribble a little the hot and cold stays mixed and no problem while still saving lots of water.
PLEASE BE AWARE This will only save water if the cold and hot water supplies are at a common pressure.
If the cold water supply is at a higher pressure it may force water into the geyser and result in water flowing out of the pressure release valve on the geyser.
A solution is a non return valve in the hot water supply between the geyser and mixer.
Rather than running that water down the drain while you wait for it to warm up, catch it in a bucket or basin; use it to flush the toilet by pouring it in the toilet bowl.
Possible issues: The water in the hot line cools during the time the shower is off. So if the water was hot enough to start, it will only be warm for your next pulse. This system would work best with a heater just before the shower head, not one at the other end of the house.
As another idea for people doing extreme water conservation: Look at micro sprinkler heads. There are mist heads that do 4 gal per hour, and tiny spray heads that do 10 to 20 gal/hour.
Hi, what would you suggest for a hand held showerhead?