Well as the President of an alternative energy organization at my University I figured I should start greening my house a bit as well. Low flow faucets and fixtures are great and all, but why throw out my perfectly good hardware just to buy low flow? seems counterproductive. so i decided just to do it myself (might as well use those Mechanical engineering courses for something right?).
Here is a couple pics of my faucet and showerhead, my faucet has a 2.0Gpm aerator on it so i'll leave it alone for now, the showerhead however is a gross misuse of water.
Next i'll go through some simple tests to see just how much water it uses..... get your saucepans ready!
Step 1: Test
You can skip this if your trust me, if not go ahead and waste some more water......
1. Tape a measuring device to the wall, i used a tape Measure
2. Turn the water on full blast as a control
a. See how high the water goes (i took my measurement from the center of the stream)
b. Time how long the water takes to fill up your pan or measuring cup
3. Use this as a control for later in the instructable.
Step 2: Cut the Cap
First remove the shower head, every shower head is different but try to find the spot with the seal.
Now it's time to make the "low flow adapter". I started by making some snips on the threaded part so I could open it up like a flower.
After that I cut off all the tabs and measured the opening of the shower head. Then I continued to cut the cap along the curved words until i had a circular-ish looking thing, it doesn't have to be perfect. Keep checking it with the shower head seal until you feel you can pop it into place, BUT DON'T DO IT YET!
Before you pop it in you have to place the hole in the cap, to do this I put the nail into a clamp and held the cap piece in my pliers. If you do not have a vice then put the hole in the cap before cutting it apart, make sure you start on the plastic side NOT the rubber side as we will need this rubber to help seal it.
Once that's finished pop the piece into the seal and get ready to shower!.... oh and save money =)
Step 3: RESULTS!
Well first off I took a shower after doing all this, and there is a difference but it's not that noticeable
Height before = 3' 8" from the rim of my tub
Height After = 3' 3" from the rim of my tub
Rate before = 1cup / 1.795second * 60 Seconds / 16 cups = 2.089 Gpm
Rate AFTER= 1cup/ 2.535 seconds * 60 seconds / 16 cups = 1.4822 Gpm
Basiclly you take the time it takes to fill 1 cup, multiply that by 60 seconds to get the time in minutes, and divide by 16 cups to get it in gallons.
Total water used for 15 minute shower:
Before = 32.325
AFTER = 22.233
So your saving 10.092 gallons for every 15 minutes you shower, and in a house like mine where there are 10 people it works out like this.
10.092 * 10people * 30 days = 3027.6 gallons saved
3027.6 * .003 cents/gallon = $9.08 / month * 12months = $108.99 per year =)
Not bad for a piece of plastic you were about to throw out eh?