Stupidly Simple Low Flow Conversion

Introduction: Stupidly Simple Low Flow Conversion

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!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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?

Participated in the
Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Rope & String Speed Challenge

      Rope & String Speed Challenge
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest

    5 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 3

    Wouldn't it be little easier to run the water at full blast into a pot or bucket for 15 seconds (for example), measure the amount of water then multiply by 4 to get the gallons per minute?

    I recently installed a low(er) flow shower head and used a stock pot that has markings on the side to measure the old and new heads. The old 2.5 GPM head put out 7 quarts in 30 seconds (yep, that's 3.5 GPM) and the new Niagara 1.5 GPM head put out 3.5 quarts in 30 seconds (1.75 GPM). I guess the ratings for these things are just rough estimates. ;-) Still, I like the new shower head. It works very well, the spray is not uncomfortable at all and it saves money because I cut the flow in half.


    10 years ago on Step 2

    Hmmm, You could notch the edges and skip the puncture. It would even out the distribution of the water flow. I'm sure there is already water coming out of the edges, Just a thought. Tony


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Oh i'm sure there is water leaking out, you'd be surprised at how much water still flows through the cap with just the 1 hole. You could do it the way you described, but you'll only need to nick out one maybe two small pieces to get the same flow.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    On which planet do you live? I ask because your month is 21 days long while here on Earth our month averages 30 days. Were you living here things would work out even better. Assuming each person takes one 15 minute shower a day then

    10.092 * 10people * 30 days - 3027.60 gallons saved each month
    3027.60 * .003 cents/gallon = $9.08 / month * 12months = $109 per year.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for catching that, was a typo that I carried through by mistake =)