Saving On Summer Showers

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ShowerAs outdoor temperatures rise, water use rises too and as a result, so do utility bills.

But there are easy solutions that homeowners can implement now for water conservation. The best news is that with the help of an adjustable wrench and some pipe-joint tape, you can do-it-yourself!

Trivia Fact: The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 established standards for water efficiency, resulting in shower heads that use less water.

Q: Rather than taking less showers in the summer, is there a practical way for my family to reduce our water use?
You can easily add a little item to your shower known as a “pause control valve”.

Installed between the shower head and the shower arm, this device enables the bather to temporarily stop the flow of water while they lather up, thus conserving water.

The quick flip of a switch turns the water back on again.

Q: Can I add a hand shower to my existing shower, without invasive plumbing work?
Yes and you actually have two options at your disposal.

The first is to replace your existing showerhead with a hand shower by adding an accessory known as a “drop in, hand shower mount”. This device mounts to the end of the shower arm, creating a holder for the hand shower as well as the water that supplies it. If you want to conserve water, add a pause control valve too!

The second method is to install a “showerhead diverter valve”, which enables you to add a hand shower to your existing showerhead. This device mounts between the shower arm and the shower head, enabling you to switch back and forth between two fixtures that share the same water supply. Choose one that contains a cradle to hold the hand shower or – for a more permanent solution – a holder that mounts to the wall of the shower.

Q: How do I choose a hand shower? There are so many choices!
It’s true that there are a wide variety of hand showers on the market, in varying degrees of luxury and price-points. Some basic features to look for are multiple spray settings, easy-clean rubber nozzles and large-diameter spray faces. Whichever hand shower you ultimately choose, be sure to invest in a non-tangle, reinforced metal hose to avoid kinking and leaks.

Lynn M. Masiello, CBD-CKD, is an interior designer, project manager and a certified kitchen and bath designer. She is president and CEO of Verona-basedLM Designs.

Photo by PhotoAtelier via Flickr

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