Showers are the second highest user of water in homes, after toilets. Understanding how much water your showerhead uses and replacing an old showerhead with a new, efficient one will help you save water and energy.
Showerhead flow rate standards
The amount of water a showerhead uses is called its flow rate. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute, or “gpm”. For showerheads with multiple spray pattern options, the flow rate is for the setting that uses the most water.
WaterSense labeled showerheads are independently tested and use 2.0 gpm or less and perform well.
Washington state code currently requires that showerheads sold in stores must use no more than 1.8 gpm.
How to tell how much water a showerhead uses
Find the gallons per minute (gpm) rating
In many cases, the showerhead will have the gpm rating printed on it. It can be located anywhere on the fixture, but is often in one of these places:
- The face of the showerhead.
- On the back of the handle for hand-held showerheads.
- At the base of the fixture where it connects to the plumbing.
Measure the flow rate
If you can’t find a gpm label, you can use a tool called a flow rate bag that will capture the water from your showerhead to estimate the flow rate.
Customers of a Saving Water Partnership utility can email firstname.lastname@example.org to have a flow rate bag mailed to you for free.