Monday, June 9, 2014

Little Things: 1.5 GPM Showerhead experiment

There's more than one way to slice an egg and multiple small changes can make just as much of an impact as a large one (like killing off your bloated "family" plan).  Now that we've convinced our teenager to shower daily, water usage is up a bit in our home and after reading this I decided to throw caution to the wind and blow $15.82 on a pair of fancy 1.5 GPM shower heads for our 2 full baths.  I didn't really expect much (other than maybe complaints from tenants) but since the existing heads were old and rather crusty from hard water I figured what the heck.

A couple days later (thanks Amazon Prime!) and I had 2 shiny new chrome coated plastic do-dads to install.  I'd love to say that I was so eager to save some dough that I immediately spent the 5 mins it took to install them and started putting cash in my pocket one shower at a time but the reality is I finally got around to it about a week after they were rush shipped to our house. 

A couple of observations--there were some complaints about reduced pressure on the wide spray setting but there is also a jet setting that could easily chip away shower tiles one layer at a time if that is your preference.  Also, we've noticed that it takes longer for the water to heat up since lower volumes are being drawn through the system which results in more time being required to purge the cold water from the pipes, an effect which is most pronounced in our master bath at the opposite end of the house from the water heater. 

I feared the longer warm-up time would kill any savings but fortunately that wasn't the case. Our water is pretty cheap (especially considering the inequality of demand and our currently dwindling supply) and the bulk of our bill is usually sewer and trash so I was pretty surprised to see a reduction equating to $6 in water savings the first month after installation. 

May seem insignificant but that's $72/year for $16 and 5 minutes of effort, a 450% annual ROI and another grand in the retirement fund every 10yrs using Mr Money Mustache's 173 multiplier for monthly expense savings!

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