If you need to unwind after a tiring day at work or kick start your morning with a burst of energy, being fresh is one way to do it. Then again, you may not have the time to sit in the tub with a glass of champagne in hand, so you opt for the shower. However, you realize the water does not have the effect you were expecting because of its low pressure or volume.
When you decide to head to the shops to replace the shower head, these tips will help you buy one that will not interrupt your morning or night ritual.
1. Check the water pressure of the shower head
Most people will go looking for large, high-volume shower heads unaware that for them to produce the desired results, the water pressure needed is at least 55 psi (per square inch). Many of the shower heads available have water pressure ranging between 40 and 60 psi. To avoid buying a product that will disappoint you, you can first get yourself a tester to check the water pressure in your home before hitting the shops.
If you have low pressure in your shower head system, the problem could be that you have leaks or your pipes could be clogged and old meaning they are likely more than an inch in diameter. Usually, the factors causing restrictions in the water flow are the same ones that result in low water pressure. When this is the problem you have in your shower head, you should, therefore, get rid of flow restrictors or buy a shower head with the highest gallon per minute.
2. Save water, and money too
A standard shower head will use 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) although if older, it is likely to use more. The trick here is to buy a shower head that needs less water pressure so you can overcome the low-pressure problem. Purchasing a shower head with EPA certification means you will be using two GPM or even less. At this rate, the EPA advises that a WaterSense shower head will save you about 2,900 gallons of water per year, and energy bills too will go down by reducing the amount of hot water you need for each shower.
However, not all sellers will recommend buying a shower head with EPA WaterSense certification reasoning that just like when using low-flow sink faucets you take longer to rinse the soap off your hands, using a misting shower that guarantees low water usage will only result in you taking more time in the shower to rinse off the soap.
3. Be concerned with water pressure, not volume
When selecting a new shower head, check that it matches with the existing hardware; usually shower heads are brushed nickel or chrome. You can invest in a product that features not just a shower head but multiple body sprays and a detachable hand shower although they can be a bit expensive ranging from $200 to $1,000.Most people prefer pressure to volume, and if you fall in that category, then do not go buying a large rain head; one measuring 8 inches or less will serve you better.
Other things you can consider are the ease to clean, price and design. Reading the best shower system reviews can help you determine which top-rated shower head will best cater to your needs. It also affords you the advantage of getting to know the downsides that the seller may not be willing to tell you.
Types of shower systems
Shower heads come with different features, and the most common types are:
• Single head shower heads
They have four or more individual nozzles that spray water in different patterns and directions. To change the spray pattern, you can adjust the settings while to change the direction all you have to do is move the shower head.
• Rain shower head
If you love dancing in the rain, this is the ideal shower head. It is a large and flat shower head suspended directly above your head to direct the spray down such that you experience the rainstorm sensation.
• Handheld shower heads
A handheld shower is a single head sprayer attached to a flexible hose intended for washing your hair or other hard-to-reach areas; it is also perfect for those who have to shower while sitting down or those with limited mobility.
• Multiple shower heads
Comprise more than one shower head, and feature a wall-mounted shower head and a handheld shower head.
Tips for shower head Installation
Avoid as much as you can to replace a shower arm because if you do not install it properly or connect it poorly, then you might have to deal with a leak in the wall and consequently damage. Therefore if you are installing a new shower head, installing it on the original fixture is easy but if you want extensive work to be done, then calling the plumbing professionals is recommended. If you are going for an upgraded shower system that includes handheld showers and body sprays, you will have to install enough outlets to accommodate the number of gadgets you have included; that way you ensure that you do not go below the minimum flow rate at any valve which would reduce the performance of your shower system.
Depending on the number of shower systems you have, if it has three or more outlets, make sure that your home has the recommended pressure of 50 psi, at least. Additionally, the water heater should be large enough to give a consistent flow of hot water. Usually, 100 gallons will ensure an adequate supply of hot water, but if you take showers lasting 8 minutes or less, a 5-gallon water heater will do. As you search for a shower system that can put out large amounts of water, you should check that your bathroom can handle the volume of water; otherwise, you may have a flooding problem. Your shower should have one drain measuring 3 inches and two drains measuring 2 inches each.
Information is power, and knowing the exact type of shower system you need plus the features you should look out for will enable you to buy the right product. Besides, with the different prices that shower systems come in, you will get one that will comfortably fit into your budget.