What is a Low Flow Shower Head?

Low flow showerhead regulation was passed some years back. Before 1994, it was legal for US manufacturers of shower heads to manufacture and distribute shower heads with GPM flow rates higher than 2.5 gallons per minute.

However, now it is not legal to produce or sell shower heads with gpm rates higher than 2.5 gallons per minute. Nevertheless, people are still using high-speed showerheads. It’s just that stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot wouldn’t carry showerheads with a 3gpm – 5gpm flow rate. High flow shower heads are still in existence; they are still sold privately and used in private residences.

So with these facts, regulated shower heads can also be considered a low flow shower head because low flow showerheads are below 5gpm.

Comparison Between the Traditional Showerhead and the Current Showerhead

A low flow showerhead is something that has raised a ton of controversies. There seems to be no correlating definition between the legal definition and industry definition of what a low flow showerhead is.

This whole controversy wasn’t there prior to 1994 when shower head manufacturers were allowed to manufacture shower heads and sell them without regulation, like maximum shower flow heads.

But after January 1, 1994, when the regulation took place, the regulation grew into many forms and was partly featured in a comedy show, Seinfeld, in the episode The Shower Head. Most shower heads used or even sold in the United States fail to conform to the maximum flow speed of 2.5 gpm.

This, in part, is the reason why there is so much confusion about the difference between a low flow shower head and a traditional shower head. In a way to differentiate between them, I will take a comparison of them below.

Low Flow Versus Ultra Low Flow

The industry so far has coined a word for shower heads that runs less than 2.5 gallons per minute as an ultra-flow shower head.

Although the coining has no firm meaning because if we go by the above definition, it doesn’t correlate with the regulated or current shower head.

The regulated one runs on 2.5gpm as it is maximum, so if this is the case, they both would be referred to as either low flow shower rather than ascribe ultra flow to the industry definition and low flow to the legal definition while they run on the same parameter.

So, What is a Low-flow Showerhead Exactly?

The common jargon and industry standards available seem to define a low flow shower head as one which has a maximum per minute gallon flow rate of 2.5.

Although it seems ambiguous, to simplify it, a low flow showerhead is referred to the regulated shower head because from what is available in circulation it retains the true definition of a low flow shower because it runs from 2.5gpm below.

Where’s My Free Lunch?

The lower the flow of your shower head means the more money you can save. Use this Water Saving Calculator to see how much water, gas, and money you can save. With that money, treat yourself to a free lunch!

How to Install a Low Flow Shower Head

Low-Flow Shower Heads Reviewed – Energy Circle