Last updated: August 29th 2016
If you are looking for a way to save water when showering, a way that goes beyond quick washes, low flow shower heads are the best solution to provide a comfortable, long shower time with no need to worry about wasting too much water. If you have read our ultimate guide on shower heads you have seen we covering the part about how government and industry measure the water consumption to state whether a shower head is economic or not, as well as how the volume of the water flow and the flow pressure are related to provide particular experiences when showering, so here we are going to check a quick guide on what exactly you can expect from low flow shower heads and 6 of the best models you can purchase right now.
Low Flow Shower Head Reviews
American Standard Flowise 1660.717.002
This is the first of two Flowise models in our list, so pay attention to the model number as this is the only things that differs them from one another when it comes to the name, even though they have designs quite different from one another. This Flowise we can call as the bell shower head as its conical format is great difference from the other model.With 3 different spray patterns and a water low flow of only 1.5 gpm in the default mode, this shower head works with high-pressure jets, a harsher one called Turbine, which makes use only of the inner nozzles, the Full spray with the outer nozzles and the combo of both sprays working together. Is important to note that for the combo and the full spray, the shower will auto-adjust to a 2.0 gpm mode. Then, you finish your shower after showering with the combo option let’s say. The next person that will shower will get back the 1.5 gpm Turbine mode. This is the Auto return feature, that will always auto adjust the shower after use to its most economic mode, so even if you forgot the shower on the higher modes, the shower will not let you forget and will put it back to save mode.This shower saves 40% more water compared to a standard 2.5 gpm model, even though it offers only high-pressure sprays. It is available on two different finishes, both brushed, either chrome or satin.
American Standard Flowise 1660.613.002
This Flowise is what we will call the cylinder Flowise, as its shape is a quite minimalist longitudinal format that offers very straight forward jets. Basically, this model is not technically very different from the previous Flowise: it also works with the 1.5 gpm default mode, goes to 2.0 on combo and full spray and has the auto return technology. But is exactly its different shape that makes it a different experience.The jet of the bell Flowise is spread and correspond to the standard full spray of conventional wall-mounted shower heads. The cylinder Flowise is a very straight jet, it will provide a harsher, more invigorating, pressurized jet in all its different sprays patterns as it doesn’t spread the jet.The finishes of this model are either a polished chrome or a brushed nickel and is important to note it is much more compact and subtle head, only 3-inch wide.
High Sierra 1.5 GPM
We already reviewed this shower among the best high-pressure shower heads selection, and it is also a must-have among the low flow models. Different from the American Standard models, this High Sierra shower head works only on the 1.5 gpm rate. Its a very economic head and a green solution for showering, and while it is more economic than the American Standard models, it follows the Flowise cylinder design to provide high-pressure, focused jet.Also, this model doesn’t have a world of different spray options to offer, working exclusively as a high-pressure shower head that will rely on how much water you enable to flow during the shower to widen up the spray to a full body or a jet massage spray.High Sierra is a model that is certified with the Water Sense seal and has a great approval rate by buyers. You can get it in many different finishes, from chrome to brass, nickel and bronze.
Delta Faucet 75152
Another model that already figured in one of our previous lists, the Faucet 75152 is one more high-pressure shower head with a compact design, making use of only 4 nozzles to provide a versatile performance with 3 different spray patterns that change smoothly as you increase the water flow. The nozzles have a unique design that “breaks” the water flow, so you get a more natural water stream that resembles a middle ground between a small water flow in your bathroom and a rain shower feel on high-pressure mode.As you increase the water flow, the spray of the shower head will change from a more broad full spray to a powerful jet massage stream. This Is the H2OKINETIC technology implemented in this model to make the best use of the water flow, but different from the previous models where you stick under 2.0 gpm, this model can go beyond to 2.5. It will depend on the base pressure the water system of your house offers: it works as a standard shower on 80 psi, 1.85 gpm with a 40 psi pressure rate.This shower head is designed to work with Delta’s In2ition line as it even includes a hose 69-inch long. It is available on polished chrome finish.
Niagara N2915CH Chrome
At the bottom of our list, comes two Niagara options that are quite affordable, simple, and have the basic you need for a low flow shower with not many fancy features but an efficient and high quality performance to cope with low pressure water. The Niagara chrome is a model that offers a precise powerful jet massage spray with only 9 nozzles that will deliver a quite relaxing and delightful massage experience, as they are small and offer pinning, itching strong stream lines of water over your body.It works with a steady 1.5 gpm rate and you can rotate the disc to adjust the intensity of the shower spray, relaxing a bit the pressure you can get a more smooth, normal stream of water. Made in polished chrome, is designed for standard pipes so all you have to do is screw it in the wall and is ready to use.
Niagara N2515CH Sava Spa
The Sava Spa is a WaterSense certified shower head, working exclusively at 1.5 gpm rate and with only one full body spray pattern, different from the previous Niagara model. The disc of nozzles of the shower head though is quite wide, 8-inch, which offers a lot of cover with such a low flow rate, still providing a high-pressure performance.Another feature that makes this model more affordable is once again the use of ABS plastic on most of the head shower, with a final touch, finish on polished chrome. This model is also quite simple to install, it matches the standard pipe size for bathrooms in America (around half an inch) so is all about unscrewing the old shower head and screwing the Niagara in.
What Exactly is a Low Flow Shower Head?
While most shower heads these days have a demure water flow rate up to 2.5 gpm, there are many models that excel that feature and make for quite economic, compact shower heads that can go way below the 2.0 gpm rate, the standard established by EPA to consider a shower head economic. When a model makes this requirement, it is awarded the Water Sense certification by the American government as an officially recognized economic shower and it is what we consider here a low flow shower head. Several models however will do an even better job and reach much lower rates. Low flow shower heads make for high-pressure shower heads since the water flow so reduced can only work satisfactorily when focused, on high pressure output.
What are the benefits of Low Flow Shower Heads?
The big and foremost benefit here is water-saving, but not only that. Low flow showers will always be a high-pressure shower, generally wall-mounted, but not all high-pressure shower heads are a low flow shower. Actually most of former have a standard, normal water flow, around 2.5 gpm. Having a high-pressure shower head that works with low flow water rates is a bonus that will essentially reduce digits on your water bill. The second, quite important to note benefit, is the fact that low flow shower heads are ideal for houses where there is really an issue of water pressure.
If you have installed already a compact wall-mounted high-pressure shower head to solve that problem and the water is still coming in a weak jet, working with a model that consumes a reduced level of water may really solve the problem. Low flow shower heads are designed to work with this kind of obstacle, they are the ultimate solution for houses with low pressure water, so you will end up solving a problem and winning a bonus of money saving, and the environment for sure will also be very pleased.
What to Look for on the best low flow shower head?
First of all, a low flow shower head must be at least 2.0 gpm and way below it. Since this is the standard for the Water Sense certification, you will always rather stick with lower rates, they can go from 1.75 to 1.5 normally.For people who are looking for a compact shower head to cope with a low pressure water system, what will solve the water pressure on their houses is to stick to digits way below 2.0, like 1.5 to 1.0 gpm as this is what will really make a difference.
Be aware though that regardless of the model and flow rate, all shower heads these days come with the water restrictor disc, which may reduce even more the already low rate of water pressure in your house, so is important to look for a model where you can easily remove that restrictor.Price here will not say too much about the efficiency as these models are often quite affordable, but surely models that come with metallic finishes will be more expensive. However, this is not a must-have for quality at all. Let’s take a look now on our selection of the best models that provide a low flow rate.
While low flow shower heads are the only way to go to save much more water than an standard shower does, is always important to remember the limitations of these models. Is really recommended for you to check opinion on how does it feels the spray shower of each one of them and have in mind what is the spray that suits your better. Remember that all them work on high-pressure mode to make the low flow functional, so you can’t have either a quite versatile shower.
Some shower heads may be too strong for some people, others with sprays too short, others even won’t solve the water pressure problem (in that case), and so on, so all this features must be taken into consideration. While all the shower heads included here are all very high rated by buyers, they don’t offer all the same kind of spray and if you have preferences, you surely can’t be pleased with all of them so choose wisely.
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