Sing in the Shower with a Low Flow Shower Head

Posted by: Paul George on


Do you enjoy singing in the shower?

I do. (But, shhh, don’t tell anyone!) I’ve also screamed in the shower a time or two, know what I mean? Someone flushes the toilet or runs a tap somewhere else in the house, and the water pressure changes and so does the temperature. Bam! You’re screaming! Choosing a proper low flow shower head system can change all of that.

Choose the Right Shower Valve

Valves for most shower faucets don’t identify their low flow compatibility. Homeowners are left wondering if their new shower head will provide a safe shower. To ensure proper temperature control at lower flow rates, Shawn Martin, Technical Director at the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute, recommends buying a shower head that is the same brand and pairing it with the correct shower valve.

Safety Requirements Related to Low-Flow Shower Heads

Conserving water is a gratifying feeling for environmentally friendly homeowners, but staying safe while using low flow faucets, is a key factor when employing water saving technology. Nowadays, home builders who focus on eco-friendly living choose and install low flow shower heads when building bathrooms. But they often evaluate the shower head product based on the spray, water pressure and design, and sometimes forget to account for valve compatibility.

Although water conservation is typically the priority when choosing shower faucets, Symmons Industries, a manufacturer of residential and commercial plumbing products, says valve compatibility is also a must. Otherwise you risk scalding or “thermal shock.” Greg Boudreau, the company’s customer service manager said, “It is our responsibility as a manufacturer to help customers and builders understand the safety requirements related to low flow products.”

You can choose a powerful shower head without sacrificing efficiency. However, keep in mind low flow shower heads operate at less than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) and in some cases, the lower flow rates can change the effectiveness of the shower valve, which puts the bather at risk of thermal shock or scalding, which could easily result in a bad tumble. For this reason, it is important that the shower valve is capable of accommodating a low flow showerhead and can effectively operate at lower flow rates to eliminate risk of these bathing injuries.

Symmons encourages homeowners to assess the safety aspects of proper installation of low flow shower heads. Using products from Symmons, you can expect safe water temperatures at rates as low as 1.5 gpm, Boudreau says. “Our low flow lavatory faucets and shower heads allow homeowners to save water and money without the risk of a bathing injury.”

Homeowners have many options for beautifully designed, functionally safe products to help them save water and energy. The folks at Symmons believe green is more than just a brand color, and they want to educate homeowners about water conservation as well as safety in the shower and bath. They offer a full line of low flow lavatory faucets, shower heads, kitchen faucets and tempering valves.

Current testing for shower valves has been established for flow rates of 2.5 gpm but not low flow rates. Symmons is currently working with Plumbing Manufacturers Institute, the trade association for plumbing product manufacturers, to develop requirements for acceptable low flow shower head efficiency while keeping safety a priority.

Bathroom Remodeling Considerations

When you consider your approach to building or remodeling your bathroom, as well as considering the aesthetics of hardware, whether it be choosing a powerful shower head, an adjustable shower head, or a handheld shower head, pair up an appropriately safe valve assembly with your faucet and shower head. Happy showering!