Self-sufficient Off-grid

Water Saving Shower Head

One saver I never really looked into is a water-saving shower head. However, the old shower head started to malfunction recently, so I was looking for a new one two months ago. I don't save the world very much if I use less water, but it is a small effort if I have to replace the shower head.

How much energy?

With a water-saving shower head I save water and energy (because I heat less water). How much do I use with a shower? Assuming 60 liters per shower, that will cost electrically, for example, 1.7 kWh, or 0.18m3 gas, or -except for the coldest winter months- nothing at all with an average solar boiler system.

This doesn't seem like a lot of energy, but it is if you shower daily. Since I live off-grid, this would consume all the daily output of my three solar panels (and wear out my battery considerably faster), leaving me with no electricity at all for my laptop LED lamps and so on. Fortunately, I have a large solar boiler system, so this costs me nothing energetically (and the solar boiler system also provides some heating in spring and autumn).

How many liters?

For courses I usually assume 50 to 70 litres, in short 60 liters per shower on average. To be precise, it depends on the water pressure and your shower head. The minimum water pressure in the Netherlands is 1.5 bar (150kPa) and is usually higher, since you also want this pressure in the bathroom and you need 1 bar for every meter of rise. With normal water pressure you use so many liters per minute:

  • class Z: 4.2 to 6.9 (water saving)
  • class A: 6.9 to 8.7
  • class S: 8.7 and 11.5 (normal)
  • or worse...up to more than 20 or 25 liters per minute (rain shower)

It is not clear whether class S is really "normal". In a Gamma and a Praxis I found samples that "save 35%" and still consume 9.5 liters per minute. According to Grohe, normal is 14.5 liters per minute. Grohe also has a water saver that saves "60%" (which is not correct) at 6 liters per minute. This really smells like fooling the consumer, these shower heads don't save at all.

Which one to buy?

After digging a little further, I found a water-saving shower head at De Nieuwe Ambachterij liters per minute consumed for 35 euros. I like to buy from the new craft industry, because the Twelve Crafts - of which this is a relaunch - has been responsible for a lot of pioneering work in the field of sustainability, and the Nonolet (a beautiful white compost toilet) is currently also popular. I am super satisfied with this shower head, because the spray is really nice and you definitely do not notice that it uses less water. Highly recommended!

Not tried, but somewhat cheaper is the Best Saver shower head which consumes 4.8 liters at 1 bar, and 6.6 liters at 2 bar. I assume that this one performs about the same as that of the New Craft. Finally, you can also choose a mist shower that surpasses even these ultra water-saving shower heads with 2 liters per minute.

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