Restricted Shower Head

The Misconception About Water Use on a Restricted Shower Head – PLUS a Giveaway

My post on rain shower heads was a popular one. Some of you were intrigued about how they worked and others of you have used one, but recommend having a hand shower as well. It is surprising that such a large spray could still meet a flow of 9 litres per minute.

Water restricted shower heads get a bad rap by plumbers and customers alike. The water pressure can feel like a light spray or trickle, which can be deemed useless when washing and rinsing. Especially getting shampoo out of thick hair like mine. I like a decent pressure for my shower.

shower trickle

My dad and I always argued you’d use less water with an unrestricted shower head, than one with a restrictor in it.  And we weren’t the only ones to think that way.

When I headed to the Plumbing and Gas Conference last year, Ian from Con-Serv put me straight by saying we didn’t use less water if we used an unrestricted shower head and complied to a 4-minute shower. In fact, you could have a longer shower with restricted shower head and still use less water. When Ian explained the basic math, it made sense to me. I asked Ian to share with me why using a restricted shower head longer still uses less water than an unrestricted shower head for a shorter amount of time.

The question is resolved with basic maths…..

A normal unrestricted showerhead ( average size or more for the larger rain style) or a WELS shower with the flow control removed uses between 18 to 22 litres of water per minute (LPM).

So say 20 Lpm x 8 minutes (average shower) = 160 L total.

WELS 3 Star Shower which is no more than 9 Lpm x 8 minutes= 72 L total.

Typical comment “I have to stand in there twice as long to wash myself”. Sixteen minutes is a looong time to stand in a shower, but still, 9 Lpm x 16 minutes = 144 L total. So stand in there twice as long and still save 16 Litres of water per shower.

Where some problems lie is that whilst WELS 3 star rating has a flow rate and coverage test (mean angle spray test), there is no force of spray test and as such, some of the showers that are designed to deliver 18+ Lpm have had a flow control stuck in the back of them to deliver 9 Lpm but the water just “falls out” with little impact on the skin. A bit like putting a four cylinder motor into a semi-trailer, these are the showers that many people have issues with and rightly so.

So remember when in QLD the government offered water saving shower heads? Dad and I replaced so many of them, because the water pressure was so poor.

If you want a decent shower head that complies to the WELS 3 Star flow rate as well as deliver a decent pressure, you need to spend a few extra dollars on brands that have created shower heads with the pressure in mind, while still meeting the WELS litre rating.

Con-Serv shower heads have been specifically designed to deliver a good spray and good coverage at the WELS 3 star flow rate. Their most popular shower head is the Streamjet model.

While having a hand shower and rain shower head are the trends in showers, a simple chrome shower rose is what most people use when they shower. Multiple shower heads are great, but they can add extra expense to a bathroom renovation. The standard all-directional shower rose offers a minimal look and is the most popular to use. Here are a few bathrooms to give you inspiration.

In my own ensuite, I don’t have a hand shower. We have a double shower with two standard shower roses. Sadly they are not Con-Serv, but the pressure is fairly good on both.


If you want to experience a shower that meets the rating but delivers a good spray and coverage, Ian has kindly offered for one reader of The Plumbette to win a  Streamjet Shower Head with a retail value of $141.90. It’s one of the most popular shower heads by Con-Serv.

con-serv stream jet shower

In order to be in the running for the prize, you need to follow The Plumbette on Facebook (not compulsory), and comment below telling me how you proactively save water. The most interesting answer will win the prize.

Disclosure: I haven’t been gifted anything for the purpose of this post, however I have been gifted product in the past in regards to the Whisper Flood Stop Valve

Congratulations Renee Harwood, Winner of this Competition.

Terms and Conditions

This is a game of skill. Each valid entry to be judged on creativity and originality, not by chance.
There is 1 prize as detailed above with a RRP $141.90.
Entries open from 12am Brisbane time Tuesday 5th September 2017 to Friday 15th September 2017 5pm Brisbane Time.
Prizes are not transferable or changeable.
Prize sent out by third parties will not be replaced in the event they are stolen, lost or damaged in transit or virtually.
Entry is leaving an answer to the question and visiting Facebook pages.
A valid email address must be included in your entry. This email will be added to my newsletter, but will never be spammed or sent to third parties.
Entry into any giveaway or competition is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
Entrants must be Australian residents and aged 18 or over.
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to reply and claim the prize. The winner may be announced on Facebook. This giveaway is not endorsed by Facebook.

  • Amy

    Thanks for sharing… Bad water pressure is the worst! In getting rid of the hand shower, how do people clean their shower? Any suggestions?
    To save water, we link a pipe from the washing machine to a smaller wheelie bin out the laundry door and all the grey water from the washing goes on the garden (it’s a lot!).

  • Michelle Griguol Harris

    My daughter takes long showers and no amount of nagging gets her out. Now we set our hot water service to use a certain litre of water and when she exceeds this the service beeps which signals my husband to turn off the hot water so she ends up with a cold shower. She has a slow learning curve so often screeches the water is cold

  • Karina Lee

    We all have short showers – not only to save water but because our two kids under 3 don’t really allow us to enjoy long hot showers anymore!

  • Ryan

    We have carefully chosen the plants in our garden which are low maintenance and don’t need lots of watering. This way we save a lot of water as they only need watering once a week but still make the garden look great.

  • Gabriella

    Whenever we boil vegetables we keep the water in the pan and once cooled use it on plants in the garden to give them nutrients and save on water.

  • Ali May

    We save water by showering together every morning 🙂

  • Erin Bond

    We save water many way at home. On of my favorites is putting the plug in the bath while taking a shower. I then throw all the washing that needs soaking into the tub and leave to soak for a few hours. Then using buckets dump it all back into the washing machine.
    I also wash our dogs in the bottom of the shower, while i take a shower! Lucky pooches cant talk because they get to see me butt naked haha
    We also use other mainstream methods such as a pipe from the washer to an outside tub to use in the garden, using water left over from boiling vegies to water pot plants (its packed with nutrients and the plants love it!) and taking short showers whenever possible! Thanks

    • Erin Bond

      Who won this comp?

      • Hi Erin, winner has been emailed and the prize has been sent. 🙂 Renee was the winner.

  • Eva Kiraly

    I don’t shower every day, some days I don’t do much, so feel I don’t need a shower, I save water this way!

  • amandagorton

    I either have a small bladder or drink far too much liquid as I frequently need to visit the toilet. Flushing often adds up to a large proportion of water usage so……..enter project ‘Drop-a-Brick’! Placing a brick (or as I personally use, a recycled bottle filled with water), into the cistern of the toilet means less water is used with each flush.
    It’s a genius idea that is a worry free, effective water saving hack!