It’s been some time since we’ve spoken directly about low-flow showerheads and other plumbing fixtures. We recently suggested our favorite low-flow showerhead to a client, the Jet-Stream 1.5 gpm economy showerhead for trial in their home and some rental apartments to save on both their water bills and water heating bills. They not only tested the showerhead, but came back with a new recommendation that they claim to be even better than our beloved Jet Stream.
The low-flow Showerhead brand is Bricor and they sell a range of showerheads that range from 1.5 gpm to a stingy 0.5525 gpm! The model shown to the left is their most economical model at just $25 each and sports a low flow rate of 1.25 gpm which is 0.25 gpm lower than our Jet Streams. The bigger advantage, according to our test source, is that the water temperature is hotter at the same setting as the Jet Stream head. They noticed this by testing the Jet Stream first and had to turn the water temperature all the way up to get the same heat they were used to with their normal head. Once they swapped in the Bricor model, they were able to return their hot water setting back to it’s normal setting.
This combination of an even lower flow rate with hotter feeling water is the ultimate combination as it is even further reducing ones use of not only water, but the amount of heated water used in each shower. We learned from some folks at the Delta booth at Greenbuild, who gave Nic this 1.6 gpm showerhead to try out, that a lot of thought goes into the size of each droplet in these low-flow showerheads to ensure they are maximizing the heat they can carry. We’re assuming that the Bricor brand is simply doing a bit better job in this droplet shape category than the Jet Stream brand. Don’t get me wrong. Both showerheads are great and we’ve had no complaints about the attractive and budget-friendly Jet Stream models to date. We’ve been using one happily for almost four years now.
The economy model above by Bricor is OK, but I really like the looks and functionality of the B100 series from them. This model looks a bit sleeker, which is something we always liked about Jet Stream. It also has the added benefit of coming with a lever that allows you to turn the flow rate all the way off without needing to turn the water in the shower off. This is great for those trying to go the extra mile in water conservation during their showers by taking a “military shower” where the water is only left on when in use. The water stream can be turned off when lathering up your hairs or scrubbing the dirt from your skin and then turned on only for rinsing functions. A bit extreme for most American maybe, but still a nice feature for those that are interested in this type of shower.
One other tip we got from faucet manufacturers at Greenbuild, while we’re on the subject, is to ask the manufacturer for their own low-flow aerators for those seeking to get below 1.0 gpm on their residential lavatory fixtures. This may not be available from all manufacturers, but if it is, it will improve the look of your low flow faucet by eliminating the need for an additional clunky screw-on aerator at the end of it that may not match the design perfectly.
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