Save money: Bricor B 100 Max shower head review
I have been searching for ways to painlessly save money. I thought I would start by looking at my utility bills.
My latest water bill put my average daily water consumption at 77 gallons per day. That covers, bathroom, dishwasher and clothes washer. (I didn't water the yard this month) Daily showers make up the majority of my water usage.
The Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 required all new shower heads to have a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. A bucket test on my seven year old shower head showed it flowed at 3.9 gallons per minute. So my long 10 minute shower uses well over 30 gallons of water.
I recently purchased a Bricor B100 Max low flow shower head. It flows at .995 gallons per minute (my bucket test showed 1.3 gpm), an over 60% reduction from my old shower head. It accomplishes this by aerating the water, basically expanding the droplets so they cover a larger area.
Using a low flow shower head has a two fold savings. You save in the cost of water, but more importantly your water heater has to work less, saving you electricity.
Currently Kansas City charges a combined water/sewer of $.009 per gallon. From looking over numerous websites, it seems it costs about $.01 per gallon to heat water with an electric hot water heater. With the cost of electricity and water, I am paying about $.019 per gallon. So my 10 minute shower costs me about $.74 with my old shower head. Switching to a .995 gpm shower head saves about 26 gallons per shower. That is a savings of $.49 per shower or $180 per year.
The Bricor B100 cost $75. It will pay for itself in 150 days. The build quality of the Bricor seems very solid. It feels heavy and should last for many years.
The shower feels about the same. Even though it is using 1/3 the amount of water, I couldn't tell much difference. The shower was a little louder, but it didn't feel like I was using less water.
Overall, this is a pretty painless way to save on energy and money.