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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Jim Hillibish: There’s a high-pressure solution to the trickle

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  • Our morning shower is no longer a shower. It’s a trickle. Some expert could not leave our showers be. I’d like to have a discussion with that guy, with my greasy hands.
    What a great idea. Think of the billions of gallons we’ll save if everybody uses water-restricting shower heads. This causes environmentalists to power dance and governments to legislate. Billions of gallons. Imagine that.
    Not exactly. None of these meddlers ever took showers, obviously. It’s not how much water you use. It’s how fast the water flows.
    Restrictors started in water-scarce cities. They’re now in the building codes. Shower-head makers have stopped making the old ones.
    We got one of those new genius heads. It has a plastic plug in the intake to restrict the water flow. It works, big time.
    So you soap up and stand there forever waiting for the dribbler to wash you off. Showers used to take me about four minutes; now, 12.
    Here’s the kicker: It takes the same amount of water to wash you off no matter what. If you restrict it, it just takes longer. There’s no savings. Our water bill has not budged.
    Remember the “Seinfeld” episode where New York City suddenly required low-flow shower heads? Everyone was walking around with greasy hair. There was an underground economy selling old heads.
    Incidentally, there are flea-market guys selling old heads. Expect to pay dearly just to restore your shower to where it was six years ago. This is progress.
    Once we thought of our bathrooms as places of peace and comfort. Now they are a source of worry and aggravation.
    Anyway, thank God for the Internet. I Google all of my nagging thoughts. This is how I found an amazing solution to low-flow showers. It just makes a whole lot of sense, that’s all.
    The latest heads add air to the water flowing through it. The water expands, and its pressure increases, a bit like high blood pressure. It has a lever to adjust the air flow. At full tilt boogie, it can reach over 100 PSI, while still saving water.
    Man, what a shower. The true test is a shampoo. This baby’s like standing under a fire hose.
    What about the water issue? I kept the restrictor from the old one in the pipe. So the new killer is using the same amount of low-flow water as the old one.
    It isn’t the amount of water, it’s what a shower head does with it, and that can be a beautiful thing. Search the net on “high-flow shower heads.”
    The other thing I like: Our city water has a lot of lime in it, the enemy of shower heads. The new ones do not clog with minerals. The high pressure blows them out with each use.
    Page 2 of 2 - Jim Hillibish is a columnist at The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Reach him at jim.hillibish@cantonrep.com.
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