What is the best shower head for high flow?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by STyler, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    Looking for the best flow shower head after removing the flow restrictor.

    Also wondering if a 3/4" valve is worth the difference in conjunction with an unrestricted showerhead.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Many shower heads today achieve the 2.2 GPM ( some now even less) by internal design, not a simple restrictor at the inlet.

    The best flow is obtained from a garden hose, but there are legal ( meaning 2.2 GPM) shower heads which work quite well. Many Delta and Alsons fall in that category. Major hotel chains are sensitive to pleasing their guests, and among some Flag Specified heads are the Kohler Forte, Symmons S2005, and the Moen Revolution. Among the hotels specifying one or more of the above are Holiday Inn, Hilton, and Marriott.

    If you choose not to work within the framework of the law and the water conservation needs of your community, you are on your own.
  3. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Well put!

    Consumer Reports did a review of shower heads in the last year or two and found a number of them which performed very well despite being low-flow. Don't recall the details other than one of the top performers was a Moen, but not the Revolution. (I have used the Revolution in my home and it's very nice.)
  4. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    Those are models I wouldn't be interested in purchasing.

    Neither water conservation nor energy conservation is really an issue in this case.

    Not sure the law necessarily is either since this is an agricultural application and not an actual bathroom shower. If it is, then they're meddling in things that are not their concern and far outside their purview IMO.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, you didn't mention the shower head was for the pigs. I imagine the farm supply stores must provide such products? Problem is, if you want to buy it at the human store, it will have human rules. And back to the basic question, I don't recall any shower head today which uses a restrictor at the inlet. There probably are some. You could go to the store and look at them.
  6. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    They have pressure compensators in many of the 2.5 gpm ones I've used recently, but I don't know if the head itself might be designed in such a way that will keep them at the 2.5 gpm limit.

    I did have a problem with a pressure compensator on a 1.6 gpm head that was restricting it to about 1.2 gpm (which was too little.) I used a drill to make a 1/16" hole through the center of the restrictor and now it is running between 1.6 - 1.8 gpm. I didn't have a smaller bit or I would have made a smaller hole.
  7. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    There are quite a few with removable restrictors that I know of, but not many that I have any experience with to be able to determine the ones with the best flow.
  8. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    Perhaps if you better explained the usage requirement, someone could help suggest an appropriate product/vendor. Are you showering animals? What size, how many, how long? Or spraying out a pen/spraying off a floor? Do you need good even wetting? Or a lot of flow (as in moving caked on solids)? Or do you need forceful flow to actually blast away grime? (Some animals might rightly object to the latter depending on their sensitivity.) What sort of pressure will you have to work with? What sort of temperature do you really need?

    My point is that you might be able to do a whole lot more with several times lower flow than you anticipate...and this could make the whole process a lot easier for you. (Not requiring outsized burner rates, line sizes, or runoff handling.) Spray distribution/quality has greatly improved in the past decade or two. I've seen this in reactor/distillation/scrubber tower design as well as in shower heads and dishwashers. Money might be no object, but if it is then testing some lower flow options could save you a bundle down the road. Note: I am not suggesting sacrificing performance.
  9. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    The shower head will be for people and it will be located in the horse wash stall. It will only be used probably about 26 times a year, but typically it will be removing layers of mud/dirt from clothes before finally cleaning like a normal shower.

    Capacity isn't an issue because the system will be designed to accommodate the wash stall so I'll have 80 Gallons of 150 degree water to use for the shower - and what isn't used will go to waste. Pressure from the well is approx. 75 psi.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    shower

    quote; It will only be used probably about 26 times a year, but typically it will be removing layers of mud/dirt from clothes before finally cleaning like a normal shower.

    Well, I am sure that someone will need a shower if they only take one every two weeks after working on a farm. But I, and most people, take our clothes off before taking a shower, but if we did not, a garden hose with a good jet nozzle would knock the dirt off, and then we would put them in a washing machine, not keep them on while taking a "normal" shower.
  11. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    :D

    I don't work on the farm - I play on the farm. It is just land with a horse barn. My wife rides, and my son and I 4 wheel and paintball in the woods.

    The mud comes off the clothes much easier wearing them than it does after you take them off. And when the weather gets cold, the last thing I want is to hose each other down with cold water from a garden hose like some homoerotic arctic Flashdance reinactment. :)

    I could certainly just use the horse wash nozzle fixed to constant on which will have hot water with the flow of a garden hose - but it would be far less convenient and use far more water.

    ... or perhaps I should use the nozzle for the horses, then screw on a 2.5 gpm shower head if I use it on a human? :rolleyes:
  12. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    What is with the defensive posture of the moderators here to a simple question?

    "If you choose not to work within the framework of the law... you're on your own" ???

    Since when is it illegal for me to remove the water restictor on a shower head? You can ask how to plumb a full body shower with multiple jets and shower heads, but if you want to maximize the performance of a single shower head, I get grief from a Mod who feels I should be more concerned about my community's "water conservation needs"?

    ... or suggestions on how I should properly shower, clean and transport my clothes, etc. everything except the answer to a simple question. Good Lord, we're losing common sense in favor of militant environmentalism.
  13. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    I don't blame them for being initially hostile to what sounded like an unnecessary attempt to operate outside the law. Had you stated the purpose differently I doubt the initial response would have been the same. I've not noticed an environmental bent among the mods.

    I'm still not convinced that highest possible flow (somewhere above 2.5 gpm for a single showerhead) is the best solution. It sounds like you really want something that can quickly remove paint and caked on mud from clothes and boots, then provide a decent shower. Perhaps a T and the simple push button valves or a Y selector would work best? You could even use both at the same time. Find a showerhead that you think will work well overall, and then a hose spray nozzle for getting rid of the worst crud.

    But if you just want to go the unrestricted shower head route, then I suggest looking at a few you like in the store and identify ones with pressure compensators that you can easily access and remove. You can test the resulting flow to see if it is satisfactory.
  14. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    That's what I don't get, what law makes it illegal for a consumer to increase shower flow? There's a restriction on the manufacture and sale of shower heads that exceed 2.5 GPM out of the box - which is why I have no interest in purchasing one of the 10 GPM units that are widely marketed. But I've never seen any law that forbids a homeowner from removing a water restrictor from a legally purchased shower head.

    I asked the question because I didn't want to buy half a dozen shower heads with removable restrictors in order to find the one with the best flow when it was possible that someone on a DIY plumbing forum may have already gone through the hassle.

    By the way - I have an electric car on order from Tesla (seriously) if that makes a difference.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Tesla

    I hope you live in the area where they are giving a $50,000.00 tax credit to Tesla buyers.
  16. wallygater

    wallygater New Member

    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    long island
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