How to Save Water in the Shower & Bath

Saving water in the shower

It’s no secret that the average American wastes a lot of water in the bathroom. In fact, the average person uses about 17 gallons per minute in the shower alone! That might not seem like a lot, but if you multiply that by minutes in your showers or baths each day, it starts to add up fast. The good news is that there are some easy ways to save water and money that you can start doing today. One or more of the tips below may be all that’s neceessary for you to save money in the bath right away.

1. Test Your Showerhead

The first step in determining how much water is used in the shower is to measure the gallons per minute of your shower. In the United States, gallons per minute cannot exceed 2.5 GPM and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Measuring the flow is very easy and doesn’t require any special equipment. All you need is a bucket or bowl, a measuring cup, and a timer. Set up the bucket or bowl under the shower head, then turn the water and timer on at the same time. Once the timer hits 10 seconds, turn the water off. Then measure the amount of water in the bucket or bowl using the measuring cup. Once you have that number, multiply it by 6 to get the gallons per minute.

2. Swap Out Your Showerhead

There are two main water-conserving showerheads, the aerating and non-aerating shower heads. These methods reduce the amount of water that flows through your shower. Aerating showerheads work by adding air to the flow of water. This mixture decreases the amount of water used and creates a gentle pressure shower.

If you have low or poor water pressure, the aerating showerhead will have very low pressure. The non-aerating showerhead works by forcing water through smaller openings in a conventional showerhead. It delivers high-pressure showers with less water. Many non-aerating showerheads have pressure adjustment heads; if you have low water pressure, this can help.

3. Check for Leaks

Leaks can be a cause of high water bills. Sometimes leaks are obvious by the puddles on the floor or dripping from the faucet or showerhead. Other signs can be loose or curling flooring near the shower or bath, paint peeling near it, mold spots outside the shower/bath, water stains on the shower ceiling, or chalky wood finishes. However, not all leaks are easy to see. There are many leak tests that you can perform to see if it is a splash leak, fixture leak, or another leak. For some hidden leaks, it’s best to hire a professional plumber.

4. Shorten Your Shower Time

Unfortunately, there are only so many options available to reduce water in the shower if you’re taking long showers. For those who need help taking a shorter shower, these tips can help.

  • Turn off the water between rinsings. Seriously, it is an effective way to save water if you turn it off when lathering. These types of showers are also known as navy shower.
  • Set a timer or have a clock. Being able to see how much time has passed can be effective in shortening showers.
  • Pretend you’re at the gym. People tend to take shorter showers in public showers. Pretending you’re at the gym gets you in the short-shower mindset.

5. Cut Your Bath Water in Half

Another way to save water in the bathroom is to reduce the amount of water you use in the bath. Filling the bathtub halfway prevents water from spilling over, which reduces water waste. Another way to save water in the tub is to plug the tub before you start filling.

While it can take time for the water to warm up, you’re paying for it in your water bills whether you use it or not. If your bathtub fills up too quickly to warm up without some water escaping, you can put a bucket under the spigot to collect the cold water until it warms up and use it to water any plants.


Although taking a quick shower may not seem like it would save you that much water, if everyone in the United States shortened their showers by just two minutes, we could save over 2 billion gallons of water each day. That’s almost 9 trillion gallons of water saved each year, but it’s a lot to ask.

Even a small change in your daily routine, like these easy to follow tips of testing your showerhead, swapping out your showerhead, checking for leaks, and shortening your showers will help you conserve water and save money on your water bill.

Have questions about how to check for leaks or how to install or replace your showerhead? Call us at Orange Coast Plumbing. We’re happy to help!



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