Install Shower and Tap Flow Restrictions

The Measure

Install low flow showerheads and faucets.


Suites, kitchens, bathrooms, recreation rooms, etc.


  • Increased water savings.
  • Reduced energy costs to heat domestic hot water.
  • Upgrade in appearance of shower-type fixtures.


  • Any low water pressure problems in a building should be corrected before implementing this measure. Occupant complaints and having to keep drain traps and sewers clean or free of obstruction can be an indication of low water pressure.
  • Check existing showerheads for maximum flow rate before deciding on new equipment. If maximum flow rate is less than 4.0 gal/min., action is likely unnecessary. Shower flow rate can be determined by using a stop watch to time the amount of time required to fill a bucket of known volume.
  • Showerheads with an optional ON-OFF control on the head to interrupt flow can result in temperature control problems.
  • Involve tenants in the implementation of this measure by conducting pilot tests of low flow fixtures. The effectiveness of low flow showerheads varies between makes. Therefore it is important to ensure that the occupants will accept these fixtures before they are widely deployed.
  • Product construction differs from all plastic (except the ball joint), to solid brass.
  • Buildings with seniors may not achieve the same level of savings due to lower shower usage.
  • Restrictors should not be put on utility sinks in laundries or service areas. The resulting slow fill of buckets/sinks can be a nuisance for users.


  • For showers, water saving showerheads can have flow rates from 6 L/min. (1.5 gal/min.) to 13 L/min. (3.5 gal/min.).
  • A variety of restrictors or flow regulators can be inserted behind an existing showerhead.
  • For faucets, there are a variety of flow regulators, usually with an aerator, to restrict maximum flow. Flow restrictors can also be added to the outlet of the faucet if a threaded connection is present.
  • Have all leaks and drips repaired at the same time as installing the water saving devices as this can save additional energy.


Cost per dwelling unit (one showerhead, two faucet regulators) - $15 to $25

Simple payback (based on water and energy savings) – less than 1 year



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