That being the case, which segment would it make the most sense to
Oh, that's right - the terms "government" and
"sense" don't often work that well together. How else are we to
conclude the Department of Energy's new proposed interpretation of a showerhead
that says: "All components that are supplied standard together and
function from one inlet (in other words, all the showering devices fed by the
same mixing valve) form a single
showerhead for purposes of the maximum water-use
standards." So no longer are we limited to shower output devices that
deliver no more than 2.5 gpm individually
- now 2.5 will be the maximum allowed for all the outlet devices in one shower collectively.
The reasoning here seems to be that people will always use all
these outlet devices at the same time. Well, if there are a bunch of body
showers, maybe - but what about the more common installation that uses a fixed
showerhead and a handheld type? Do folks typically run those both at the same
Challenged on their reasoning and even the confusing language
used, the D.O.E. has since told us that perhaps what they really mean is that there must
be a means to prevent multiple outlets operating at the same time. And what
that really means is more valving and more expense to the consumer (and I guess
we can still say goodbye to multiple body showers unless they deliver a
The constant lowering of the bar when it comes to allowed
residential water usage over the past 25 years really makes you wonder what
these guys in Washington will come up with next to squeeze the fat out of our
bloated 8% segment. An unrecognized reality of showering that can completely
negate any conservation provided by restrictive flow rates is the duration of the shower taken.
Do people who get less out of their showerhead take longer showers? If so, what
do we do about that - install timers? And, really, why do we have to have both
a lavatory and a bathing fixture in the same bathroom? Now that I think of it,
the little space they call a "bathroom" in one of my regular Ugandan
hotels has a spigot on the wall and a floor drain, and somehow I get by. And to
further save on resources there, the water isn't heated - unless you wash up in
the afternoon after the sun has done its job on the roof storage tank.
But let's not stop there - how about lighting in our homes - why
don't we just limit folks to one lamp using one bulb per room? (Only kidding,
gang - please, please don't forward these ideas to the D.O.E.)
Pardon my rant to kick off this issue - and hey - there's
always a plus to every situation like this - my stock in a couple of deodorant
companies is going through the roof.
Don Arnold has devoted most of his career to plumbing products,with roles ranging from designing, marketing, writing and training. He has been a contributor to Supply House Times for more than 20 years. He is the author of College of Product Knowledge, the product training course introduced by Supply House Times in 1979, which recently was updated and released in a CD format. Don Arnold can be reached at INTERSOURCE, 646 Williams Ct., Gurnee, IL 60031, 847/918-7015; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.