On the 3rd Day of Christmas … New Low-Flow Shower Heads

Low-flow showerhead Low-flow shower heads are the gifts that keep on giving — they can save the recipient as much as $200 per year. Image: Moen/HouseLogic

This Christmas, give someone you care about a little bit of your time — a helping hand with a home improvement or maintenance task is truly the spirit of the season. It won’t cost much, and it beats eleven pipers piping.

On this third day of our 12 Days of Christmas giving, we’re thinking of a gift that will remind the recipient of you every day (or every wash day at least). Helping switch out old shower heads for new low-flow models is a sweet, low-cost way to spiff up a bathroom. Plus, you’ll be helping your special someone save money — an ultra low-flow shower head saves up to 50% of the energy consumption used to heat hot water for showers. That’s up to $200 worth of savings in their Christmas stocking every year.

Replace old shower heads with new low-flow models

At $15 to $150, a low-flow shower head isn’t that expensive, and makes a terrific gift all by itself. You may even be able to score one for free with a rebate through your local utility. To help you choose, the EPA now puts WaterSense labels on the most efficient low-flow shower head models.

Replacing an older shower head with a new one is an easy DIY job that you can do in about 10 minutes.

You simply unscrew the old shower head, and screw on the new one. The key is to not disturb the shower arm — the pipe that comes out of the wall. To do that, you’ll want to hold onto the shower arm with a pair of pliers while you unscrew the old shower head.  Here’s how:

  • Wrap a clean rag around the shower arm so you won’t scratch the finish with the teeth of your pliers. Grab the arm with a pair of pliers and hold steady.
  • Put a clean rag around the old shower head and use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the head. It’s that simple.
  • Put new Teflon tape or plumber’s putty around the shower arm threads, and screw on the new shower head (still holding onto the shower arm with the pliers to prevent it from twisting).

Voila! A great new look and energy savings in one smooth move. You deserve milk and cookies!

Got an idea for helping out a neighbor or family member with home improvement and maintenance chores?