The Shower vs. Bath Debate

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More than half of all indoor water use takes place in the bathroom. With so much water being used, there are easy opportunities to save both water and money. One of the most important activities that takes place in the bathroom is bathing. A common debate is whether it uses more water to take a shower or a bath. You may think that taking a bath is more environmentally friendly because the water does not stay running the entire time. But, have you ever thought about how much water it takes to fill up the bath tub? Generally, taking a shower uses less water than a full bath. 

A standard showerhead flows at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. This means that a ten minute shower only uses 25 gallons of water. A full bath can use up to 70 gallons of water. Using these numbers, a shower will use less water in most cases. 

bathtub side with facet and towelHowever, this calculation depends on many variables and may not always be the case. The amount of water you use can vary based on the bath tub size, the showerhead's flow rate, and the length of your shower. 

If you do take a bath, try to only fill the tub up part way. You can also save water by plugging the drain right away and adjusting the water temperature as you fill the tub. 

Shorten Your Shower

Showering is one of the leading ways water is used in the home, accounting for about 17 percent of residential indoor water use. An easy way to reduce water use is by taking shorter showers. Reducing a ten minute shower to just five minutes can save 12.5 gallons of water each time. While this may not sound like much, it can add up quickly! showerhead spraying waterRemember, the shorter the shower, the greater the savings. 

To avoid losing track of time, consider using a shower timer. This will help you gauge how long you are spending in the shower and can remind you when it is time to turn the water off and get out. 

Upgrade to WaterSense

The average family can save 2,900 gallons of water each year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads! By using less water, there will also be less demand on your water heater, therefore decreasing energy use. EPA Watersense Logo

WaterSense labeled showerheads use no more than two gallons of water per minute. Don't be worried – less water does not mean decreased performance. The WaterSense label ensures that these showerheads provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads. 

Along with showerheads, the WaterSense label also applies to faucets, faucet accessories, and toilets to help you save water in your home. In some areas, local utility providers may offer rebates and vouchers for these products. Learn more about the WaterSense label. 


There are many ways you can save water inside and outside of your home. Download Be Water Wise at Home for more water conservation tips. 



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