The Shower vs. Bath Debate
More than half of all indoor water use takes place in the bathroom. With so much water being used, there are easy ways to save both water and money. A common debate is which uses more water—a shower or a bath?
You may think that baths are more eco-friendly because water doesn't run the entire time. But have you ever thought about how much water it takes to fill a bathtub?
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 50 gallons of water. Using these numbers, a shower will use less water in most cases.
This doesn’t mean that you need to cut out your bubble baths completely, but maybe take them sparingly in order to save water. When 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 that water is used in the home, accounting for about 17% 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! Remember, the shorter the shower, the greater the savings.
To avoid losing track of time, consider using a timer on your phone. 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 2,700 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.
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 your home. Practicing the Texas Trickle, where you avoid running your faucets at full blast while doing everyday activities, can help you drastically cut down on your water usage. Learn more about the Texas Trickle.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). WaterSense – Showerheads. EPA.gov/watersense/showerheads
- Water Footprint Calculator. Shower & Bath. WaterCalculator.org/posts/shower-bath
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). WaterSense – Rebate Finder. LookForWaterSense.EPA.gov/rebates