Shower Start Review

So in my quest to further reduce our impact, and having no more CFL’s to install and already getting 70+mpg, I turned to our Master Bath. We have made significant cuts in our water use, including the installation of a new 2 stage toilet (only .8 gallons for urine) that has us down to 2-3000 gallons a month, but looking for more I jumped at the chance to test the Shower Start.

The Shower Start works on the simple premise that you turn on your shower as normal, and the Shower Start will then automatically shut off the water flow in your shower when the water flowing thru it reaches 95 degrees. Simple, slick, but is it worth $40?
First of all I love the wittiness of their marketing “you are no longer waiting on your shower… your shower is waiting for you!” Nice.

Install was an absolute snap-it literally took me longer to get it out of the box than it did to get it installed, and including Teflon tape in the package is just plain smart-amazing how something so small can make such a big difference! That little detail left me thinking how smart this company must be-that they really thought things thru. All psy-ops stuff, but it still worked on me. If you can turn an adjustable wrench both clockwise and counter clockwise you are qualified to install this gadget. Still, I was a skeptic-it wasn’t really a low flow shower head-how Green could it be?

I installed it late in the evening, and since I had spent a sweaty day gardening so I turned it on to give it a test run. I took a few seconds to reread the instructions to ensure I didn’t miss anything, closed the blinds and then stopped dead in a cold sweat. Why, you may ask? Because my shower stopped. That is not so bad, I knew that was going to happen-I installed the thing right? What stopped me dead was that the shower had only been on maybe 45 seconds. It was late-no one had used hot water in 4-5 hours-the pipes were cold. I don’t think I am that atypical in the morning-I turn the shower on, finish up matching socks or whatever and when I notice steam coming up I jump in. It is probably on average 5 minutes. The cold sweat was induced with the knowledge that I had been wasting at least 15 gallons of water every shower of my adult life. 15 heated gallons mind you. Rough math of 5 showers/wk for 20 years equals a savings of, oh, 78,000 gallons of heated water. Sweet Jesus! Suffice it to say I am a huge fan of the Shower Start-and yes its Green!

Back to my skeptic part. I also installed a cheapo ($10) ultra-low flow shower head from a local Ace Hardware which claims 1.5 gallons/min (vs. standard low flow of 2.5) and includes a nice cute button to cut the water supply to a trickle while you lather up. This function turned out to be great-as you don’t really turn off the water it stays warm so you don’t have to scream after you turn it back on again to rinse. The ultra low flow does impact hair rinsing time a little, but overall it is a Big Win.

Combined between the Shower Start and my new low flow with shut off I can now take a full length (10 minutes-I am indulgent) shower on less than 10 gallons of water-2 gallons to warm up, and the shower is now off for at least half the time for lathering thanks to that handy little button. Old shower head w/o the Shower Start would have equated to say 35 gallons (15ish minutes @ 2.5). That is a huge savings over a family of 4 showering most days. Total out of pocket for both is a reasonable $60, and install for both takes no longer than just doing one or the other. This install will have a quick payback of under a year, and the Green Factor is quite high-I rank it up there with CFL’s and hybrids in impact per dollar spent, albeit with no science to back up that claim.

Be the Change!
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