New regulations could change the way you bathe

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  It's rare we can say we've got a story that will affect every single household in our area, but it's absolutely true for this story.

Showering is a task most of us do everyday, but the way you wash up could be changing if new regulations are passed. The Department of Energy is trying to redefine the term "showerhead" and if you plan on taking a shower after Friday, these new regulations could change the way you do that.

Body, rain and hand all describe types of shower units, but with the Department of Energy pushing new regulations, this equipment could be heading down the drain.

Showroom Manager for Ferguson Enterprises, Wendy Wittenberg told News Leader Nine, "75 percent of our shower customers would not have the options they want in their shower ever again, if this goes into effect."

The redefinition of the term showerhead would mandate that only one valve can be used per shower and the amount of water must be reduced.

"Literally every plumbing manufacturer could make the entire system produce 2.5 gallons per minute. Currently a shower system will produce 17 gallons per minute. So if you could imagine, that means you'd have a dribble if you have 6 or 7 outlets," Wittenberg explained.

If you want to test your shower at home, here's what you do. Turn on the water to the pressure you would use in a shower and fill up a bucket. Count how long it takes for the bucket to fill up a gallon. If that is less than 20 seconds, your showerhead probably doesn't fit these guidelines.

But some argue the new rules will only reduce the volume of water, not the pressure. Lowe's employee, Joe Banks said, "I think this will be new and improved for the plumbing field, as it has been for the electric, and it will save people money in the long run and I really don't think you'll see a significant change in the way you get a shower."

The U.S. Department of Energy wants feedback on how people feel about this and they are soliciting comments from the public about this showerhead change, but time is of the essence. You can contact them at or click here to comment.

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