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Shower Testing for the Texas Department of Corrections
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Measurements have been conducted on four low flow showerheads highly recommended by utilities. These measurements were made to determine expected cost savings in TDC installations, based on water savings, sewer savings, and energy savings. Flow rates of 1.95 gpm at 40 psi were found for three of the showerheads tested. This compares with the 2.5 gpm rating of the standard heads used by TDC. Hence, any of these three heads tested would provide total annual savings of $12,337 at Gatesville and $11,036 at Amarillo, or over $35 per showerhead compared with the showerheads currently being used by TDC. The estimated payback is less than two months.
DescriptionThe savings determined are about one-third the estimate made before testing, since the low flow heads tested require that supply water temperatures be approximately 10 F higher than standard heads to achieve comparable temperatures in the spray pattern, and further study has shown lower shower water usage than initially estimated. Over 80% of the savings projected will be due to reduced water and sewer costs. Further testing to determine whether very low flow heads exist which do not require elevated supply temperatures are recommended. It is also recommended that further testing be conducted to determine if the 105 F now used to supply TDC showers is optimal. Limited comfort testing suggests that supply temperatures closer to 100 F may be appropriate.
- Technical Reports 
Claridge, D. E.; Turner, W. D.; Chen, L. (1989). Shower Testing for the Texas Department of Corrections. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu), Texas A&M University; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from