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Perhaps the simplest shower upgrade is replacing the shower head. Twist off the old, twist on the new (don’t forget the Teflon tape) … done. But there are many more twists to a true shower experience upgrade. It’s a big conversation addressing a homeowner’s preferences and limits for shower head flow, function, style, energy usage, plumbing, drainage, space, and budget. So let’s talk shower heads, and discuss unique home shower improvements. In 1992 the U.S. government established regulations limiting shower head flow to 2.5 gallons per minute at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch. Concerns about energy usage and water waste, one might say, washed over federal regulators’ desire for a good hot shower. Adios, it seemed, to the joy of a full-force, under-a-warm-waterfall, suds-blasting shower. It became a bit of a plumber’s art form to both follow the regulations and allow consumers to shower as they please. Green is good, but so is a therapeutic shower. Enter the multiple-head shower fixture, popular in high-end residential construction. If one can afford the extra hot water and manage the drainage, the rules allow 2.5 gallons per minute per shower head. More shower heads equals more water. Diana Dinges, the cheerful and energetic bath fixtures expert at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting in Carmel, notes that “His and Hers” showers (with separate heads and controls on two ends of a shower stall, likely with a body spray and hand held nozzle as well) are very popular. Affirming that “the fixtures available today are fabulous,” Dinges adds that energy-efficient tankless water heaters help keep high-volume showers “green,” and thermostatic faucets lend comfort by separately managing temperature and volume. Talking about a great shower is never quite as good as the real thing, and in the unique home improvement market, few experiences compare to a true shower upgrade.

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