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How to Measure a Shower Head’s Gallons per Minute


shower head water resized 600A shower head can certainly waste or conserve water. Most shower heads are 2.5 gallons per minute, but there are many that have a higher gallons per minute (GPM) and certainly there are lower ones.

How can you tell what your shower heads GPM is? If it doesn’t specifically say on the shower head, you can measure the flow with a bucket and a timer.

Get a bucket that holds 1 or 2 gallons. You can either enlist the help of another person, or just use a stopwatch (a cellphone timer works great here…just don’t get it wet).

Turn on the shower and put the bucket under the shower head in the stream of water so that the water starts filling the bucket. Start timing as soon as the bucket gets wet. Stop the timer when the bucket is full and then you can calculate the GPM. Here is the formula:

GPM=    Bucket’s capacity in Gallons x 60/  Number of seconds to fill the bucket


Alternatively, you can hold the bucket under the water for 10 seconds and then measure the quantity of water in the bucket. Then multiply that quantity of water by 6. You will likely have to convert amounts though. For example you could use a measuring cup to determine the number of cups left in the bucket and then convert that amount to gallons before multiplying by 6. (1 gallon=16 cups).



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