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Faucet Flow Rate: Are You Wasting Water?

There’s nothing as relaxing as a hot shower at the end of a long day, with a deluge of warm water raining down on you. Yet is this soothing flood of water costing you money? Check your faucet flow rates! It might be time to shop for a new shower head that limits the flow of water without impacting a good shower experience. It’s worth your time to investigate how well your faucets are performing.

How do you do this? You’ll need to measure the faucet flow rate of all your faucets. Faucet flow rate determines your home’s water usage on a daily basis, which impacts your utility bill each month as well. Conserving water saves you money and improves the environment!

What is Faucet Flow Rate?


Faucet flow rate is the speed at which water flows through your appliances that have a faucet such as your shower head, kitchen faucet, bathroom faucets, bathtubs, and garden hoses too. It determines how much water you use each day. A higher flow rate means a faster flow of water, so more water is used, while a lower and slower flow rate means less water is used on a daily basis in your home.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) home showers alone use an astounding 1.2 trillion gallons of water annually in the US. Before you measure the faucet flow rate of all your faucets, let’s look at a few terms you need to know.

  1. Gallons per minute (GPM) refers to the unit of measurement used for water flow.
  2. Pounds per square inch (PSI) refers to the unit of measurement for water pressure.
  3. An aerator is a small device that screws into a faucet tip. It is made of a screen with holes in it, which adds air into the water stream and reduces the amount of water that comes out of the faucet.
Sink Aerator

There are three main types of aerators including the following:

Sink Aerator
  1. Aerated: This is the standard type of aerator which infuses water with air.
  2. Spray: This type of aerator sprays water like a shower.
  3. Laminar: This is a solid flow of water that limits the amount of splashing.

In short, water flow is the amount of water flowing through your faucets, and water pressure is how fast the water is flowing.

What is the Average Faucet Flow Rate and Pressure?


Here are some average faucet flow rates and pressure for common household faucets. (Some states regulate this more strictly than others.)

Faucet flow-rate and pressure standards. Faucet flow-rate and pressure standards.

How Do You Measure Water Flow Rate?


Whether you want to lower your water bill or simply improve your home’s efficiency, evaluating your flow rate is always a good idea. To check the water flow rate in your home, there is a simple method to measure water flow rate (GPM). You will need a large container, a stopwatch, and a measuring cup.

To measure the flow rate, follow these steps:

  1. Place a multi-gallon container under the faucet you want to measure for shower heads. (You can use a smaller one for kitchen or bathroom sinks.)
  2. Turn on the faucet at full capacity before placing the container under the faucet.
  3. Set a timer for ten seconds.
  4. Press start on the timer and immediately place the container under the running water.
  5. Turn off the faucet fully when the timer goes off after ten seconds.
  6. Use the measuring cup to measure how much water is in the container.
  7. Convert the amount of water to gallons and multiply by six for 60 seconds to find the gallons per minute (GPM).

How Can You Conserve Water?


It's ideal to check your home’s flow rate annually. This will ensure that your flow is adequate and you are conserving water. There are some wonderful options for low-flow shower heads that conserve water without limiting the pressure of water, so you still have a nice, hot shower with plenty of pressure. Remember to install aerators on all your faucets too, as an inexpensive way to save water.

If you need to slow your flow or even get it moving again, we have all you need. Choose one of our faucets for your home and pick up plenty of aerators too! You can even have it delivered. We will keep your hot showers coming while helping you save money on your water bill.