Low "Water Pressure" In Your Shower? Here's Why

By Laura P.
October 25, 2018


You just replaced your old shower head with the newest model and latest spray features, and can’t wait to try it. But when you step under the spray, you notice one change you didn’t expect. The spray feels good, but not quite as good as your old shower head.

How can that be? The water pressure in your house hasn't changed, but your shower feels different. The simple answer is government regulation, and how those water regulations affect your shower.

Shower Flow Rate is Regulated by Law

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 created federal regulations that limit flow rates for shower heads. State and local governments also enforce their own standards. Measured in gallons per minute, or GPM, these flow rates represent the maximum amount of water allowed by law to flow through your shower head.

Depending on where you live, the maximum flow rate for shower heads today can be as low as 1.8 GPM.


This may be the real reason your new shower head offers less pressure. A 2.5 GPM shower head sprays out two-and-a-half gallons of water every minute while your new 1.8 GPM shower head uses less than two. In fact, a 1.8 GMP shower head uses 28 percent less water per minute. That means you could detect a change in the spray. And, if your old shower head is from before 1992 or earlier – when the standard was 3.5 GPM or even 5.0 GPM – the difference in water pressure in your shower may be distinct.

Shower Flow Rate and Water Conservation

Water conservation is critically important today, especially in drought-prone states such as California and Colorado, and throughout the southwest. Households in these areas often abide by hefty restrictions and use low-flow shower heads as an effortless way to conserve.

GPM Laws

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American household uses 40 gallons per day for showering, representing 17 percent of indoor water use.1 Given a growing population of more than 300 million people, the need to conserve will increase, and flow rate standards will likely continue to decrease. Since July 2018, California’s maximum flow rate dropped to 1.8 GPM. (And typically, where California goes, so goes the rest of the country.)

Fortunately, new Waterpik® innovation led to the development of PowerPulse Massage® technology - which delivers up to 2X massage force vs. other retail market shower heads making every shower truly “ahhh-mazing,” even when you’re doing your part to conserve.

Waterpik® Replacement Shower Heads

If you're looking for high tech features, fresh styles, water conservation, and cost savings, switching out your old shower head is a very satisfying move. And, with Waterpik® shower heads, you'll wake up to a luxurious, invigorating shower every day.

If you would like more information on our shower regulator replacement kits, which can increase flow rates, please view the regulator kit how-to resource page.

Waterpik Showerheads
1 United States Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/watersense/showerheads (retrieved January 6, 2018).