Understanding the 3 Phases of Showering

August 23, 2019 1 min read

To help make decisions on the best water saving devices and practices, it helps by first understanding the anatomy of a typical showering event.

1. Structural Waste – average duration: 1 minute
Every building has its unique architecture behind the walls which dictates the amount of cold water which must be purged through its pipes before the hot water makes its way to the shower head, tub spout or faucet. Regarding showers, structural waste occurs from the point at which the shower is turned on to the point at which the water approaches bathing temperature (95F/35C). 

Using 1.5gpm shower head:

Water usage = X Gallons  Energy Use = X kw

2. Behavioral Waste – average duration: 1 minute
Behavioral waste occurs from the point at which the shower reaches bathing temperature (95°F) to the point at which the user enters the shower, the entry point. The entry point is indicated by a rapid reduction and subsequent stabilization of the shower’s temperature after the shower’s peak temperature has been achieved. It is caused by the typical user behavior of turning the shower to full hot to speed the shower’s warm up and then adjusting to a comfortable bathing temperature upon entering the shower.

Using 1.5gpm shower head:

Water usage = 2–6 Gallons  Energy Use = X kw

3. Bathing Use – average duration: 6 minutes
Bathing use occurs from the entry point to the end of the bather’s shower. It is the hot water that’s actually used for bathing.

Using 1.5gpm shower head:

Water usage = X Gallons  Energy Use = X kw

Next: Understanding Behavioral Waste and What to Do About It