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Question DetailsAsked on 6/28/2014

What kind of shower head from which brand provides a strong flow?

I got an American Standard shower head for $30.00. It delivers weak sprinkle.

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2 Answers


I presume you adjusted the head - usually by either a tab in the center that you turn, or turning an outer ring on it, to give higher flow (though more of a stream and less of a spray when you do that).

Generally the limiting factor is not the head that is at fault but the flow restrictor they are all shipped with today. Illegal to remove in water rationing and water conservation areas, and the EPA states that it is illegal to remove at all even though the law does not say that (it address manufacturing and shipping shower heads) but otherwise if you take it off the shower head pipe (holding pipe tightly to prevent bending or unscrewing it), inside the threaded area the first piece (other than the outer threaded connection part) that you come to will commonly be a flow restrictor disc - looks like one of these typically -

Usually you can hook a small screwdriver or needle or such into the hole in it and pop it out and "clean it", though somepeople forget to replace it. This washer or disc restricts the flow rate to not more than 2.5 gpm (or to 1.5 gpm under the new proposed standard and California advisory standard and Miami-Dade and San Diego, proposed NYC and SFO and San Antonio and other area codes or proposed codes), versus the typical 3-7 gpm from an unrestricted showerhead. However, some newer brands are designed with built-in flow control and cannot readily be modified, and the EPA has proposed regulations requiring no more than 1.5 gpm and prohibiting the ability to readily increase that just by taking it apart partially or fully.

And of course, that 2.5 or 1.5 gpm is rated at 80 psi - most houses run a pressure closer to half to two-thirds that, so your flow rate goes WAY down by half or three-quarters in the realistic case.

Many years ago I got rid of my American Standard chromed spray nozzles and bought the large, about 50 hole Waterpic outer ring adjustable spray heads - one fixed, one hose-mounted for the girls, that ALMOST feel like a real shower. I know Delta makes a high-flow rate showerhead for sale outside the US that you can buy at Amazon and elsewhere online.

Another solution, which EPA is proposing outlawing also, are the "Shower Tower" and similar devices which have multiple sprayheads, each at 2.5 gpm but totaling much more flow, though not much more pressure which is limited to what the pressure in your pipes is, slightly increasable if you run 3/4 to 1" piping to the shower valves like is done in some luxury houses where even 1 to 1-1/2" piping is becoming a luxury standard for rapid filling of tubs and jacuzzis, and for multi-head or full-wall and multi-person showers. However, for normal purposes, the existing 3/4 pipe feeding to 1/2" at the valve should be adequate for any single or probably double spray nozzles you can find.

EPA hopes to overcome the multi-head nozzles by requiring flow restrictors be put in the valves now - so people will sstart bypassing that by putting in multiple nozzles, each on a separate valve.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Delta has h20kinetic showerheads that deliver a very good pressure experience. Either of these will do the trick. We own 4 of them.

Answered 6 years ago by Jefferson

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