My partner and I recently moved into an 1990s apartment which hasn’t had any significant renovations done to it. The first thing we noticed upon moving in was the heavy flow from the shower head. It seemed to be able to handle any water pressure applied to it, which was a worry… so we decided to test what the flow rate was.

We had a 1.6L measuring jug with a big spout – a little smaller than we’d like, but useful enough for a rough measurement.

We averaged 3x fills of the jug: 3.8 seconds = 25.2 L/min!

My parents live at Christie Walk, an Urban Ecology project, so had some great advice on places to start. Read their post: How sustainable is your daily shower?

We decided to take their advice and install the Methven Kiri MKII Satinjet Low Flow Hi Rise Showerhead Dual Pivot Arm.

An image of the Methven Kiri MKII Satinjet Low Flow Hi Rise Showerhead Dual Pivot Arm

The install was super simple as our thread was exactly the same – the trickiest part was avoiding crossing the thread.

To validate the flow, and our previous test, we measured with our 1.6L jug again.

Kiri MKII: average 3x fills: 19.3 seconds = 4.97 L/min

Our testing method confirmed!

SA Water charge us $1.945/kL, so let’s calculate savings per month:

  • Old shower head: 25L/min * 7 mins * 7 days * 4 weeks = 4,900L ($9.53)
  • Kiri MKII: 5L/min * 7 mins * 7 days * 4 weeks = 980L ($1.90)

So this change is saving: 3,920L ($7.63) a month, with a payback time of ~28 months.

I’ll update this after a week of showers to report back on the showering experience (my partner has long hair, so she’ll be the toughest critic about how it does washing out shampoo).

Update 1 – 18th October

First impressions of the shower head:

  • Feel – the reduced water amount is immediately felt, it’s more of a mist and so washing off soap and shampoo is noticeably slower.
  • Temperature – because of the smaller droplet size the temperature feels cooler, perhaps as less of your body’s surface area is covered at one time.
  • Overall – happy with the change, especially considering the 5x reduction in water usage

Update 2 – 29th October

It took about a week to get used to the new fine-spray feel of the shower head, and my overall enjoyment of showering is roughly 90% of what it used to be. The missing 10% is that feeling of being engulfed by water, similar to that wonderful feeling of a wave at the beach washing over you. But considering the water savings, I’m really happy to make that small sacrifice.

If you’ve bought one, let me know what you make of it? Did it work for you? Did you notice much of a difference?

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