There are three kinds of shower timers I could find: fancy models that actually shut off the water flow, egg timers that run for about 4 minutes, and digital countdown timers. I have found a good, inexpensive choice: The “Shower Professor”.
The first type of timer is fancy: it installs between the shower water spout and the shower head and actually shuts off the water after a set period of time. They cost about $150 or more. This seems like an expensive and rather excessive method.
I tried using an egg timer. They are cute and inexpensive (around $4) but pretty limited. For one, they are set for about 4 minutes, which is the recommended time, but some may prefer an extra minute or so. I also found the model I got hard to read. In the end, I would forget it and stopped using it.
Two models of digital countdown timers are available. Both have a digital display, are water resistant, have a suction cup, and a few buttons. One made by Ripple Products in Australia has several colorful designs (star, duck, etc) for about $20. A new company (that contacted me and provided a free sample) called Shower Professor is similar, and is only $12.98 including shipping.
(And, I just noticed that TerraPass sells one called the Half a Teaspoon Shower Watch for $30)
The Ripple and Shower Professor differ in a small but important way: the Ripple needs to be set (e.g. press the “minutes” button 5 times for 5 minutes, then press start). The Shower Professor comes with four presets: 5, 7 and 10 minutes and another for 1 minute — one touch and you start the timer. Not a big deal, for sure, but who needs to think when getting into the shower?
Both have a display, and beep when time’s up. The Shower Professor’s display is large enough to be legible, and has a discrete, short (but audible) beep. My only real complaint is that the 1 minute setting worked a little differently than I expected — I thought it would add a minute, instead, it stops (but doesn’t restart) a running timer, or if there’s no timer running, starts a 1 minute countdown.
Also, the Ripple sells in the US for about $20 when you include shipping; the Shower Professor is $13 with shipping, at least to my address. No doubt you can save $13 in a matter of a few weeks if you’re motivated. The Shower Professor website is a little hokey, but I have exchanged a few emails with they guy there, and he seems like an honest guy.
I am regularly reminded how slowly my brain is operating when I shower in the morning — it’s nice to have a gentle reminder lest I find myself asleep under a gentle spray of warm water :-)
Don’t Forget The Low Flow Shower Head!
Short showers are a good complement to low-flow shower heads several of which I have reviewed in prior posts. My favorite is the Oygenics Elite 700, but there are other good options, notably the Evolve Roadrunner, or even just the little fitting that comes with the Evolve or can be purchased separately that turns off the water once it has warmed up.