Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

June 20, 2009

Shower Timer: Six Bucks Once Saves Water Every Month

Category: Household,Save Water,Tips – Tom Harrison – 8:29 pm

I while back, I reviewed the Shower Professor shower timer. I had tried an egg timer variety, but you really have to look … and it’s steamy in a shower. Cheap, but … cheap. I looked around at several other options, but they are kind of pricey. Heck, somebody has a serious issue if they need to buy one for $125 that has a password and locks the water off after a preset time period. Either that or they have a teen-aged girl (I’ll have one of them in a few years, and am bracing myself).

But if you are in the group of people who just want to do your part to save a little water, and save a fair amount of money, I am still happy with the simple $5.99 digital timer that I use, with the hokey name the Shower Professor. It beeps at the right pitch and volume: you can hear it, and it stops after five beeps so you don’t have to do anything to avoid waking up the household. And it has several reasonable preset times — it has gotten to be a habit just to press a single button when I get in — unless I haven’t had my coffee yet, I’m in and out in about 4 minutes. My wife shaves her legs, so her showers are longer — there’s a good preset for that. The kids use it, too. Because it’s easy.

I still use a good low-flow shower head, such as the Oxygenics, or HighSierra models that I have reviewed in the past. I use the Oyxgenics in the summer, and the HighSierra in the winter — the Oxygenics has an adjuster, and stronger spray; the HighSierra is a good low flow shower head that’s also low priced.

And I still have my water heater set to 118 degrees. Do you? If you cannot hold your hand under straight hot water, this is the easiest change you can make: just turn the temperature dial on your water heater to the marked location and save 5% to 10% on your water heating bill. And no scalding.

And compared to the others you can get for 6 bucks, this shower timer is a keeper — if your household spend five fewer minutes a day, it will pay for itself in a month or two. Check out And maybe it makes you feel good to buy from a guy who has a first name: Randy has made this device and is making a go of it — because he is selling enough of them, he is selling at a lower price now.

Finally, use cold water to wash your clothes! This is such a no-brainer. I am thinking of just getting a tee-hose-connector so that both hot and cold inputs on the washer only get cold.

So now that the heat’s off, spend some effort to save a little hot water. We pay about $30/month to heat water — if you heat with gas or oil, check your bills in the summer — that’s probably how much you pay every month, and I’ll bet you pay more than we do. If you want your bill lower, take shorter showers, use a low-flow shower head, turn down the temperature on your water heater, and wash with cold water only. Cha-ching.


  1. You could shut the shower off while lathering up, too. I have a low-flow head that can be turned down to a dribble via quick lever action. It works pretty well for conserving water and presumably energy.

    Comment by Eli Sarver — July 10, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  2. I haven’t thought about using a timer. This is a great suggestion. This could be my way of helping save our planet from further destruction.

    Comment by Ed Ward — April 10, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  3. That would be a challenge for me, wow, under 5 minutes, I don’t know, but I’m sure my showers are quite a bit longer. Maybe I should sign up for a long-shower tax and pay more for a 10 minute shower!

    Comment by Richard Jones — September 6, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  4. :-)

    Richard, I doubt you’ll see the Long Shower Tax coming any time soon. You’ll see your water bill periodically. If you’re in Vermont or New York, maybe not an issue; if you’re in Texas, perhaps a different story.

    I took a short shower this morning. Sometimes I take longer. Use a low-flow shower head, especially one with an adjustable flow and you can take a guiltless 10 minute shower that uses less water than most people.

    5% less is better than more.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — September 6, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

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