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 ShowerProfessor.com. 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.