Shower Head GPM | Smart Shower Head | Hai

Shower Head GPM: What It Is and Key Things to Know

Whether you’re shopping for a shower head or trying to use less resources, you’ll need to understand the GPM rates for both your shower and your shower head. Read on to find out what they are, why you should care, local government regulations and how to improve every showering experience, no matter your GPM limit.

What is shower head GPM – and why you should care

Your shower head GPM is how many gallons of water flows through your shower in one minute (GPM = gallons per minute). 

But before you start yawning, GPM rates, also known as shower head flow rates, are actually super important. The higher your shower head GPM, the more water you’ll use with every minute of every shower. And that water use adds up. 

Here are some staggering facts about American shower usage from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 

  • Every year, showers in the U.S. use almost 1.2 trillion gallons of water
  • The average family racks up daily water usage of almost 40 gallons 
  • Almost 17% of residential indoor water use happens in the shower


Reduced flow regulations for shower heads

To help curb the unintended overuse of water, certain areas have created different water flow regulations. Water flow limits can cover everything from outdoor water use (such as watering your lawn) to residential indoor water use (from sinks and laundry machines to showers). For example, in the US, federal law permits 2.5 GPM as the highest shower head flow rate in the country. 

But some states have their own regulations to help conserve even more water. Although more and more states are moving towards more efficient, low-flow shower heads, California, New York, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii and Vermont are among those taking the lead; stores across the country and residents of these states have to stick to their 1.8 and 2.0-GPM shower-head requirements. Find out your home state’s maximum flow rate allowance here.

Thankfully, less water doesn’t have to mean a less-than-amazing experience. Efficient shower heads, like hai, are designed to use less water and energy while still feeling great.

Surf New Water Saving Shower Head by Hai

Shower GPM vs. Shower Head GPM

In the shower, GPM can reference two different things: the water flow rate of your shower, and the water flow rate of your shower head. Your shower GPM is determined by the water flow that comes through your bathroom pipes. So really, the quality of your water stream and the GPM of your shower head is restricted by the GPM of your actual shower. If your actual shower has a lower GPM rate than your shower head, no matter how high your shower head GPM can be, you are at the mercy of the reduced flow rate of your shower (though there are things that can be done to improve the experience). 

How to figure out your shower’s GPM

If you’re shopping for a new shower head, it’s a great idea to test your shower’s GPM before you swap out your old shower head model. It’ll narrow down the best options for your shower. For example, you might think your shower head isn’t great but it could be the amount of pressure that flows through your pipes. That insight might lead you to buy an efficient, full-coverage shower head that can offer a better feel despite your low water supply.

Here are three ways to check your water pressure: 

1. Use the bucket test. 

  • Turn off every faucet and every appliance that uses running water
  • Grab a one-gallon bucket and a timer
  • Fill the bucket with water
  • Measure how long it takes to fill the bucket

Your shower’s GPM will be 1 gallon divided by the time it took, converted to minutes. If the number you calculated matches your shower head’s GPM, your shower flow is being controlled by your shower head. If the number you calculated is lower than your shower head’s GPM, your shower flow is being controlled by your shower itself.  

Pro Tip: If you live in a multi-level home, test your water pressure on the lowest floor so you’ll be closer to your water supply. 

2. Use a water pressure gauge. 

If you’re pretty savvy when it comes to plumbing, you might want to use a water pressure gauge. Pro Tip: If you’re buying a water pressure gauge for the first time, choose a dial-type model (its face looks like a watch). 

  • Make sure no one will need to use water until you’re done
  • Double check to make sure all water taps are off 
  • Head outside to run the test 
    • If you don’t have a tap outside, use your kitchen faucet
  • Attach the water pressure gauge to the spigot
  • Turn the water on – make sure it’s on full blast to get the most accurate results
  • Look at the black dial to see your current water pressure reading

    Citron Smart & Bluetooth Shower Head

    3. Get a smart shower. 

    Buy a smart shower head to figure out how much water flows through your shower in one minute. hai makes it easy to hack your eco performance in the shower – your water usage is measured in real time and syncs with the app.

    What to do about low water pressure

    While you should buy a better shower head to improve your showers if your water pressure is low, it’s important to find out the root cause of the issue. 

    If your water pressure is low because of the amount of water flowing through your pipes, contact your local water department. There could be a bigger issue at play that needs to be resolved and they might be able to help. For example, your pipes could be seriously corroded, your water pressure regulator might need to be replaced, or maybe your local municipality switches up their water pressure GPM from season to season. 

    But if your water pressure feels low due to your’s shower head’s GPM, you can make a simple swap! 

    The best water-saving shower heads

    Whether you live in a place with a more efficient shower head flow rate, or you just want to be more eco-conscious, there’s great news– a new shower head can upgrade your entire experience. The best water-saving, new shower heads still offer feel-good, satisfying shower sessions – all while helping you save water, save energy, reduce your carbon footprint and lower your water bill. Even if you’ve discovered that you have low water pressure because of the GPM of the water entering your shower’s pipes, a high quality water-saving shower head can upgrade the feel of your shower sessions (ah, relief). 

    And you can definitely count hai among the best water-saving shower heads, although hai takes things to a whole new level…

    In addition to a standard shower head (2.5-GPM flow rate), hai shower heads come in a 1.8-GPM WaterSense-certified, low-flow shower head design. The 1.8-GPM model is designed to improve the showering experience of a low-flow environment while meeting states’ strictest GPM standards. Not only does the eco-efficient 1.8-GPM design feel as invigorating as our standard 2.5-GPM model, but it offers the same amazing coverage that beats the average shower head you’ll find in stores – every square inch of water coverage counts!

    Smart & Bluetooth Shower Head

    Here are a few more ways hai helps you feel amazing while doing a lot of good for the planet:

    • Easy DIY design
    • Companion app and customizable hai light help you track your water and energy consumption, see where you stand compared to average shower usage and set personal goals 
    • hai light lets you know when the water is warm enough to get in and when you’re about to meet the desired time limit you set for your goal
    • Exclusive in-app content featuring rituals for self-care, friendship, holidays, meditation…
    • Bluetooth connection powered by the water coming through your shower 
    • Handheld spa control slider to customize your shower – every time (from steady streams of water to gentle mists)
    • Six fun colors: moon, charcoal, rose quartz, persimmon, citron, surf  
    • Stainless steel, easy-to-clean design and extra-long, flexible, PVC hose 


    Shower time has never felt better.