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Posted: 1/11/2006 5:37:15 AM EDT
This is perfect arfcom material even though it is about shower heads. Government creates a regulation on the maximum amount of water a shower head can allow, so a company comes up with a shower attachment that has three heads! Sounds just like something we'd do to get around the assault weapons ban. Now dogooder lawmaker wants to take manufacturer to court. Maybe he used to work for the ATF???

www.mises.org/story/2007

The Bureaucrat in Your Shower

by Jeffrey Tucker

The Department of Energy may soon be paying a visit to a certain shower-head manufacturer in Arizona. The company is Zoe Industries Manufacturing. It runs Showerbuddy.com, a popular site that sells amazing equipment for bathrooms.

Consumers love the company but one man doesn't. He is Al Deitemann, head of conservation for the Seattle Water Board. Al ordered some products and sent them to BR Laboratories in Hungtington, California, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And sure enough, Bureaucrat Al gained enough data to report Zoe to the feds, accusing Zoe of "blatant violations of environmental protection laws." Now the heat is on.

What's the big deal? What critical matter of American public life is at stake? It's all about water flow and gallons per minute.

You might have some vague memory from childhood, and perhaps it returns when visiting someone who lives in an old home. You turn on the shower and the water washes over your whole self as if you are standing under a warm-spring waterfall. It is generous and therapeutic. The spray is heavy and hard, enough even to work muscle cramps out of your back, enough to wash the conditioner out of your hair, enough to leave you feeling wholly renewed — enough to get you completely clean.

Somehow, these days, it seems nearly impossible to recreate this in your new home. You go to the hardware store to find dozens and dozens of choices of shower heads. They have 3, 5, 7, even 9 settings from spray to massage to rainfall. Some have long necks. Some you can hold in your hand. Some are huge like the lid to a pot and promise buckets of rainfall. The options seem endless.

But you buy and buy, and in the end, they disappoint. It's just water, and it never seems like enough.

Why? As with most things in life that fall short of their promise, the government is involved. There are local regulations. Here is one example of a government regulation on the matter, from the Santa Cruz City Water Conservation Office: "If you purchased and installed a new showerhead in the last ten years, it will be a 2.5 gpm [gallons-per-minute] model, since all showerheads sold in California were low consumption models beginning in 1992."

You mean they regulate how much my shower sprays? Yes indeed they do. Government believes that it has an interest in your shower? Yes it does.

And it is not just crazy California. The Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 mandates that "all faucet fixtures manufactured in the United States restrict maximum water flow at or below 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure or 2.2 gpm at 60 psi."

Or as the Department of Energy itself declares to all consumers and manufacturers: "Federal regulations mandate that new showerhead flow rates can't exceed more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi)."

As with all regulations, the restriction on how much water can pour over at once while standing in a shower is ultimately enforced at the point of a gun.

Manufacturers must adhere to these regulations under penalty of law, and to be on the safe side, and adjust for high-water pressure systems, they typically undershoot. If you try your showers right now, you will probably find that they dispense water at 2 gallons per minute or even less. Together with other regulations concerning water pressure, your shower could fall to as low as 1.5 gallons per minute!

This creates a rather serious problem for nearly everyone in the country. America is the land of the shower. Popular lore holds that Americans are some of the most showered people in the world, and this stands in contrast to, well, to lands of the less showered. (Not naming any names!)

As for Zoe Industries, they set out to address this strange problem that has made our showers less functional than they ought to be.

They are not water anarchists; we aren't talking about shower-reg secessionists here. But the company did insightfully observe that the restriction applies on a per-shower-head basis.

So Zoe sells full units that have three full heads per shower! What a solution — truly in the spirit of American enterprise in the best sense. These remarkable units are both brilliant and beautiful, and they comply with the letter of the law. The one that annoyed Bureaucrat Al is the "Nautilus II Chrome" — and what a piece of work it is!

If it turns out that the feds can't prove him in violation, Congress might have to go back to work. The regs might have to be changed to specify one head per shower space.

But then what can the government do about the length of showers? After all, there is no real way to regulate how much water we use (and pay for). Maybe the shower heads have to have timers on them. And maybe the feds need to put up little monitors in our showers to make sure that we have stopped and started them.

And what happens to shower offenders? One can see federal S.W.A.T. Teams screeching up to your house, black-clad men pouring out, securing the perimeter, and shouting through a bull horn: "Drop the soap and come out of the shower with your hands up!"

Most manufacturers adhere to the regulations. But savvy consumers know how to get around the problem.

Warning: The following section is for information purposes only; I am not advocating egregious violations of federal law as some trouble-making rebel might. Do not endanger your status as a law-abiding citizen who takes wimpy showers.

Many people now hack their showers — or customize them, if you prefer. You can take your shower head down, pull the washer out with a screwdriver, and remove the offending intrusion that is restricting water flow. It can be a tiny second washer or it can be a hard plastic piece. Just pop it out and replace the washer. Sometimes it is necessary to trim it out using a pen knife.

Using such strategies, you can increase your water flow from 2 gallons per minute to 3 and even 4 gallons per minute. You can easily clock this using a stopwatch and a milk carton.

Using this method (just as an experiment for the sake of journalism — again, do not try this at home) I was easily able to expand my gallons per minute on each shower in my house to an average of 3.4 gpm, thereby recreating that childhood sense of gushes of water pouring down.

Now, that doesn't compare to the amazing 12.7 gallons per minute that BR Labs claims they were able to clock with the Nautilus II (wow wow wow!) but it still exceeds federal regulations.

Why would anyone want to do this? According to the head of Zoe Industries, people somehow have the sense that I described above. "Generally, they don't like the water savers," he says, "the flow of water is too weak and they feel as though they haven't gotten a shower."

The whole craziness here recalls the similar frenzy about toilet tank size that resulted from the same act of Congress. Eventually manufacturers figured out ways to make the toilets flush but, even today, you never want a plunger to be too far from the toilet. Thus has it spawned an entire industry of designer plungers!

You might say that water needs to be conserved. Yes, and so does every other scarce good. The peaceful way to do this is through the price system. But because municipal water systems have created artificial shortages, other means become necessary. One regulation piles on top of another, and the next thing you know, you have shower commissars telling you what you can or cannot do in the most private spaces.

Has central planning ever been more ridiculous, intrusive, and self-defeating?

If Zoe Industries is bankrupted by federal fines, who will stand up for our rights to take showers our own way and make our own judgments about how much water to use?

Jeffrey Tucker is editor of mises.org. A special thanks to all the colleagues with whom he discussed this subject obsessively for a couple of days, and from whom he took any valuable insights. Send him mail. Comment on the blog.



Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:41:44 AM EDT
Nothing in the Const. says you got the right to an enjoyable shower.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:50:06 AM EDT
Don't have much of a problem here,but if I do I just take the flow regulator out and tah dah back to perfect.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:51:21 AM EDT
Ain't nothing that a 1/4" drill bit can't solve!

556mmm
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:52:21 AM EDT
YES!!! Im going ot go and buy 30 pre-ban showerheads, in 10 years ill be a millionair
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:53:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
Nothing in the Const. says you got the right to an enjoyable shower.







Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:54:21 AM EDT
So if I were to have a lathe and a mill, what would be a good shower head design for me to build an unregistered full auto destructive device shower head?
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:56:07 AM EDT
Evil.

Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:56:10 AM EDT
bout time they spend our tax dollars on something that will help save the children



BAN SHOWER HEADS, DO IT FOR THE BRADY BUNCH
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:58:14 AM EDT
Having high pressure shower heads is a collective right, not an individual one.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:00:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
Nothing in the Const. says you got the right to an enjoyable shower.



But the Tenth Ammendment says that unless shower regulating powers are specifically granted to the feds, they belong to the state.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:01:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
Nothing in the Const. says you got the right to an enjoyable shower.

+1 Anyone who enjoys a good shower is nothing but a lazy showerhead.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:05:16 AM EDT
I wasn't just imagining the fact that I can't get a decent shower after all
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:06:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 6:09:18 AM EDT by Galland]
There is just such a shower head in my grandparents' old house. I plan to remove it and install it in my own bathroom some day. I can see the advantage of a low capacity shower head- it makes the hot water last longer. But as with anything else, it should be the choice of the consumer to buy a X gallons per minute shower head and not the damned government.

Galland

PS: Gutting the main ring will increase water pressure in the shower head, but this might cause it to be so high that it isn't comfortable to stand under the water. You should ream out the water holes in the head itself before you fiddle with the main ring. Most hardware stores sell plastic shower heads these days. It shouldn't be too hard to increase the size of the holes a little bit with an x-acto knife or a pointy drill bit.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:06:25 AM EDT
One of the good things when I visit my parents is they have a pre-ban showerhead. I feel like I am being showered by a fire hoze
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:06:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chooper:
Having high pressure shower heads is a collective right, not an individual one.


It aplies to the standing shower militia, not to individuals. Unless you are a part of the organized shower milita, 2.5 GPM is all anyone would need.


Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:07:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 6:45:33 AM EDT by Andreuha]
MORE THRUST PER PULL! MORE THRUST PER PULL!!!

How much for a 3.0gpm pre-ban version? or, a 10.0gpm "beta"

I hear those pre-ban ones can shoot 100 gallons with one turn of the knob!!!
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:35:36 AM EDT
I wonder with NAFTA/CAFTA if you couldn't go online and order the real deal from Ocanada or Mexico (free delivery via next available illegal)? I remember some people in the northern tier going over and bringing God's own toilets back and thumbing their noses at the border guards.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:38:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:

Originally Posted By chooper:
Having high pressure shower heads is a collective right, not an individual one.


It aplies to the standing shower militia, not to individuals. Unless you are a part of the organized shower milita, 2.5 GPM is all anyone would need.





Why does anyone really need one of those fully automatic shower heads anyway?
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:52:44 AM EDT
BAN WATER. It's for the children.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:53:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By x5060:
YES!!! Im going ot go and buy 30 pre-ban showerheads, in 10 years ill be a millionair



Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:54:09 AM EDT
if these unregistered,assault shower heads continue to be sold there will be more clean people in the streets.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:55:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chooper:

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:

Originally Posted By chooper:
Having high pressure shower heads is a collective right, not an individual one.


It aplies to the standing shower militia, not to individuals. Unless you are a part of the organized shower milita, 2.5 GPM is all anyone would need.





Why does anyone really need one of those fully automatic shower heads anyway?



Deer hunter: "You don't need dem dere showerheads. This bolt-action, err i mean 2.5 GPM showerhead, is all you need"
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:58:12 AM EDT
You can only shower ten minutes per day. Law enforcement can shower 30 minutes.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:58:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Evil.

us.st11.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/I/rewilliams_1876_38234604



Ooohh. Is that a bayonet lug I see!

Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:59:47 AM EDT

If it turns out that the feds can't prove him in violation, Congress might have to go back to work. The regs might have to be changed to specify one head per shower space.
WTH?! What about those of us wanting to build giant shower enclosures for two (or more ) people to use similtaneously?

Kharn
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:59:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:16:48 AM EDT
They gots evil pistol grips n evil ba O net lugs, n their hozez hold to damn much wada!
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:18:42 AM EDT
Leave it to government to do this.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:23:59 AM EDT

Government gives up on assault weapons ban and goes after regulating shower heads.


Don't worry. I'm sure they'll manage to find time for both.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:56:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By x5060:
YES!!! Im going ot go and buy 30 pre-ban showerheads, in 10 years ill be a millionair



One word: Speakman.



Our Speakman empties a 40 gal hot water heater 2-3 times a day. On orders from my wife, it usually travels with us on vacation. We're water whores

FWIW we have a 200' well with a 2hp 20gpm pump and twin 81 gallon tanks, what water bill?
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:01:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CS223:

Originally Posted By x5060:
YES!!! Im going ot go and buy 30 pre-ban showerheads, in 10 years ill be a millionair



One word: Speakman.

www.bedbathandbeyond.com/assets/product_images/380/671252000041.jpg

Our Speakman empties a 40 gal hot water heater 2-3 times a day. On orders from my wife, it usually travels with us on vacation. We're water whores

FWIW we have a 200' well with a 2hp 20gpm pump and twin 81 gallon tanks, what water bill?



Nice selector switch!
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:03:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
Locked:



4.) Posting comments or links in support of illegal activities including, but not limited to, threats against the life of any living person, altering shower heads, doing harm to a state or federal official, or advocating the overthrow of the government.





I knew about altering shower heads long ago. There are also altered flush valves you can buy for your toilet.



Can you put preban flush valves in a postban toilet?

"I don't think civilians ought to have these high power showerheads. We handle them on a daily basis, and we're the only ones professional enough to be able to use them."
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:07:59 AM EDT
i can see women across the nation now, "you'll take away my high capacity jet flow showerhead when you pry it from my cold dead wet fingers!!!"
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:09:05 AM EDT
I'm just happy I still have a Pre-ban toilet

It's all about the gallons per flush
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:12:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CS223:

Originally Posted By x5060:
YES!!! Im going ot go and buy 30 pre-ban showerheads, in 10 years ill be a millionair



One word: Speakman.

www.bedbathandbeyond.com/assets/product_images/380/671252000041.jpg

Our Speakman empties a 40 gal hot water heater 2-3 times a day. On orders from my wife, it usually travels with us on vacation. We're water whores

FWIW we have a 200' well with a 2hp 20gpm pump and twin 81 gallon tanks, what water bill?

Does it come already "adjusted" for proper flow rate, or will I have to do that on my own?

Kharn
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:23:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:

Originally Posted By CS223:

Originally Posted By x5060:
YES!!! Im going ot go and buy 30 pre-ban showerheads, in 10 years ill be a millionair



One word: Speakman.

www.bedbathandbeyond.com/assets/product_images/380/671252000041.jpg

Our Speakman empties a 40 gal hot water heater 2-3 times a day. On orders from my wife, it usually travels with us on vacation. We're water whores

FWIW we have a 200' well with a 2hp 20gpm pump and twin 81 gallon tanks, what water bill?

Does it come already "adjusted" for proper flow rate, or will I have to do that on my own?

Kharn



If I recall it has a little disc under the gasket and you toss it. There is no shower head that can compare to a Speakman, if you've got good water pressure 60 psi or better, it's pure power washing luxury. If it wasn't for the tiny 40 gal hot water heater, I'd be in there longer. Gonna upgrade that to 80 gal one day
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:34:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By x5060:
YES!!! Im going ot go and buy 30 pre-ban showerheads, in 10 years ill be a millionair




Now that's funny!
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:46:11 AM EDT
we need to get these bullet water hoses that are sprayed from the hip off the streets NOW!
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:49:32 AM EDT
I guarantee this douchebag politician has one of those shower "walls" in his home and stays in hotels (on the taxpayer's dime) that have similar upscale showers. Someone should look into his past hotel stays and so forth and rat his sorry ass out.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:50:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
Nothing in the Const. says you got the right to an enjoyable shower.



Nothing in the constitution says you have the right to use the internet.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 10:23:07 AM EDT
Mr. Tucker writes a fine article but he missed the worst, indeed dangerous, property of the post ban showerhead. Of course I refer to the violent swings in dispense temperature that one is subjected to when the incoming water pressure changes in one, or both, supply pipes.

In a preban system, most of the pressure drop is accross the control valves so that a 5% change in pressure will cause a, roughly, 5% change in flow. With the post ban showerheads, the fraction of the total pressure drop that is taken accross the control valves is much less so a 5% change in incoming pressure will cause the delta P accross the control valve to change by substantially more than 5%. In severe cases the hot or cold water flow will decrease to near zero causing tremendous discomfort and possible scalding.

The Clubsport where I used to go performed this very experiment. As built it had full capacity showerheads and one could: A) Actually rinse the soap off in less than 10 minutes and B) Complete the shower without any significant change in water temperature. When they replaced all the showerheads with post ban units, it took substantially longer to take a shower and one was at constant risk of sudden temperature changes. Over time, people learned which showers were the most, and least, susceptible to this effect and would avoid the worst ones even though all exhibited poor temperature control to one degree or another.

"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in
session."
- Mark Twain
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 10:39:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
Nothing in the Const. says you got the right to an enjoyable shower.



Nothing in the constitution says you have the right to use the internet.



He was joking I think/hope.

What about all the people on well-water?

-Dan.

Going home to fix my shower head.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 10:43:51 AM EDT
Funny , 2 days ago my shower head puked , went to wal mart bought the 1.58 special , got home , dissassmebled and attacked the main hole with an 11/32 drill bit , Flows great. Its chrome and comes in shrink wrap , no other packaging , for all those who want to try. Somebody on ebay is selling the same showerhead for 20 bucks pre drilled , It's called the "tsunami" if you want to see which shower head I used.



::::::: meanders off to wait for the BATFESH :::::::::::::::::
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 10:47:43 AM EDT
WOW!
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 10:54:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 10:57:04 AM EDT by fxntime]
With no/low flow showerheads in 20 years there won't be any children cause we'll all stink like a parisian in july.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 10:56:30 AM EDT
Here is a TO SECRET hint the .gov does not want you to know...take the shower head off...
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 11:01:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 11:02:15 AM EDT by FMJshooter]
I heard the water droplets actually tumble on pre ban heads . supposedly the military came up with th idea. Apparently all it takes is one drop of water to hit your body then it tumbles all around your body cleaning the entire area.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 11:14:53 AM EDT
As predicted, the demand for 'knock off' assault showerheads has driven prices up.

showerbuddy.com/Showroom/_Shower_Head/Nautilus_ll_Chrome_Shower_Head/nautilus_ll_chrome_shower_head.html

$137 for a shower head

Amazing...

Paul... What is this toilet mod you speak of? I was thinking about going to Mexico and 'importing' a few pre-ban assault toilets...
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 11:19:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LANCEMAN:
I'm just happy I still have a Pre-ban toilet

It's all about the gallons per flush



Of course you know it's illegal to TRANSFER that pre-ban toilet without a FTL.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 11:26:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JustinOK34:
Can you put preban flush valves in a postban toilet?

"I don't think civilians ought to have these high power showerheads. We handle them on a daily basis, and we're the only ones professional enough to be able to use them."





No, not without at $200 tax stamp, background check, and CLEO signoff. Once you install the full auto flush valve you are in essence 'making' a machine toilet.


You also need to concern yourself with proper US parts count in your toilet.
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