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Old 09-27-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

It's not just turning off the water - the ball valve (quarter-turn) allows the 'showeree' to save the temperature setting during the "water off" periods. For a former residence, I bought a small ball valve designed to fit between the shower arm and shower head that served this purpose. It was flow-reducing (had a too-small hole in the nylon ball), and since the shower head was low-flow, I drilled out the ball to match the interior diameter of the tube. The hole was still small enough to block the flow when rotated to "off." It could also be set part-way off to reduce the flow.

I remember it only cost a couple of bucks (almost 20 years ago). Today I was surprised I couldn't find one on the Lowe's or Home Depot web pages. Lowe's did have two inexpensive shower heads with flow controllers built in. The first item #: 141197 is a toggle valve model for $5.97. The push-push valve operates with two buttons from opposite sides of the unit, like a table lamp or drill reversing switch. The description does say it selects trickle instead of off when full-flow is not selected. The low-flow shower heads I've used that look like the picture also didn't spread out the water much, and required a lot of moving around to get soap off. I would pass on this model.

The second one, Lowe's item #: 141198 for $11.98, appears to have the ball valve built in, operated by the wire bail. It also specifies on/off instead of spray/trickle. The cone-shaped outer housing gives me hope that the spray area is greater, but the inside looks the same as the cheap one. I think it would be worth a try. (Sorry I can't post direct links, these sites do not have direct URLs to their products. You can search for the items by number.)

I have thought about using a separate ball-valve like your idea, and like it. The bigger handle would be easier for soapy hands to use. Mounted 4-5 feet above the floor, young-uns who can't reach the shower head could also work it. Besides the extra expense for more fittings, they are not designed with mounting points, so some ingenuity is required to keep the ball valve from being torqued off of the pipes by a user. Certainly not an impossible task for a skoolie builder.

An important thing to remember is BACKFEED. When the mixing faucets are on, and the shut-off is off, anyone using cold water elsewhere in the system will draw some hot water through the hot faucet and back down through the cold. Likewise, someone using hot will get cold mixed in. The user manuals for some of the inexpensive propane shower heaters with built-in mixing seen on this site warn not to use them as system heaters in front of outboard mixing-valve faucets, and this may be part of the reason. If you use a shower shut-off system, learning to turn the faucets off when done, or adding check valves to the supply side of the faucets should cure this.

Ask me how I know!
As a curious kid, I repeatedly attempted to stop the water flowing in the bathroom sink with my thumb. I never could stop the pressure, and only succeeded in spraying water around. One day, when I went to wash my hands, there was no hot water. Out of habit, I tried my thumb again. Both cold and hot bathroom faucets had been left on, since I had attempted to get warm water for my hands. Lo and behold, I COULD stop the water completely! Seconds later, there was a scream from the other end of the house. My father had shut off the hot so he could work on the kitchen faucet. My thumb shut-off caused cold water to flow back into the hot water pipes, and a geyser of cold water erupted from a disconnected pipe while he was lying inside the sink cabinet. OOPS!
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

The residential faucets I used have the same flow rates as the RV ones. Just do what Smitty said, its the general rule when you are on a boat too.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

Have you ever considered something as simple as a regular garden hose spray nozzle?

This would be simple for everyone to use, and would eliminate a lot of extra parts.

If you get one of the nozzles with multiple head settings, it could be almost as good as a massage head, but still help you save water. Whatever you decide, please post pictures.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

The post above this one contains genius.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2go
Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
Have you ever considered something as simple as a regular garden hose spray nozzle?

This would be simple for everyone to use, and would eliminate a lot of extra parts.

If you get one of the nozzles with multiple head settings, it could be almost as good as a massage head, but still help you save water. Whatever you decide, please post pictures.

MMMMMM.I'd have to rig up a pull cord for the kids.
This is what we use. Don't need to worry about potable water in the shower. And don't have it permanently mounted so we can also use it in the sink for washing vegetables or dishes or attach it to a hose and use it to water the garden or wash down the bus. If you can make tools take on multiple functions, you'll need less stuff. Just make sure you get one that can handle hot water. Some of the really cheap ones may melt and aren't designed for hot water / shower water.

As for the kids, ours has a lock so you can lock it in the on position, then place a shut-off valve below it. The different spray functions seem to work well at full / half / quarter pressure (They still resemble their spraying modes at different levels of water pressure.) So you can use the shutoff valve to control it fairly well.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:03 PM   #6
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
Have you ever considered something as simple as a regular garden hose spray nozzle?

This would be simple for everyone to use, and would eliminate a lot of extra parts.

If you get one of the nozzles with multiple head settings, it could be almost as good as a massage head, but still help you save water. Whatever you decide, please post pictures.

TygerCub, I'm impressed. That is a great idea!
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Czar
a few ideas along these lines occurred to me, though they aren't "typical" or that easy to retrofit.

Im going to have a raised floor in my bus (a shorty) but that doesnt extend to the shower
this would give me a little "mini" tub reservoir nearly knee high.

For the last several winters to save energy I typically don't drain the tub when I shower, hot water thus cools to the room temperature transferring heat to the house before its drained. I aim to be able to do the same on the bus, but take it a bit further.

stage one would be wet, water off, soap, short rinse, then employing a footpump in the shower and the tub as the initial reservoir, recycle the soapy water back up for more washing shampooing. Then rather than drain into a greywater tank divert the water to a reservoir hooked to slow sand filter (still in the main thermal envelope) again powered by the foot pump draining the "mini tub" the second stage would be a "clean" rinse

the slow sand filter would be smaller than the one linked and additional processing could be employed (charcoal, even distillation) but alone it would suffice for reusing the water as "shower water" provided I employ Castile soap and other simple shampoos and conditions that can be easily broken down by the biofilter.

Ive been "practicing" washing with just a five gallon bucket of water in the shower
and bet I can do with even less, however the ability to repump the initial soapy water up for immediate reuse will be a luxury, the ability to retain the heat in winter a serious advantage in such a small bus, and the ability to treat and reuse greywater will likely extend boondocking considerably in many locations.

The shower would also be able to be drained to another reservoir under the bus to reject heat in summer.
DUDE, where ya going to put all this stuff? Your riding the short bus, remember? Your way overthinking this. Go simple, go caveman. Just lie on your back after soaping and piss in the air for the final rinse. It's body temp and you've recycled.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papabear
our way overthinking this. Go simple, go caveman. Just lie on your back after soaping and piss in the air for the final rinse. It's body temp and you've recycled.

ROTFLMAO! PAPABEAR!!!! OMG! Dude! You are SO wrong! I'm gonna have to clean my monitor now, there's soda & snot all over it. AND SODA IS NOT RECOMMENDED AS A SINUS WASH! That HURT!
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:42 PM   #9
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

I'm not all shot up about rinsing in grey water, as a good shower is one of the few simple pleasures I enjoy.
I used to leave the stopper in the tub, and let the shower water stand until it cooled to room temperature, because I PAID for all that heat!
I had to quit after I got married, because the better half hated the soap rings.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:37 AM   #10
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Re: Saving Water/Water Reduction

I have seen alot of people using garden hose sprayguns to wash up after dirt biking in the mud, not sure on the idea of doing it in the shower.

...I dont know about anyone else, but I was taught that peeing on myself was a bad thing... ...one hell of a mental image though.

What about those walk in bath tubs that they show on TV all the time now. They are about 4ft high or so and you just walk in, close the door, sit down and take your shower. If you stopper the drain, you get a nice hot soak while your at it.
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