Most homeowners dislike the weak showers of gravity fed water systems. What makes for a great shower is enough water pressure where it counts. One way is improve the situation is to swap in the best shower head for gravity fed system use that you can find.
Low water pressures are usually the result of inadequate plumbing or storage tanks, problematic municipal supplies, or perhaps your bath fixtures. Whatever the reason, you will normally get weak showers as a result. A local plumber can tell you the cause, especially if it is only your shower.
Remedying the situation can be as simple as swapping in a newer and more efficient, high-pressure shower head. If further improvements are not possible or simply too costly, the latest designs can produce stronger showers of heated water at home.
Choosing models that handle iffy water supplies can be a chore. Our review explains the advantages of these products and details some of the top high-pressure shower heads available.
What a high-pressure shower head is good for
A gravity fed system normally comprises a cold header water tank elevated high up in the loft area, along with a hot water cylinder located nearer the baths. This arrangement allows both hot and cold supplies to flow under gravity, mixing water from both supply tanks on their way to the shower.
Users of these systems have traditionally been disappointed due to water pressures not being enough for decent rates of flow in the shower. Besides, things cannot always be improved by raising the heavy header tank some more.
Fitting in a pump plus special high-pressure fixtures can overcome low-rate water flow as well as eliminate flows that dip whenever water is drawn in other areas. But why not try a high-pressure shower fixture first, and see if it does the job?
Generating pressure at the shower head offers many benefits.
- You can wash and rinse more easily with a higher flow.
- Since less time is spent in the shower, more water is conserved.
- It can offer more enjoyable experiences, including soothing massaging effects.
Good showers and how to get them
What leads to powerful streams of water other than strong supply pressures include the diameter of the shower head and its rate of flow. High-pressure models are subject to the 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) limit, though. These are not built to generate high pressures by passing more water through the tube and are designed differently for the purpose.
Larger-diameter units typically generate less forceful flow. Models with diameters of 4 inches or less are better at maintaining optimal pressures. Standards for flow rates vary; New York, California, and Colorado mandate no more than 2 gpm. Everywhere else, the original 2.5 gpm standard still applies.
Certain economical models provide flows as low as 1.5 gpm. Many can be adjusted on the fly to output multiple spray patterns, others employ pressure chambers. You should consider all these aspects when searching for the best combination of size and flow rate.
Features of good high-pressure shower heads
Good replacement shower head designs are built to handle low-pressure conditions. These flow lower volumes of water while injecting air into the streams, thus increasing water pressures while reducing water usage.
Shower coverage and flow is what sets the performance higher-end models apart. The better units output sprays with enough force for a thorough rinsing, while a few enable you to adjust flow levels to your liking.
Designs with changing patterns feature fewer nozzles and pass streams that are further pressurized and swirled for higher output coverage and speed. Internal pressure chambers inject air that raises pressures and ejects water more forcefully.
The following considerations are useful in finding a shower head that works for you .
- Spray pattern. If you require a basic pressure-inducing showerhead, many offer just single or dual spray types. For more gentle and relaxing sprays, search for designs that feature at least 3 different patterns.
- Build quality. You can find high-pressure models in either metal or plastic versions. Metal parts can at times cause flowing water to cool down slightly as it passes their spouts, but these are typically of high-quality construction that does not rust. Models made of sturdy ABS plastics are light enough for daily handheld use.
- Removable restrictors. These parts work to pressurize water flows. Keeping the restrictors in place will save both energy and water, although the showers will usually turn out to be not as pleasing.
- Reliable operation. A shower head that does not satisfy from the start is not likely to be popular in the long run. Market reputation and buyer satisfaction ratings point to fixture’s overall quality.
The best shower head for gravity fed system use
Among the top models is Speakman’s S-2252 model, which can be found installed in many high-end hotels. Constructed of sturdy brass, it features a long-lasting, polished finish.
The stylish unit integrates 6 jets to provide a constant flow of 48 patterns that distribute a more forceful and soaking spray. A patented system of plungers generates pressure, with each one cleverly positioned so that individual streams combine with the rest to generate intense and rich spray coverage.
Featuring Anystream technology, the head unit integrates a control lever that turns the mechanism to produce highly versatile sprays. Massaging experiences are on tap with the intense setting, in addition to drenching and full patterns.
This well-designed and sturdy shower head is our overall choice for the best shower head for gravity fed systems.
Thunderhead’s efficient pressurizing scheme helps to minimize water usage while outputting crowd-pleasing rain. An integrated pressure chamber produces heavier streams while evenly distributing the flow via 90 spraying jets, for a powerful yet relaxing experience.
With high mounted position, it fits well in smaller stalls where space can be a problem. It can also be deployed in a standard manner, as shower head readily folds inward. Elevation can be similarly adjusted to meet the needs of various different users.
The arm features four self-locking ratchet joints. There are no wing nuts that would need adjustment every time angles are changed, allowing sideways movement as well. This shower head performs and installs well and is reasonably priced for a rain-style model.
High Sierra’s high-pressure model is among the more innovative that you can find. This compact and attractive design is of a durable all-metal construction and is finished in polished chrome.
The 1.5 gpm spec is not at all a concern, the shower head features High Sierra’s patented mechanism that produces a highly concentrated but unobstructed flow. From what most owners experience, its flow rate seems to be higher than that of the majority of 2.5 gpm units.
This model delivers a soaking spray while saving much water as well as energy costs. It is an advanced shower head that will perform with the greatest efficiency in any stall, even with very low water pressures.
Delta’s model offers great efficiency with rich spray coverage that will assist you in reducing utility expenses. Among the advantages are its dual-flow settings, there are adjustments for controlling water volumes and selecting between gentle and drenching spray patterns.
The design features pressure-amplifying mechanisms that concentrate flows via four nozzles, which act to generate larger droplets. Some 30-40% savings in water are possible over that of conventional designs.
Shower quality is more than decent and the tough plastic construction should last years of heavy usage. The shower head is readily installed and homeowners can also expect flow levels to rise a little in daily use.
There is a control that adjusts flow, but the small lever can be a little awkward to manipulate. Just the same, its dependable operation and the dual-flow/dual-pattern settings more than justify its already low price.
Vida’s advanced shower head delivers that ‘spa’ experiences even with low water pressures. Five spray settings include pulse, soaking rain, coarse spray, soothing rinse, and drizzle for low water usage.
Construction is not all of plastics that can weaken over time, it features robust ball joint and brass connectors. Included in the package is Teflon tape for a better installation seal. If you feel that you are simply not getting much of a forceful spray in the bath, the restrictor can be readily detached.
For those looking for a handheld model that performs just as well, the Spashower H5+ has similar features. The handheld version comes as a replacement kit with both stainless holder and steel hose included.
This efficient shower head generates aerated streams of water for great experiences. It works to minimize water usage and is not too pricey to try out, either.
Top high-pressure models excel in efficiency and shower quality while offering convenient features that will please most users. In our quest for the best shower head for gravity fed system use, we discovered a great pick.
We were more than impressed with Speakman’s S-2252 solid-brass construction and its ability to produce consistently pleasing showers. It may be rather costly, but this sturdy and stylish brass shower head is better than the rest at generating decent showers, despite questionable water supplies.