We’re very concerned with water conservation on the homestead for a variety of practical reasons. Because we burn scrap wood to heat water, we must conserve hot water in the shower.
To do this, we installed a low flow, handheld shower head with a button that cuts off the water flow. We turn the water off when we’re soaping, shaving, or performing other tasks that don’t need running water. We’ve become very habituated to this, and we can shower three people and wash several days’ accumulation of dishes on the heat generated by one 5-gallon bucket of wood scraps.
Unfortunately, the shower head we installed several years ago slowly weakened, until activating the cut off did little more than reduce the flow by half or less. We still saved some water by using it, but not much.
Obviously, we had to take the unit apart and repair it, either by clearing mineral deposits from the inner workings, or maybe replacing a valve or seal. We quickly found that we couldn’t do it—the shower head had no screws or other fasteners with which to disassemble it; we would have to cut open the plastic housing to get inside.
Instead, Michelle installed a stopcock at the point where the shower head’s hose attached to the spigots. This not only solved our water cut off problem, it improved the performance of the whole system. We found that blind groping for the stop cock proved much easier when the valve could be found at the spigots. The valve also sealed off the flow far better than the shower head button ever had.
Michelle used a stopcock left over from setting up a water catchment system for the greenhouse, so we employed a surplus piece rather than finding and purchasing a replacement head similar to the original, which would most likely fail after a while.