A: ShowerStart LLC water and energy saving technology, has been commercially available since 2006. The technology initially launched as a standalone adapter positioned between a showerhead and a shower arm. The product was called ShowerStart. Subsequently, the company developed and launched the second generation of ShowerStart Technology in 2007. This iteration was designed for integration within a shower head and was launched as a line of shower heads as well as a standalone shower head adapter under a new brand name, Evolve. Today all ShowerStart LLC products are sold under the company's Evolve brand. To date, more than 500,000 units have been sold. The overwhelming majority have been installed within utility conservation and weatherization programs throughout the western U.S.
A: In and of itself, ShowerStart Technology does not restrict shower head pressure or flow and delivers savings incremental to the efficiencies of low flow shower heads. Rather than reducing flow while showering, ShowerStart Technology saves the energy-filled warm and hot water that?s wasted (behavioral waste) during the shower warm-up process. ShowerStart Technology has two distinct applications:
• It can be used as a stand-alone device (ShowerStart Adapter) to provide meaningful water and energy savings for people.
• For those who do not desire a low-flow showerhead.
• It can be paired with low flow shower heads to increase their efficiencies by up to 33%.
A: Showering with ShowerStart Technology is simple and convenient. Users are able to save water, and the energy used to heat it, without changing their behavior or in-shower experience. Now they can continue their typical routine of undertaking activities while waiting for the shower to become warm without accidentally wasting hot water once it arrives. The process of showering with ShowerStart Technology installed is as follows:
• Turn the shower on. Once 95 F water arrives, flow is automatically reduced to a trickle.
• Pull the unit's lanyard (cord) to bypass the trickle and resume normal shower head flow.
• Check water temperature and begin showering. Unit automatically resets for the next shower.
A: In and of itself, ShowerStart does not restrict showerhead pressure or flow and delivers savings incremental to the efficiencies of low flow showerheads. Rather than reducing flow while showering, ShowerStart saves the energy-filled hot water that’s wasted (behavioral waste) during the shower warm-up process. ShowerStart has two distinct applications:
• It can be used as a stand-alone device (ShowerStart TSV) to provide meaningful water and energy savings for people who do not wish to use a low flow showerhead.
• It can be paired with a low flow showerhead to substantially increase its efficiency.
A: Showering with the ShowerStart is simple and convenient. Users are able to save water, and the energy used to heat it, without changing their behavior or in-shower experience. Now they can keep their typical routine of undertaking activities while waiting for the shower to become warm without inadvertently wasting hot water once it arrives. The process of showering with ShowerStart installed is as follows:
• Turn the shower on. Once 95F (35C) water arrives, flow is automatically reduced to a trickle.
• Pull the unit’s lanyard to bypass the trickle and resume normal showerhead flow.
• Check water temperature and begin showering. The ShowerStart automatically resets for the next shower.
A: ShowerStart does not warm the water. The hot water heater does the heating and ShowerStart acts as the showerhead’s brains by monitoring the water temperature and automatically reducing the flow to a trickle as soon as near-bathing-temperature (95F/35C) water arrives.
A: Evolve Technologies has conducted testing to determine the impact of ShowerStart on water temperatures high enough to quickly scald bathers. Testing consisted of monitoring, recording and comparing the showering temperatures of a 1.5 gpm WaterSense certified showerhead with and without ShowerStart. The following fixed parameters were used:
Water heater set point of 140F ½ in. copper plumbing-run of 31 ft. 7 in. Ambient air temp of 65F The shower turned to full-hot upon startup Temps measured 18 in. from showerhead The user enters shower after 150 sec.
The 31 ft. 7 in. plumbing run was derived from data presented by Oak Ridge National Lab in its 2004 “Evaluation of Residential Hot Water Distribution Systems by Numeric Simulation” paper. The calculation considers cold water purge times for clustered events as well as completely cold draws and assumes a weighting of 10% new construction and 90% existing homes. The run holds 1.67 gallons of water.
Measuring the water-on-body contact temperature 18 in. from the showerhead is consistent with the WaterSense standard for spray coverage testing. As a result, readings were taken from this distance. Assuming bathers enter the shower after 150 seconds, the presence of ShowerStart lowers the initial water-on-body contact temperature by 15F – it takes an additional 70 seconds for the water to reach 133F (the temp of the water exiting a showerhead without ShowerStart installed). This "safety factor" provides time for users to lower shower temperatures before scalding occurs. Additionally, the "safety factor" extends the time of exposure before burns will normally develop. At 133F (initial on-body-water temperature without ShowerStart) 2nd and 3rd-degree burns develop on adult skin in as little as 30 seconds. With ShowerStart installed these types of burns would normally occur after 5 minutes of exposure.
A: The standard version of the ShowerStart TSV is compatible with homes having static water pressures of 30 psi or greater. This water pressure is necessary to ensure the TSV can be taken out of trickle mode by pulling the unit’s lanyard once the user is ready to begin showering. As a result, ShowerStart may not be compatible with homes serviced by wells. More recently a specialized version of the ShowerStart TSV that is capable of operating in static water pressures below 30 psi is available. Please contact Evolve Technologies for additional information on this version of the product.
A: Evolve Technologies has conducted testing to determine the impact of ShowerStart “trickle mode” on the pressure within the plumbing line running from the shower's mixing valve to the showerhead. The following fixed parameters were used:
incoming pressure set to 30, 35,45 and 80 psi – a different static pressure for each test2.5 gpm, 2.0 gpm, and 1.5 gpm showerhead flow rates were tested – each rate at each psihot water (130 F) exited tank style heater – no cold water mixreadings taken at showerhead - simulates back-pressure between mixing valve & showerheadreadings taken with the showerhead in both normal flow and “trickle mode”
Testing reveals ShowerStart's' “trickle mode” adds, on average, 9.5 – 12.75 psi of back-pressure to the line running from the mixing valve to the showerhead vs. the back-pressure created by a showerhead operating at its normal flow. In no circumstance does ShowerStart's “trickle mode” create back-pressure greater than the incoming water line pressure and is, on average, 11% lower than that threshold.
A: Major utility companies have written engineering work papers and conducted pilot field studies on ShowerStart and now use it in their largest income qualified and market rate conservation programs. We encourage you to review their information as well as our quantification of behavioral waste derived from data captured by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. LEARN MORE
A: ShowerStart's ability to reduce behavioral waste is unique and a new International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) standard was created to cover its functionality – IAPMO IGC 244-2007a. In addition to meeting IAPMO requirements and being Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) certified, all showerheads containing ShowerStart have also been WaterSense certified.
A: ShowerStart has received UPC certification under the IAPMO IGC 244-2007a standard. A critical portion of the standard includes a lifecycle test consisting of 10,000 cycles with out fail. One cycle consists of the following steps (a) through (d). a) Flow water at an inlet pressure of 80 ±1 psi and at a temperature of less than 87.8°F (31.0°C) for one minute. Device will be in an open flowing condition. b) Gradually increase the water temperature to 98.6°F (37.0°C). The device shall close such that the flow of water is less than 0.2 gpm but not less than 0.05 gpm c). Manually open the device to the maximum flow condition (2.5 gpm maximum at 80 ± 1 psi) by turning the manual open lever by hand. d) Shutoff water pressure to zero (0.0 psi) at the device inlet to automatically reset the device.
10,000 cycles is equivalent to 3 users showering daily for more than 9 years.
ShowerStart is protected by multiple U.S. and International Patents and Patents Pending. Click here for more details.
Many bathers and builders, such as KB Homes, happily use ShowerStart products in conjunction with tankless water heaters.
From a warm-up wait perspective, using the ShowerStart with tankless is a good idea because tankless water heaters increase the amount of time it takes for hot water to reach the shower. This happens because they have to “warm-up” first. While they are warming-up they put additional cold water into the hot water line. More cold in the line means longer hot water waits – there’s more cold water to purge before the shower get’s warm.
From a technical perspective, water must flow through a tankless water heater above a pre-defined minimum flow rate in order for it to heat water. This minimum flow rate varies based on the specifications of the tankless water heater ShowerStart is being used with.
Once hot water arrives at the shower, ShowerStart technology temporarily shuts the flow down to a trickle to stop it from running down the drain while the bather is away. On average, ShowerStart’s “trickle mode” flows at about 0.1 gpm. In some cases, the trickle’s flow may not be high enough for the tankless water heater to continue heating water while it’s in “trickle mode”.
Should this happen, the tankless water heater would insert some cold water into the hot water line while ShowerStart is in “trickle mode”. This is called a “cold sandwich” - a segment of cold water with hot water both before and after it. The result could bring a noticeable decrease in the shower’s temperature for a short period of time shortly after beginning showering.
In many situations however, bathers using ShowerStart with tankless water heaters never experience a “cold sandwich”. This is because:
· Newer tankless systems have a much faster recovery times.
· There is blending of the cold water with the hot water as it moves through the line.
· The cold water absorbs heat from the pipe as it moves through the hot water line.
As a result, for many, the “cold sandwich” disappears by the time it would have reached the showerhead.