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The U.S. government issued a proposal Wednesday to change the definition of a showerhead in an effort to let more water flow, following complaints from President Trump.

“Under DOE’s proposed definition, each showerhead included in a product with multiple showerheads would separately be required to meet the 2.5 gpm standard established in EPCA,” the proposal read.

Since 1992, federal law has dictated that new showerheads shouldn’t pour more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute (9.5 liters). As newer shower fixtures came out with multiple nozzles, the Obama administration defined the showerhead restrictions to apply to what comes out in total. So if there are four nozzles, no more than 2.5 gallons total should come out between all four.


The proposal comes just after Trump talked about water-flow issues at the White House South Lawn in July.

“So showerheads — you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out,” the president said. “So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.”

Water flows from a showerhead on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Opponents said the proposal is excessive.

With four or five or more nozzles, “you could have 10, 15 gallons per minute powering out of the showerhead, literally probably washing you out of the bathroom,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the energy conservation group Appliance Standards Awareness Project.

Appliance and plumbing energy and water conservation standards save consumers about $500 a year on energy bills, deLaski added

Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said the 2013 Obama definition of showerhead clashes with what Congress intended and the standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

If the rule is adopted, Hynes said it would be “allowing Americans — not Washington bureaucrats — to choose what kind of showerheads they have in their homes.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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