Tub bath vs. shower water experiment

After installing my new water heater yesterday, I did an experiment today when I showered, and put the plug in the drain so the tub would fill as I showered. I knew a shower used less water than a tub, but I wanted to know how much less. When I was growing up, from about age 10 on, we had a Fageol Twin Coach bus that my dad converted into a camper, and the family would go camping each weekend. The day he first put on the water tanks, he had each of us go out and take a shower to see how much water we used. We were told to get wet, turn the water off, soap up, and then turn the water back on to rinse off. The next day he filled the tanks and had us take showers again, this time just taking a shower like normal, water running as we washed. He found we could conserve by half if we shut the water off while soaping, then back on to rinse.
Back to my experiment today with the new water heater. Last night I filled the tub about half way full, and I’d say it is a 40-48 gallon capacity tub. That gave me about 8-9″ of nice warm water to soak in. With my old water heater, the most I could hope for was 4-5″ before the hot water ran out.  To see how much water I used in a shower as opposed to a bath, this morning I closed the tub drain and showered and washed my hair like I always do. I was really surprised that I only had about 3″ of water in the tub when I was done, after an 8-10 minute shower.

Granted, here in Palm Bay, Florida, I do not have city water and have always had less than stellar water pressure. I am on the Florida Power & Light On Call service which means they can cut my water heater off during peak times if they need to. And I do have a low flow shower head… but I really expected to have used much more water than that. It was an eye opener.

Not that I’m going to forego taking long soaks in a hot tub when I want to, now that I have lots of hot water. But I will appreciate with each shower I take that I am living a little more lightly on this Earth than I thought I was.

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