* Prices may differ from that shown
In my opinion do not buy this shower head unless you plan on using lots of duck tape and plumbers tape to keep the thing from leaking. The parts used to make this shower head are not machined precise enough to insure proper sealing. Nothing that a roll of duck tape can not solve. However my wife made me replace the thing because she said it is the ugliest shower head that she has ever seen and it made her depressed. Upon searching the web I came across Bricor & Oxygenics and ordered one of each. They are both great shower heads and Bricor gave me the option of choosing my flow rate from as low as 2 liters per minute to as high as 8 liters per minute.
I do like to save money where I can and I also think it is a good idea to save water as I live in the driest part of the UK. I was therefore intrigued when I saw an advertisement in a National paper for an Ecocamel shower head. Well to be honest I had seen one a few months ago and not done anything about it but this time it was being sold at a reduced price so that aroused my interest again.
What is it?
Basically it is a showerhead that mixes water with air to give an invigorating shower using less water than a traditional shower head. Now I have been using the Lakeland Tapadaptor for years on my kitchen sink so I am familiar with the concept of aerated water so it wasn't a huge step for me to think that the same idea might work for a showerhead.
According to the manufacturers:
1.Air is inhaled into the water stream through a venturi device at the base of the handle to create a mix of water and air.
2.This mixture increases the pressure inside the body of the shower head causing turbulence and spins the water at high speed.
3.Pressurised spa like shower spray gives an enjoyable full flow performance, delivering up to 45% savings of water.
Well that sounded pretty impressive and as the normal price of £29.95 had been reduced to £24.95 I thought it might be worth sending for one to see how it worked in action.
Out of the box
The showerhead came within a few days and fitting it is perfectly simple, just unscrew your existing showerhead from the hose and replace it with the new one. The only slight problem I had was that I ended up with a small leak at the joint which I easily resolved by unscrewing it and putting a little bit of plumbers PTFE tape around the thread - fortunately I keep a roll of it in the kitchen drawer as I do find it handy from time to time.
The 'venturi' device they talk about is a little hole at the base of the shower and when you turn off the water at the end of your shower a little water leaks out back through it.
I planned to use the Ecocamel to replace my existing variable showerhead so the first thing that was evident is that with the new showerhead there is just one spray setting so you cannot adjust the spray pattern with this basic model. The manufacturers make a number of claims about what happens when the spray is created which are:
"Conventional non aerated showers and flow restricted handsets produce a flow of water that bounces off your body. More water is needed to wet you thereby increasing wastage. The ecocamel spray actually contains lighter, softer water droplets that break on impact against the skin. This gives an enhanced showering experience without water splashing everywhere."
So what was it like to use? - well initially I have to be honest and say I was disappointed. The spray was definitely less powerful than my previous showerhead, some of the problem was the slight leak I didn't spot until the first time I used it but it is definitely a different type of shower spray from that which I was used to. I did notice that it made rinsing my hair after shampooing it an absolute breeze it was quicker and much more effective than my old showerhead in clearing the shampoo and there was a lot less spray on the showerscreen so perhaps there is some truth in their claims about it using less water to make you wetter.
I did a little experiment of my own to find out if it did use less water. As I normally shower standing in the bath I put the plug in and tried my normal routine with the old showerhead and with this one and I would say I used around a third less water. This wasn't a scientific test you understand but it did give me some comfort that there was some kind of benefit.
The question remains though as to whether it did give me 'an enhanced showering experience without water splashing everywhere' and to be honest I am not sure that it did. It certainly reduced the amount of water splashing around but it wasn't the vigorous pounding of water that I am used to. I do find that if I stand a little further away from the showerhead than I used to it is much better so I have raised the showerhead a few inches and I am much happier with it.
The manufacturers also claim that "Using an ecocamel aerated showerhead in a bathroom with a shower curtain will push the curtain away from your body when you shower, in contrast to conventional non aerated showerheads which encourage the curtain to cling to your body rather annoyingly" - and unfortunately I can't comment on that as I have a screen and not a curtain.
Would I recommend it?
Hmmmm - well I am not sure on this one. I have persisted with it for a week and I now quite like it but my first thoughts were that I would be sending it back. I do think it saves water, it certainly reduces splashing and it is much better at rinsing off shampoo. I am not sure how it will be in a unheated bathroom in the Winter, whether the intake of air into the water will make the shower cooler than I would like. However I will be keeping it, I have adjusted to its gentler spray and more effective soaking action and I do like the fact that it uses less water overall and makes less mess.
I am looking forward to testing it out next time I shampoo my puppy as I have no doubt he will appreciate the fact that it takes less water to clear the shampoo away!
Overall I think it is a good product. It could be that if you have higher water pressure than I have (in this rural area where the Water Authority switch their pump off each night to save money and I can't have any sort of shower before 6.00 am!) you won't even notice the difference. So it really depends what you want, if like me you are keen to save water and the cost of heating it then this could be worth a try.
This review was also published on Ciao by laramax