I will even admit that when we first moved into our new home, the master bedroom shower head afforded wonderful, though short showers that completely drained our water heater in about 10 minutes. So I did what any good scientist would do. I engaged in an extensive shower-head survey experiment.
It turned out to be a rather depressing exercise. Of the 12 or so shower heads that were available in our immediate area, the contenders generally fell into one of two camps: no flow restrictor and great showering, or great water economy with heads that would blow at you and not really get you wet enough to shower comfortably.
Developed by a team led by Dr Jie Wu, the aeration device is a small nozzle that fits inside a standard showerhead. The nozzle uses a small Venturi tube – a tube for which the diameter varies, creating a difference in pressure and fluid speed. Air is sucked into the Venturi tube as a result of the partial vacuum created, causing air and water to mix, forming tiny bubbles within the water stream.
“The nozzle creates a vacuum that sucks in air and forces it into the water stream,” Dr Wu says.
“We make the water droplets in the stream hollow and the bubbles expand the volume of the shower stream.”
Small-scale experiments using the aeration device found that people detected no difference in water pressure, sensation, or overall perception of showering.