The Shower Manager

By glblguy

shower managerAfter writing my article on teen money mistakes and talking about my discussion with my oldest son about his long shower and how much water costs it made a difference. I’ve noticed him taking shorter showers. Still not as short as I would like, but shorter. Unfortunately, my 2nd son seems to now be the guilty of the long shower syndrome as well.

I don’t believe they take long showers intentionally. After some talks with them, they don’t really realize how long they’re in there, especially in the morning when they are half asleep. I decided I needed some type of timer or solution to help remind them when a reasonable amount of time was up. So off to Google I went.

The Shower Manager

I started searching for a solution and after a few minutes came across The Shower Manager. The Shower Manager is an automatic shower timer that limits shower times automatically. After a configurable amount of time, The Shower Manager cuts the water flow to just above a trickle. In the picture to the right, The Shower Manager is the round white device just above the shower head. It looks just like a water filter.

Shower times are configurable to 3 settings: 5, 8, and 11 minutes. Prior to the configured shower time arriving, The Shower Manager begins beeping providing a warning that the shower time is almost up. One minute following the beep, the water flow is constricted to just enough to rinse if needed, but significantly enough to fully remind the bather the shower is over.

Installing The Shower Manager

Installation is incredibly simple and took me all of 5 minutes (2 minutes of that was finding my pliers). The Shower Manager installs onto your shower’s water supply where the shower head is normally installed. You then screw the shower head onto The Shower Manager.

The instructions were clear, easy to follow and simple. They are literally printed on a single side of a normal size sheet of paper. Very well done.

Configuring The Shower Manager

This was the coolest part of the whole device. To set the time internal for your showers, The Shower Manager comes with a special magnetic key. When the key is placed in exactly the right position on the device the Shower Manager beeps. 1 Beep = 5 minutes, 2 Beeps = 8 minutes, and 3 Beeps = 11 minutes.

The makers of The Shower Manager recommend starting at 11 minutes first then moving to 8 followed by 5 to allow an adjustment period. I set mine to 8 minutes initially.

Overall thoughts

I am very happy with the device so far. The best part is the loud “Uhhhgggg” I hear from my 13 year old when The Shower Manager starts beeping. Of course he doesn’t like it much, but it brings a smile to my face every single time. I plan to keep tabs on my water bill over the next month or two and let you know exactly how much money it saves me.

At $114.99, the price is a little up there, but I can honestly see it saving far more money in water savings alone over the long haul.  The Shower Manager is a well designed and built device and given that the price tag isn’t unreasonable.

If you’re looking for a way to cut back on your kids shower time or just make your family more eco-friendly by taking shorter showers, I highly recommend The Shower Manager. The Shower Manager was also featured on HGTV and you can watch the video here.

This article is part of an ongoing series called Money Saving Monday. Each Monday, I share tips and techniques you can use to start saving money.


24 Responses (including trackbacks) to “The Shower Manager”

  1. ABC Says:

    What a brilliant idea! My Dad still comments on the long showers that we used to take as teenagers. When my kids get older I’m going to look into this if long showers are a problem.

    Also – happy belated b-day – I just turned 40 a couple of weeks ago…it’s not so bad! I think major milestones cause you to do some reflection for a few days but then it’s back to work, blogging, changing diapers, eating, living etc…..on your birthday you are only one day older than the day before (not one year).

  2. George Says:

    I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations based on my local water rates. Looking at the cost of the water (I didn’t factor for the cost to heat the water), and assuming a savings of about 10 minutes per shower, it’d take nearly 800 showers before this device paid itself off – that’s over 2 YEARS of daily showers.

    I’ve got a better idea that’d accomplish the same thing – install a $30 motion-sensor light timer in the bathroom (available at any Home Depot-type store), and set it to turn the lights off after 10 minutes. The kids could always open the shower curtain and wave their arms around to get the light back on, but chances are they’d learn pretty quickly to speed up their showers…

  3. Matt Says:

    I love it! You can both be green and save a little on your monthly water bills.
    I grew up having a well and we did not pay for water directly but did have to pay for the hot water heater to keep the water warm. I was definitely guilty of long showers and I am sure my father would have loved this device if he had found it.
    I am really interested to hear how it works out!

  4. Jeff Says:

    I am definitely the long shower perpetrator in my house. The size of my water heater is the main thing that motivates me to get out, at anywhere from 15-25 minutes, depending on who else has recently taken a shower.

    I grew up with a well, and like Matt, we didn’t have to pay directly for the water. Plus we had a window in the shower and it was relaxing to watch the squirrels on the tree out back.

    Still, to limit myself, or at least to give me some indication of how long I’m in the shower, I simply set my watch alarm for a 10 minute countdown. At least then I know when I need to stop daydreaming.

  5. Mindy McClung Says:

    What a fantastic idea. I laughed so hard about the light timer comment. I can just see my 13 year old son screaming like a litle girl when the lights turn off on him in the middle of his looong daily showers. I’ll have to check out home depots timers.

  6. Kristen Says:

    How is the water pressure with this device? My biggest issue would be low water pressure. I know low-flow shower heads are good water saving devices, but I need good pressure. As a woman with longer hair, getting the shampoo properly rinsed from my hair takes forever with bad water pressure. I have a vision of me standing with a sudsy head when the water shuts off. It’s not a good vision.

  7. ChristianPF Says:

    GLBL,
    this made me laugh out loud… I was so guilty of hour-showers and I think a device like this is brilliant!!
    thanks for the laugh!

  8. castocreations Says:

    I’m not impressed. I take long showers and I LOVE them. I will never stop. As a teen I’d stand in there for 45 minutes if the water lasted that long. I don’t do that so often now but every once in awhile need a super long shower.

    Lights being turned off wouldn’t bother me that much either. :)

    If I’m willing to pay for long (and hot) showers I see no reason why I would stop. My “quick” shower is 10 minutes. I make up for it in other frugal habits.

  9. jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity Says:

    Hmmm, can’t you just get a $10 egg timer that dings? :)

  10. Mary@SimplyForties Says:

    If I still had a child at home I would definitely look into this. My parents would have loved it. As it is, I’m the long shower taker and I’m certainly not using it for me! Is there a way to override it? What if you had company using that shower?

  11. glblguy Says:

    @Kristin – I haven’t seen any noticeable pressure difference. It seems to just pass through until the timer kicks in and then kills the pressure.

    @Jim – Tried that, kids ignored it…or “forgot to set it”…then one day it was broke…hmmmm, wonder how that happened?

    @Mary – No way to over ride it…guess your company better shower fast ;-)

  12. Justin Says:

    We must have cheap water… does it really save you that much money?

  13. glblguy Says:

    @Justin, not sure. I’m watching my water bill now so I’ll let you know in a month or so.

  14. MrsMoney Says:

    I love this!! This made me laugh.

    I recently bought a water filter and now I am more conscious of how much time I spend in the shower because the longer I take, the more of the filter I use which equals money! lol I just started showering every other day to save water, the environment, and money. I think every little thing helps!

  15. Daphne Says:

    What a clever idea! When I went on camping trips in my teens, we had to do this manually – the other kids waiting outside for their turn would time us. After 3 minutes they would force the door open. That was great training and I still take quick showers today!

    Great post – practical, useful, and funny!

  16. Money Beagle Says:

    Wow, what a novel idea! I agree it’s very pricey but the concept is great. I’m thinking an alternative is to set the most annoying egg timer possible out on the counter, so that when it goes off, the showerer is forced to get out and turn it off, thus ending the shower!

  17. Mike R Says:

    The device actually makes you use more water instead of less.

    Once water to the Show Manager is cut, it will not flow again at the full rate until the time has expired. This makes it impossible to take a “navy” shower, you have to leave the water running, and end up using *more* water than you would without it. I pointed that out to the company, they said they were going to make a version that would work strictly by the timer. I have not heard back. And even if the device did work as advertised, it is far too pricey. With water at 0.4 cents per gallon and a 2.5 gallon/minute shower head, the price of the device is equivalent to running the water constantly for 9 days.

  18. JJamiah Says:

    I totally disagree Mike R. My shower head use before is the same as when the SHower manager is on. When the water to the shower manager cuts it means get out your time is up. You cut if off and wait the full five minutes to let the next person go.

    Anywho, I have a household of 6 and this unit is so helpful in getting my boys in and out, I have it set at 8 minutes. You must incorporate the heat used to heat up the water and the water, for me this is a savings, for one person meh, maybe not so much, but tally up 6 people showering for the week, and I think you’ll see the savings. :)

  19. Gary Says:

    This product does not stand up to time. I have had one for 2 years and unbeknownst to me it quit working “a while ago” according to my teens. I changed the battery and it still doesn’t work. The company will not exchange it without cost. If you want a product that will last for longer don’t bother with the shower manager. On a similar note the first one I had needed to be replaced and I was charged shipping but not for the product. It seems they have a few glitches that need worked out.

  20. Jonathan Franks Says:

    Cheaper, easier solution: Get low flow shower head. There are a couple of problems with low flow shower heads, unfortunately. If they don’t feel good (as you hedonists know), they get tossed out. If you use an aerator or oxegenator model, it cools the shower down, and you’ll use a high ratio of hot to cold water. And if the low-flow process involves forcing the water through small holes, it will clog easily. Perhaps we have the solution, hint, hint :)

    Jonathan
    highsierrashowerheads.com

  21. Forex Trading Signals Says:

    After searching Google I found your site. I think both are great and I will be coming back to you and them in the future. Thanks

  22. Earl Bell Says:

    I was very satisfied with the operation of this unit and it worked fine for only about 9 months. I spent about $140 total delivered. The company did not answer my first email request when I had problems. They Ignored me at first. Upon a second request they informed me they had no parts to repair it and that the warranty is only 90 days. There solution was to spend another $85.00 with freight for another unit. That would be over $200 for a product that has not lasted even a year. They need to make a more durable product or at least give you enough warranty to insure your monies worth. Sorry but customer service and poor warranty place this product in the junk category. See My experience here http://home.comcast.net/~showermanagersucks/site/?/blog/view/2/

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