How to Use a Water Flow Rate Bag

Published on: November 25, 2022

Whether you’re watching TV, doing laundry, or taking a hot shower, energy is at the heart of every home.  

While we often think of water and energy as two separate resources, there’s a strong relationship between water consumption and energy use. For example, you’re likely using hot water whenever you take a shower or wash your hands. That water is warmed up by a water heater that’s powered by electricity or natural gas. As a result, saving hot water at home can also help you lower your energy use.  

A great way to set your energy efficiency efforts in motion is to measure the flow rates of your showerheads and faucet aerators using a water flow rate bag. A water flow rate bag helps you calculate the rate at which water comes out of your showerheads and faucets. The higher the flow rate, the more water you’ll use. 

With this knowledge, you can start to brainstorm ways to implement energy-saving practices in your home. 

What You Need

To complete this test, you’ll need: 

  • A timer
  • A water flow rate bag 

Water flow rate bags are included as part of our Grade 9 Student-led home energy review activity. Teachers, get in touch with our team and we’ll send kits including bags for your classrooms!

How It Works

Step 1: Set your timer to five seconds and gather the top of the bag around the showerhead or aerator. Remember to hold the bag in place loosely so that air can escape while the bag is filling.  

Step 2: Start your timer and quickly turn on the water to full flow. Collect the water in the bag and shut off the shower or tap when the timer goes off.  

Step 3: Check the marks on the side of the bag. This will tell you the flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM). An energy-efficient showerhead or aerator has a flow rate of 1.8 GPM or less. 

Take the Next Step

With a clearer understanding of how your home consumes energy, you can start to create better habits that will mitigate energy and water waste. Some easy ways you and your students can start saving warm or hot water is by taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth. Making small changes to your routine may not seem like a big deal, but over time, your efforts can make a significant impact. 

Want to bring energy efficiency into your classroom? Get in touch with us to learn how you can get student-led home energy review kits for your Grade 9 class. Or, you can connect with our dedicated Outreach & Engagement Coordinator, who can guide you through our lesson plans and answer any questions you may have. Visit the Generation E website to learn more!