Australian shower research
This Standard specifies requirements and available ratings for each of the products covered by the legislation, and ratings extend from product non-compliance (zero stars) to a maximum efficiency of six stars.
Except for showers, all products covered by WELS can be rated from zero to six stars. Currently, showers (which should comply with AS/NZS 3662 Performance of showers for bathing) can only be rated from zero (the shower does not comply with AS/NZS 3662) to three stars.
Showers can achieve a flow rate of less than 7.5L/min and comply with all the other performance requirements of AS/NZS 3662. However, the maximum of three stars is applied because some products may not provide a comfortable and effective shower.
Because the Standard is not able to distinguish between effective and ineffective showers, funding to develop an appropriate test – allowing showers to be rated up to the full six stars – was provided by the federal Department of the Environment and Water.
Project manager Aleksander Szann says development of the tests is being carried out on behalf of a Standards shower work group and involves two independent laboratories.
“Essentially, the work is focusing on the force of the shower spray. One laboratory is developing a test that measures the total force of a shower spray and the other is developing a test that measures the force of an individual spray from a shower.
“Both forces are necessary to provide a profile of a particular shower. Preliminary results are encouraging and it is hoped that work will be completed in mid-2007.”