# Does bathing using a shower use more water than using a bucket or bath-tub?

I have heard many times during "Save water" campaigns that bathing using a shower uses more water than using a bucket or bath-tub? Is this true?

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This is easily calculated at home: take a bucket of known capacity, turn on the shower, use stopwatch to measure how long it takes to fill the container. Compare this value to the time length of your average shower. Use your container to fill a bathtub to the level you would normally for taking a bath. Count the number of containers used to get to that water level. – horatio Apr 14 '11 at 16:59
Depends how long your showers are and how deep you like the water to be when you bathe, and how much effort you want to spend bathing. You could save even more water by using a bowl of water and a sponge, but it would take much longer to get clean that way than I would like. – Peter Olson Apr 14 '11 at 17:06
In Finland it's commonly suggested to specifically take showers instead of baths to save water (I have sources in Finnish). I'm quite surprised at your question. Could you cite some such campaigns? – dancek Apr 14 '11 at 21:43
@horatio : the people from the "Save water" campaigns wouldn't like to hear that :). – djerry Apr 15 '11 at 7:11
This was deleted as an answer, so I'll put it here as a comment since I think it may help you get what your are looking for: Impossible to answer as it depends on how long of a shower you take, whether you turn off the water while scrubbing, how full you get the bathtub, etc. If you really want to know if it saves YOU water and assuming you have the normal shower/tub combo, just do this. Next time you take a shower, put the drain plug in. When you are done, see how full your bathtub is. – Kevin Apr 15 '11 at 15:27

A bath tub has a capacity of around 110L.

An average 80kg person has a density of 1010kg/m3, therefore a volume of 0.08m3 or 80L. Let's say the person is only 50% under water when taking a bath.

That means around 70L of water are poured in the bath tub so that it's full to the rim when one person is sitting in it.

Compare with a shower. A typical shower would take around 10 minutes and shower heads have a water flow ranging from 6 to 16L per minute or 60L (water-saving shower heads) to 160L (normal shower heads) of water per 10m shower.

In practice, water saving showers are equivalent to baths, whereas normal showers use up to 2.5 times the water with respect to baths.

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A bathtub of 110 liters is quite small, the most I've seen have been 150-160 liters. Also, I think the water flow values are the maximum possible with a shower head. I, for one, don't fully open the tap unless filling something. – dancek Apr 14 '11 at 21:38
Here in Australia, after all the droughts, we've gotten used to 4 minute showers - which is another point. You more or less need to fill up the tub to have a bath, but you can cut down on the length of a shower. – Jivlain Apr 15 '11 at 14:04
The bath you linked has to be the shallowest bath I have ever seen. It's even called the "Shallow steel bath" in the "Low capacity baths" section of that site. I would argue that a "standard" or average bath holds around 50% more water. I also agree with dancek WRT shower flow ratings - the specifications are normally for maximum flow rate. I think the average shower pressure is much lower than the maximum. – jozzas Jun 22 '11 at 6:31
Something is wrong here... In our previous house, I'd occasionally soak my feet while showering by plugging the drain. I had a standing stall (with water-saving shower head) that was maybe 3'x3' and no more than 5" deep. I could plug the drain at the beginning of the shower and remove the plug at the end of a 10-15-minute shower. It never overflowed, and it'd have had to overflow at least 5 times over in order to be equivalent to drawing a bath. Like most people, I opened the tap fully during a shower. Also, standard bathtubs on homedepot.com are 50 gallons, or 190 liters. More for deep-soak. – Erik Harris Sep 5 '11 at 22:59
Seems like there might be a bit of a cultural bias to this question and answer. – Rob Z Apr 18 '12 at 2:15

I turn on the shower for about 30 seconds to get wet, turn it off, bathe, and then turn on the shower for another 30 seconds to rinse. If a typical shower head has a water flow of 6L to 16L per minute, then I consume from 6L to 16L to bathe. I consume from about 8.5% to 22.8% as much water as a 70L bath, or about 10% as much water as a ten-minute shower.

My bathroom also has a 4L water bucket and bathing ladle, which can be used to bathe with less water than a shower.

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Hi, can you reference this old answer? – Sklivvz Aug 4 '11 at 0:00