Consumer Reports, the venerable product review publication, claims its mission is to “empower consumers.” But one of its recent reports makes it seem more intent on empowering government.
In a comparison test of showerheads for the magazine’s October issue, Consumer Reports examined the output of the $500 Hudson Reed Theme Thermostatic AS333 showerhead. After testing its flow strength, they were impressed but suspicious. The “tower’s forceful spray,” they wrote, “seemed too good to be true—or legal.” Since 1994 the federal government has banned showerheads that deliver more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Hudson Reed’s luxury shower tower sprayed a whopping 3.95 gallons per minute.
At $500 per head, you might expect some pretty serious shower power, but the product testers at Consumer Reports were displeased by the company’s regulatory dodge. After confirming their findings, they reported Hudson Reed to the Environmental Protection Agency. So much for Hudson’s cannon-strength spray—and the consumers who might have enjoyed it.