Consumers Reported

Snitching to Uncle Sam

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.

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  • ||

    I don't see how this casts Consumer Reports in a bad light. If the showerhead was indeed recommended by Consumer Reports, and then sold to the public based on those recommendations, anyone who used it would eventually have to change it out for a new, less powerful unit, and the manufacturer would either have to refund the purchase price or pay a fine to the govt., maybe even both, and Consumer Reports itself could be held liable to make some sort of restitution. It would seem that, despite your misgivings regarding the 'snitching,' Consumer Reports did the right thing. had there not been a law in place I might be inclined to feel differently.

  • Eric||

    I can not imagine 3.95 gallons per minute. You'd drown.

  • Eric||

    Just for comparison - a report:

    A few years ago, showerheads delivered about 5 to 8 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 psi. The current standard for low-flow heads is 2.5 gpm at 80 psi. Some showerheads deliver only 1.6 gpm.

    Shower head report

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that!

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