The Biden Administration Crushes America’s Brief Experiment in Showerhead Freedom

Even with these uncertain times we know one thing: the new year will bring worsening and weaker showers.

On Tuesday, Trump’s deregulation allowed Americans to use multihead shower units. They emit less water and provide a cleaner, pleasanter cleaning experience.

This was a personal issue for President Donald Trump, who was known to lament the fact that even areas of the country with “tremendous water” had “sinks where the water doesn’t come out….You have showers where I can’t wash my hair properly, it’s a disaster!”

This is because of a regulatory change in 2013 that targeted multiheaded shower heads and their violation of energy efficiency regulations.

Showerheads must emit 2.5 gallons or less of water per minute since 1990. Some manufacturers began selling multiple shower heads, which not only met the water limit individually but also exceeded it together.

2013, changes made it mandatory that showers units had to adhere to the limit of 2.5 gallons per hour. The Trump Administration struck a rare blow for liberty in December 2020 by repealing the rule and allowing multiheaded units to be sold again.

Yesterday’s final rule by President Joe Biden’s DOE continued the regulatory tussle by reinstating the rule from 2013. Shower units cannot eject more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. The new rule will be in effect 30 days after it is published in Federal Register. This should take place within days.

The changes were cheered by energy efficiency groups.

Andrew deLaski (executive director, Appliance Standards Awareness Project), stated that “this was a stupid loophole from beginning and the Department was right to repair it.” Bloomberg. The good news? There was not much clamoring to get products that did this. We can now put this entire episode behind us.

A product that has been legal only for a couple of months is hard to demand. (The Biden Administration had previously announced that it was going to reverse Trump’s deregulation of showerheads back in July. It is still true, however, that the industry associations, The Washington PostIt notes that Biden’s Showerhead Reregulation was not pushed for by Trump in the write-up.

Indeed, trade associations representing appliance makers—alongside energy conservation and environmentalist groups—actively opposed the Trump administration’s deregulation on the grounds that they’d already spent money complying with existing regulations and the new rule would just open them up new competition.

Multiheaded showers were banned from the market by President Barack Obama in 2010. This was despite protests by many other manufacturers. The manufacturers argued back then that Washington did not have any business showing them how to use a showerhead. Their views about showerhead regulations have evolved over time, as millions of dollars were spent on compliance.

Ben Lieberman is a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and stated that if multi-headed units were allowed by regulations, “some manufacturer would make them, and will likely garner some market share.” There are reasons In July. Manufacturers who make compliant models see no benefit from allowing heavier flow models on the market.

The ongoing regulation of dishwashers by Biden is a case in point. However, this battle over showerheads proves that the industry does not necessarily support deregulation. Often, they’re just pro–status quo.