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 so they clean more easily.

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 disaster was caused by a 2013 regulation change that targets multiheaded showers units, and their supposed violation energy efficiency regulations.

Showerheads must emit 2.5 gallons or less of water per minute since 1990. Manufacturers began to sell showerheads with multiple heads. Each head met that limit, but combined they exceeded it.

2013. The changes required that whole shower units adhere to the 2.5 gallons/minute limit. Trump’s administration made a small concession in 2020 and lifted that restriction, allowing multiheaded shower units to return on the market.

Yesterday’s final rule by President Joe Biden’s DOE continued the regulatory tussle by reinstating the rule from 2013. The maximum allowed shower head flow rate for whole units is 2.5 gallons. The new rule will be in effect 30 days after it is published in Federal Register. This should take place within days.

Groups that promote energy efficiency cheered these changes.

Andrew deLaski is the executive director for the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. Bloomberg. This is the good news: there wasn’t any clamoring for these products, so we can move on with our lives.

You can’t clamor to buy a product which was only legal for a few months. (In July, the Biden administration announced that it was going to reverse Trump’s deregulation of showerheads. It’s true, though, that there are industry groups who, The Washington PostNotes in its report on Biden’s showerhead regulation, that it did not advocate for Trump’s changes.

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 protestations from many other manufacturers. They argued that Washington didn’t have the right to tell them how to shower. 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 markets 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 shows how the industry does not necessarily support deregulation. Often, they’re just pro–status quo.