How to approach long term guest about long showers?

The dilemma, a long term guest that likes to take 15-20 minute showers. It’s in the house rules that this home is Eco-Conscious/Eco-Friendly and to limit shower length. We, thankfully, are no longer experiencing a drought, but I’d be more comfortable if he could shave some time off of his shower length. How would you approach the guest?

I suggest installing a self-closing shower-faucet valve chain.

The water only flows when the chain is pulled down. This will limit overly-long showers with your guests.

Walmart sells these for $25. It is listed as an EZ-FLO Self-Closing Pull Chain Shower Valve.



Ha, I wonder what he’s doing in there.

I assume you mean 15-20 minute showers. So, you must have a low flow shower head already. Honestly it’s not a convo I want to have with guests. I do other things on my end to try to conserve water (Xeriscaping, reduce my own showers) and I don’t try to time a guests shower.


I would just get a watersense shower head and not have the conversation. Standard shower head is usually around 2.5 gallons per minute. Watersense one has to be under 2.0 gallons per minute.

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I don’t have the time to. Although I appreciate the lack of environmental awareness of people who do this, I don’t feel that it’s my job to be responsible for them or to educate them. Doing what I want and having shorter showers would only last for a couple of days anyway and then they’d be back to their old habits.

Once they’ve paid for the place , they can do what they like in there as long as it’s clean and quiet :slight_smile:

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We have them in all showers, it drastically reduced the wateruse:

  1. the shower gives less water.
  2. they spend less time under the shower, due to the reduced comfort.
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Dear Guest, I hope you are enjoying your stay and find the room comfortable and to your liking. Just a friendly reminder that we are eco-friendly and therefore limit the amount of water and electricity we. We thank you for cooperating by limiting your hot water usage and helping us conserve. If you have any questions please do not hesitate. We are happy to help in any way and happy your our guest. (Install a low flow shower head, or endless water heater).


Two months ago, we had four adults and two young children stay for one night. We only have one full-bathroom, with a shower/bathtub combination, in our downstairs guest space.

Each family member took a bath before their morning check-out. After the second bath, the group leader told me, there was no more hot water. I could only reply, they had to patiently wait for our whole-house water-tank to reheat.

I later posted a small framed-sign about this in the downstairs bathroom, cautioning multiple guests who all only want to take baths and not showers.

But I just found this 2011 article in the Stanford University of California magazine:

"Unfortunately, unless you’re taking 20-minute showers—more on that later—baths just can’t measure up in terms of water usage. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons. You might argue that very few people fill the tub to the top, but a simple calculation shows that either way, baths use more water. "


High Sierra 1.5gpm water saving shower head from Amazon $40 REALLY well made. I use it daily. Most of the others don’t last.

Also saves energy

You can superglue it on so they don’t swap it out


Totally agree with you.
I would rather limit the duration of my own showers, top up the pool less often, and that kind of thing, than to mention anything about that to guests.

I could, however, not stop smiling when I saw this thread.
Reminds me of my 2nd ever guests. He came to me, telling how impressed he was with the size of my geyser. He said that his back had been so sore, he literally stood under the shower for half an hour, and even by then, the hot water had still not run out. I was so shocked that I actually did not have words. Just said that I hope his back feels better. Afterwards though, the more I thought about it, the angrier I became. For him to actually admit that to me! Anyways, he will not be staying here again, that is for sure.

Especially for him being a fellow South African, for him to do that when he knows so well that water is SO scarce here…

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I haven’t actually timed it… it was just a guess - but he is in the shower before I get up in the morning and still in there when I leave the house, which takes me about 15-20 minutes.


the thing is would they complain in the review about it?
to the OP, that’s one of the reason I don’t rent long term.

I understand your point, however there is a lot of competition for ST in my area. LT provides a steady income and means that I have fairly regular bookings.

Could you swap out the shower head for a low-flow or put a flow restrictor in? I don’t see this going well if you talk to him about it. The eco-friendly things don’t go down well with guests but you’re right, we need to save the planet and it isn’t a big inconvenience to limit the shower length or amount of water used. People just feel entitled and then you get into the “I paid to be here and I expect things!”

Understandably you are concerned about water usage but the rare guest who goes over your “allotted time” is probably few and far between. Honestly, if I have to shower, wash/condition my hair plus shave legs/underarms it can be 15 minutes. Maybe this guest is doing multi-tasking, such as shaving in the shower also…who knows. However, IMHO just let it go unless he is there for a long term stay and then gently approach him.

… and they are free to stay someplace else, where the host doesn’t care. I do care - enough that I put it in the House Rules.


One of my long terms takes long showers twice a day. Axe murder. Then I started to track my utility bills closely. We saw a glitch last month, but in reality our bills are excellent.

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(…imagine the voice of Eeyore) Okay… good point… I’ve decided to put a pin in it for now. It could be worse - He could be emptying the hot water heater.

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I’m sure you promote you listing as eco friendly. You should add a shower timer and then picture it in the listing and sell it as a feature. Then if you do get a water hog at least they can’t get a refund from Airbnb because you weren’t supplying a promised amenity.