At Your Command

Local inventor creates a showering device that lets you control water flow

Erol Chandler's Shower Commander
Erol Chandler's Shower Commander

Anywhere from 2.5 to 4 gallons of water per minute flow from a standard showerhead, says local inventor Erol Chandler. That’s a lot of water circling down the drain.

This past November, Chandler, who makes   artisan lamps locally and is a former science teacher, began engineering his most recent invention: the Shower Commander.

Shower Commander is a foot-operated device designed to control when a person turns water on or off while showering, such as when shaving or when using less water due to budgetary or conservation reasons.

The shower device, which is air-operated, requires no electric or battery-operated technology and functions like a click pen. Shower Commander is installed by unscrewing the showerhead, placing the device on the threaded nozzle and then reattaching the showerhead.

Inside the Shower Commander is a valve that controls turning on and off the water, which is activated when the button attached to a plastic cord is pressed — the device’s button has a suction application that sticks to a surface in the shower stall. Air pressure from pressing the button moves the valve inside Shower Commander, turning water on and off at whatever temperature it was when turned off.

Currently, Chandler’s invention is in the final stages of prototyping through PRG Prototyping, an engineering company based in Kansas. The next step is raising funds via Kickstarter to make the molds for the device prior to manufacturing.

Though this invention, which Chandler intends to globally market, supports the efforts of water conservation, Chandler explains that his intention is not to guilt anyone into buying this product in order to conserve water. Instead, he views his invention as a common-sense tool that allows people to use water efficiently and save money.

“I’m not coming at this approach like everyone needs to have a Shower Commander or this is how we change the world,” Chandler says. “However, I think it can change the world. If you use it, it really can make a big difference.”

Shower Commander, while not officially priced, could cost between $30 and $60. Chandler says that he intends Shower Commander to be “something that is tangible that people can actually afford so we can actually make a difference. If you have one, you don’t have to feel like you have the weight of water conservation on your back.”

Chandler says he hopes that Shower Commander can start conversations. “It’s not something you just install and forget about,” he says. “Because you have to be an active participant, you do start thinking about what you are using and what you are not.”

On April 20, Chandler and his Shower Commander team launched a Kickstarter to raise about $35,000 to cover the cost of molding the product for manufacture and for the first batch of Shower Commanders. The Kickstarter campaign will last for approximately 30 days, Chandler says, adding that he hopes to have a finished product by August of this year. ν

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