The American Standard FloWise 1660.717 uses only 1.5 to 2 gallons per minute (gpm) of water, yet still manages to deliver a strong stream that doesn't lose its heat. Its three settings (full spray, turbine massage and combination) suit a variety of tastes, although many wish the shower head didn't automatically reset to the lowest-flow setting after use. Also, users with low water pressure may find this shower head's flow too weak.
A strong stream that stays warm. Both professional testers and home users like the feel of the American Standard FloWise 1660.717 shower head. A few find the spray setting too prickly, while others say the turbine feels too misty, but nearly all owners can find a setting they like. One exception is those with low water pressure, who complain that the FloWise gives them a feeble drizzle rather than its usual strong stream. Also, while professional testers say the FloWise does an excellent job of keeping hot water hot, some consumer-reviewers say it feels tepid, especially in the turbine mode.
Resets automatically. Professional testers say the American Standard FloWise 1660.717 makes it easy to switch among settings. What's not easy, however, is keeping the setting you like, as this shower head automatically switches back to its 1.5-gpm setting after use. Some reviews say this makes sense, since you'll save more water by defaulting to the lowest-flow setting, but it's a real nuisance for many users -- especially shorter folks who have trouble reaching the shower head to reset it. Installation is easy for most owners, but some complain that there are no instructions and customer service isn't helpful.
Possible problems with leaks. Rather than solid metal, the American Standard FloWise 1660.717 is made of chrome-plated plastic, which feels flimsy to some users. We also saw several complaints that the shower head leaks. Some owners say theirs leaked around the head right after installation, while others report that it developed a leak during the first year of use. We also found one report of a more dramatic failure: a shower head that suddenly broke and fell off during use. A few users also say that the shower head is a bit large for their tastes, but most don't find it a problem.
Male and female staffers at ConsumerReports.org test 18 different shower heads, including the American Standard FloWise 1660.717, over an eight-week period. They measure flow rate and water temperature and evaluate each shower head based on the feel of the water flow and the ease of adjustment.
Review: Showerheads, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
2. The New York Times
Reviewer Stephen Treffinger tests 17 water-saving shower heads in his home, rating each one for comfort, flow rate and usefulness of spray settings. He recommends the American Standard FloWise 1660.717 for its "generous" spray and low water use, but he doesn't name the models that failed his tests.
Review: Saving Water, Staying Clean, Stephen Treffinger, Aug. 26, 2009
We found more than 185 reviews for the American Standard FloWise 1660.717 at Amazon.com, with ratings averaging 4.1 stars out of 5. Owners like the shower head's strong stream and low water use, but some dislike the fact that it automatically resets to the lowest-flow setting when turned off.
Review: American Standard 1660.717.002 FloWise 3 Function Water-Saving Showerhead, Chrome, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2013
Nearly 50 reviewers at Lowes.com give the American Standard FloWise 1660.717 an overall rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. Owners praise the shower head's easy installation, water efficiency, strong pressure and adjustable settings. Overall, 96 percent say they would recommend it.
Review: American Standard 2-GPM Polished Chrome FloWise 3-Spray Showerhead, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of December 2013
The American Standard FloWise 1660.717 has more than 45 reviews at HomeDepot.com. It earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, and 89 percent of users say they would recommend it. Owners give the shower head 4.3 stars for quality, 4.1 for value and 4.7 for ease of installation.
Review: American Standard FloWise 5-1/2 in. 3-Spray Water-Saving Showerhead in Satin Nickel, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of December 2013