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More on showers

Posted 08-10-2009 at 06:50 AM by faucetman886

As I was saying on Friday’s blog, shower technology has changed from a simple bathing experience, using rudimentary ideas such as my son’s bucket solution or the first “shower”, I ever remember seeing , a rubber hose that snapped onto the tub faucet. Today it takes an engineering degree to figure out the choices available. I discussed, on Friday, the code requirement of a protective safety shower valve. Today let’s talk about some of the choices, and there are many, of shower heads.
Single Head- you can choose the single head with no adjustment for water stream or with infinite control for massage and spray. This is the most basic type of shower and is most frequently replaced, at least, with the massage option. It’s an easy transition because all you have to do is replace the head. No real plumbing changes and doesn’t take a lot of talent, just unscrew the old basic head, apply a little pipe dope or Teflon tape and screw on the new head. If you haven’t done this simple change you will be pleasantly surprised as to how wonderful one of these adjustable spray heads can be.
Hand Held Shower – The next step past the above is the hand held shower head. This option gives you all that the adjustable spray head does but puts it on the end of a hose that allows you to hold it in your hand and spray yourself all over rather than just standing under the traditional shower. This option is great for getting to hard to reach spots, for shampooing, and can be exciting when you are trying to be “green” and saving water by showering with a friend…LOL. This is also a simple solution requiring the same thing as the single shower head, no plumbing changes or experience. Just remove the old head and screw on the new hand held assembly. These hand held models can be very affordable starting at less than $20 and going up into the hundreds depending on options and quality.
Multiple Head Systems- Usually requiring provisions during the initial installation, these shower heads are basically more than one shower head attached on a single pipe from the wall (a simple change as the ones above) but can be as complicated as heads on different areas of the tub/shower and having different valve controls allowing for different water temperatures on each head. There are multiple head systems that work on sliding bars, on forked pipes and that, as I mentioned above, may be each installed on their own piping. In this latter form think “body sprays” around the inside of a shower coming from all directions. These can be very expensive because they require multiple outlets, valves, diverters and controls.
Rain Style Heads- by far the newest trend in showers, the “rain” head provides a spray that simulates a rain stream. These can be mounted on a pipe from the wall, thus can be a simple change as with the first two above, but more likely are ceiling mounted and will have to be plumbed during the initial construction. Mounted from the ceiling one or multiple rain shower heads allow you to stand in a spray of water that will feel like you are out in a nice spring rain. A warning…as nice and popular as these are they can be very expensive based on quality and size with some of these showerheads as large as 12” across.
Because of expense and the potential need for some very complicated plumbing you should examine all of the options and decide what you want before starting a new bathroom or the renovation of an old one. With the right choices you can create a great shower environment that will make bath time fun for the whole family, almost as fun as a flock of rubber duckies from your childhood.
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