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Xmas Presents, From Us To Us

A Gift Of Personal Luxury

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It’s getting tough to get a good shower in these days. Many municipalities have lowered the water pressure in an effort to make their aging system of pipes last longer. In an effort to conserve water, the government has decreed that no new shower head can be sold that flows more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Up until this year most manufacturers have complied with that law by inserting a flow restricting washer in their shower heads, which you can remove. I hear that such rebellious non-compliance will no longer be tolerated by our masters at the EPA, and that starting next year the flow restrictors will be built in. Which means we might need to buy some drill bits ...

All new toilets use less than 2 gallons per flush too, and new faucets are also limited to the 2.5gpm amount. Many of the modern, stylish, water saving loos actually do a very poor job of flushing, aroma control, and, um, targeting. You wind up flushing twice or more.

A “water saver” shower head can save even more water, but nearly always does such a poor job of washing away the soap that you’re left feeling a bit sticky. I can’t stand them.

When we moved into this condo the installed shower head was “OEM”, one of those simple old 70s heads that flowed a whole lot of water, but sprayed it out in a great wide ring. Huge blobby streams, but you could almost put your face right up to it and stay dry, because all the water was shooting out above you, around you, and down at your feet. No good. In the closet we found a brand new Moen brand head, a plastic thing shaped a bit like a flattened mushroom. It had 3 settings, so we gave it a try. The settings turned out to be Weak, Mist, and Tickle. There had to be something better.

We found a thing at Amazon called a Thunderhead. It’s a shower head that seems to be a cross between a power shower and one of those fancy rain shower heads, but at a fraction of their very spendy prices. For only $90 you get a plastic head on a plastic arm extension, and the jets are some kind of flexible synthetic rubber. The reviews were mostly very positive, but many people noted that they had to rub the jets all the time to clean them so they wouldn’t clog. And $90 for a hunk of plastic? Phooey. There has to be a better way.

Enter highpressureshowerheads.com. This is a little company that has looked at the entire shower head market, actually gone and tested most models, and elected to carry only shower heads that really work. But what if you don’t want a shower so strong that it feels like it could be used to strip paint? What if you want something fairly potent but also a bit luxuriously voluminous? They have that one covered as well.

Finally, a Rain shower head that delivers superb pressure!

Brass, fully-skirted body with individual solid brass nozzles that deliver near-laminar flow for outstanding pressure. Face is 5.5 inches in diameter, just large enough to look great but small enough to deliver much more pressure than larger rain shower heads with 8” or 10” heads. This is the only true Rain-style shower head we’ve found that meets our requirements for pressure and quality construction. Water flows through individual cast brass precision nozzles, not just dimples or holes like many inferior models. Be sure to click on the photo to get a better view! It’s a really attractive shower head.

The pressure is so strong that this shower head provides far greater pressure than most standard size shower heads on the market. Unusual for rain shower heads, ours can be mounted directly on traditional shower arms.

In accordance with the law, this one comes with a 2.5gpm flow restrictor installed. It also comes with instructions on how to remove the restrictor. And a handy little wrench in case you ever need to remove one of the machined brass nozzles for cleaning, or replace it’s individual O-ring seal. The quality of the head is quite good, and it isn’t even made in China.

After we got home Christmas night and she went right to bed and fell asleep, I swapped in the new head for the disappointing plastic Moen one. After first removing the restrictor washer, bad boy. The whole job took me about 3 minutes, and that’s with applying some new Teflon tape to the threads. I didn’t say anything. She goes in this morning to take a shower. I hear the water start running, and about 4 seconds later I hear “WOW!!” She was done in far less than half the time too. The head projects large individual strong streams of water; plenty enough jet pressure to give you a moderate “blasted clean” sensation, but also plenty enough water to give you that nice soaking downpour feeling you want a rainshower head for. Why choose one or the other when this one gives you both?

Rainshower heads are usually designed to hang from a vertical arm. Not this model. I installed this one on the standard shower arm so that the water projects at the typical downward angle. I’ve read that a completely vertical shower can make it difficult to clean certain nooks and crannies, which the angular spray handles. The can part of the shower head holds a cup or more water, so it drips quite a bit from the lowest nozzle when you’re done. The head comes mounted on a ball joint, so it’s an easy solution to just point the thing down afterwards, and all the water drains out from all the nozzles in just a couple seconds.

Best $60 I’ve spent in a long time. It comes in 4 finishes to match any bathroom decor.



Posted by Drew458    United States   on 12/26/2012 at 10:30 AM   
 
  1. We have those never-to-be-sufficiently-damned low flow toilets. They’re a royal pain in the ass (sorry...). To dispose of solid waste usually takes more than one flush, which defeats the ‘hole’ (sorry again) purpose. I heard at one point a few years back there was a flourishing smuggling enterprise bringing in Canadian ‘regular’ (last one, I promise) toilets - seriously. (Updated here.)

    Our house motto is now “Flush early and often.” Each bathroom has its own plunger, and our kids learned to use them when they were in elementary school.

    As for the shower heads, we get our water from a well. Even after running it through a water softener it still has a fair amount of minerals in it, so about once every six months or so I soak the shower heads and faucet aerators in vinegar. Makes a noticeable difference.

    Yours, however, is much nicer looking.

    Posted by CenTexTim    United States   12/26/2012  at  11:59 AM  
  2. CenTex, the photo doesn’t do it justice. We got ours in the brushed nickel finish and it’s gorgeous.

    Posted by Drew458    United States   12/26/2012  at  12:24 PM  
  3. Don’t ya just love the internet for finding those obscure items you use to scour the yellow pages for.
    Back in September I replaced the lighting in the folks kitchen but Mom also had an old chandelier in the dining room with some cracked hurricane lamp style shades ( “hurricane” is the design style). Anyway, After a few Google searches for “lamp shades” and the usual 20 dead ends I trip onto a place with an almost perfect match for just $10 each. Mind you these glass globes were over 45 years old or better( house was 1938 and no idea when chandelier was installed) yet a perfect shape and the etching is almost exact.
    Geez, I sound like a member of a sewing circle,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Posted by Rich K    United States   12/26/2012  at  07:32 PM  
  4. Im wondering when the powers that be (geniuses they are) mandate we use the old fashoned cisterns on the wall so the tricle has som momentum to carry its load round the bend (way back I stayed in a hotel inland from Venice, old place with 12 foot ceilings and the flush was like a pressure washer, took a few seconds to reach the bowl after the lengthy chain war pulled)

    Posted by Chris Edwards    Canada   12/27/2012  at  03:23 PM  
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