For a moment, we are stepping away from the intense and intellectually deep topics of world domination, religious wars, crashing or soaring markets, threats to liberty and life; and we are going to focus on One Small Happiness.
(And, in a side bar, Happiness #1 and #2 ;-)
After a brief detour into a clogged toilet (more on that in a sidebar below) I, today, managed to finally install a new shower head that I bought about 3 months ago. I’m am now one Very Happy (and clean) Camper!
In California, the Green Nazis have specified that No Shower Shall Get You Clean Without Suffering. So we have an absolute limit at 2.5 Gallons per minute and many showers sold deliver 0.9 Gallons / minute. Long gone are the days of the wonderfully soothing flood of water, spread evenly over both shoulders…
I felt this loss most acutely while staying overnight at the home of GallopingCamel in Florida. His guest bath has one of those giant antique-style showers. About a foot in diameter with many wide spread individual holes for the water. Large water flow. I was in heaven. And began to “Covet”… No matter how much I thought “Be the empty vessel…”, I had a want.
After a lot of looking (Orlando, Florida has a nice selection of Lowe’s and Home Depot) I settled on a Delta Design. But forgot to pick one up there. Visiting back here in California, I visited the local Lowe’s and Home Depot. I had a certain kind of dread. Shower after shower praising their Green Credentials and touting their 0.9 (or less…) water ‘consumption’. Then I noticed what looked like the same Delta showerhead…
Investigation of the package showed it claimed to contain TWO shower heads, each at the 2.5 GPM max. (You get to assemble the ‘hand shower’ onto the hose that you attach to the “shower head” outlet). So, the main shower head is installed (with this threaded hole in the side / bottom). Meets the rules. Then a SECOND shower head is installed onto that hole. It, too, is only 2.5 GPM. It also happens to just perfectly nest into the “Shower head”…
The “controls” let you make the “hand shower” do a variety of patterns of water pulsing, including one that is just exactly the same ‘even flow’ as the “Shower Head”.
It also has a “pause” button so you can turn it off individually. (However, the package informs it has a mandatory “dribble” “feature” and it is not really off, just drooling… One can only suppose some Idiot Senator left his shower on “pause” and went to Europe for a month, then came home to find the hose gave out and flooded his bathroom. So now all of US get “dribble cups”, er, showers… The package warns that on ‘dribble’ the heat balance can change and you could get a cold shock or a scalding shot. The laws of physics on fluid dynamics past different orifice sizes not being subject to stupid Senatorial Mandates…)
The “Shower Head” has a lever on the side to divert water to the “Shower Head” or the “Hand Shower” or, right in the middle, to both at once.
Ah, the joy of “Rule Based Behaviour”…
Cruising the Delta web site did NOT show the model numberS I bought (packaged in one blister pack). But I didn’t do much searching… It may be a ‘California Special Package’ or just down a few links somewhere. It did show a single “model number” that looks just like it:
The model number is “Close” so the same family, at least. You can see more here:
So what did I buy? The package claims it contains TWO different shower heads:
Hand Shower: 7420GC
Shower Head: 7618GC
and visibly states “TWO Showers in one”
Gotta love it…
I finally had time to install it today. Easy to do (though I did not need the ‘wrench’ it specified as a needed tool and found that with the plastic fittings a 9 inch slip joint pliers was more than sufficient to get the old head off (using a papertowel folded to protect the finish) and installed the replacement simply turning it by hand. The LARGE shower head giving plenty of leverage to seal plastic to Teflon tape. Even the “hand shower” hose was attached by hand. (Then again I have large strong “farmers hands” and have had folks wince on shaking hands when I forgot to moderate…)
In the process of removing the old one (that had never been very good, but was worse lately) I found that the internal ‘screen’ was clogged with the normal scale found in iron pipes. In the process of cleaning THAT, I found that the 0.9 gallon restrictor could be removed once the screen was out. OK, ought to have noticed that some years ago. So it went off to the garage as an ‘emergency repair’ shower for use if anything goes wrong at 2 AM on Saturday with a Sunday Important Event on the schedule…
The new shower also has a screen between the shower head and the pipe, but a larger screen that will take longer to clog up. I didn’t check for “restrictors” behind it, as I wanted to see if this solution worked as advertized.
Using The Shower
I’m in heaven. It is a broad shower very reminiscent in effect to the GallopingCamel’s (even if not as classical nor as interesting visually). With the shower head on “both” or on “Shower head” the spray is roughly the width of the tub bottom, just inside the walls. (this is a standard suburbs tub, not a large luxury one…) We will not be changing where the shower head points much. On “Hand Shower”, the ‘coverage’ is a bit less (so less risk of hitting the walls) but still quite nice. On “both” you get that wonderful “drench” feeling, though at a little less total pressure.
Most of the time I’ll be using the “Hand Shower” setting. It’s “enough” and I don’t always want the “drench” feeling. Sometimes I’ll do the “drench” for a rapid wide rinse, or just for the feeling. It’s very nice to know it’s there…
I finished my “Maiden Voyage” shower in about 1/2 the prior time. Ah, efficiency! It’s been a while. Rapid wet, rapid lather, DRENCH rinse that removed ALL the soap very fast. (No more ‘dribble of water’ on one limb, rub for a while, still feel soap, rub some more, give up and move to the next limb) All up a wonderful experience. I suspect my total water use was about the same (never did run the smallish 30 gallon hot water tank down to cool) Stepped out feeling much cleaner and MUCH happier and with 5 to 10 more minutes in my life. AND I was in control of my experience.
Ah, Bliss 8-)
I have not been so happy with the creativity of Capitalism in a very long time. Makes my “Y” 2-bulb solution to the banning of 100 Watt bulbs look limited in comparison. ( 57 Watt bulbs are still sold in California, so a Y and two of them and you are back in 100ish Watt land and can see clearly again. When we drop to 40 W limits, two Ys will do it, and as “appliance” bulbs are exempt at 40 W, that solution generalizes for a long time….)
3 Flush Green Toilet Fix
OK, the sidebar on the toilet. About last November a friend decided to “help” with some plumbing issues. (A feed line into the house has sprung a leak). Along the way, this fix shed some scale that caused the shower to go a bit slower and caused him to ‘work on the toilet’. In the process, he managed to crack the nice 5 Gallon Tank. Of course, no replacements are available, so we ended up with a 3 gallon tank. (Hard to find, too, as IIRC, we’re at either 1.6 Gallon or 0.9 Gallon as the present “approved” ‘inspect your poo for three flushes and feel guilty about it’ toilets.)
OK, it “worked”. Sometimes in only 2 flushes (for #1)… Mostly in 3 flushes (for #2). Sometimes a “floater” would take 4 flushes.
A few months later, (just a couple of weeks ago) we had a “failure to perform” from the 4 inch line taking the “toilet stuff” to the street. Now I’m sure folks have had them clog up before (mostly from tree roots I suspect). But I’ve got no trees near it. I’ve never had one plug up in 50 some odd years of paying attention. So I thought about this a bit…
My conclusion was that the “poo wads” that HAD gone all the way to the Main Line in the street (take 4 inch pipe x 40 feet or so and 5 gallons has a pretty good odds of going all the way…) were stopping about 10 feet ‘down the line’ (remember THEY didn’t get ‘over the hump’ at the start of the flush, only near the end with most of the water long gone). There they could sit and slowly cement together with the paper wads (we have sometimes sent ‘paper towels’ down the pot too) and form a dam over time. Eventually setting up into a Plug.
After a few hours and two different treatments (gallon of bleach and jug of “semi-caustic almost works” drain clog remover – oh for the good old days of Lye Crystals and Drano Crystals that actually worked…) and some amount of letting hot water seep past (it was still slowly seeping) with some mechanical plunging… I got the “plug” mobilized enough to have the toilet work again.
OK, I’ve sporadically been running extra water ‘down the chute’ after a flush (hot water in the shower that joins about 2 feet from the ‘flush’… so helping to soften and mobilize whatever is still there). The new shower will help in that effort. But… I’m still doing the “2 flushes or 3?” and wondering if the smaller number contributes to plugging anyway?
Then An Answer came to me. (I’d pondered how to “dual tank” it, and how to make my own ceramic tank and…)
Get a nice cheap Gallon Jug like for lemonade (leave the lid off so it’s a Nice Big Hole). Fill with water in the shower. When a #2 moment comes, about 1/2 way into the “flush” when things are moving, but can’t make up their mind which way to go, dump it into the “pot”.
Ah, the sweet smile of success! A nice Forceful Flush ensues and the bowl empties like it always used to do!
Yes, a bit of a PITA to hand fill the Jug, but oh, that sweet smile of success 8-)
And no more “poo inspection moments” and no more “mandatory guilt”. Yes, once again I can “Flush With Pride!”