Quest for the ultimate shower head

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by ChristopherG, Oct 18, 2003.

  1. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

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    I am looking to replace the contractor provided showerhead in my master bath with one that provides powerful flow and "massaging action"[​IMG]. Any one feel that they have already discovered the ultimate showerhead?

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Male or female perspective? [​IMG]
     
  3. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Features to look for:

    1. Handheld - A shower head just sticking out of the wall is great for washing your hair, but it's lousy for shaving, thorough rinsing, or for getting in all those nooks and crannies. (As for male or female perspective, both genders have their share of nooks and crannies, albeit in different ratios.)

    2. Silicone Jets - If you live in an area with relatively hard water, or if your current shower head has a scaly buildup on the shower jets, then get one with silicone, rubberized jets. Scaly deposits don't build up on these, making maintenance and cleanup a lot easier, and maximizing the life of the fixture.

    3. Ergonomic Controls - If you want a shower head with lots of features, they should be easy to use. Forget the little, plastic, nubby dials that you have to depress and turn with your thumb. When you're wet and covered with soap, using these dials is about as easy as nailing jelly to a wall. Pick a unit with a large, rubberized, controls.

    4. Build Quality - I know its obvious, but get one that's not cheaply built. Unfortunately, that's not as easy as it sounds, because it's nearly impossible to get one that's not made primarily out of plastic. It helps a lot if you get to play with a display model before you buy. Fiddle with the controls, and see if they feel solid. Some units are actually quite bad, feeling as if the inner workings are held together by paper clips and rubber bands.

    5. High-Flow vs. High-Pressure - Decide if you want a high-flow or high-pressure system. A high-pressure system is probably best for cleaning, but a high-flow system is a lot more soothing and enjoyable. Pick a high-flow system if you like to enjoy your shower or if you intend to use the massage feature frequently.

    6. Gimmicks - Depending on what you want, gimmicks could be a good thing, or a bad thing. Just make sure that if you buy a geeky shower head, the myriad of controls won't break off in your wet hands.

    I settled for an Ondine/Rio handheld shower massage. It has all the features above (but it's not gimmicky), plus it's shower face is actually made of metal (though the rest of the body is chromed plastic). Its control ring feels supremely solid, it has silicone water jets that never clog up or spray in weird directions, and the shower massage feels really good after a day of laying flagstone in the back yard.

    You can see a picture and description of it here. My unit is the one on the bottom.

    I considered the Grohe units after reading good testimonials, but they were a little too gimmicky for my taste, and they felt really cheap and clunky in my hands. The controls of the Grohe units looked like they'd break off after two weeks of use. They may be great units, but I tend to avoid buying things that rattle that I don't think should.

    I'm happy with the Ondine/Rio unit I got, but I'm certainly open to other suggestions, so I'm eager to see where this thread goes.
     
  4. Ron Etaylor

    Ron Etaylor Second Unit

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    Funny Don, that was the first thing I thought too[​IMG]
     
  5. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    Most of them work great if you take them apart and remove the 'water saver' peice of plastic.
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    my issue isn't with the shower head, but that ANNOYING safety valve that makes you run full cold then add hot to adjust for temp, can't get it hot enough [​IMG]
     
  7. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    My shower isn't like that at all. I know this because when the water heater broke and installed a new one I was short one connector for the pipe and had to wait till morning to go to home depot. I just turned off the line from the heater.

    That next morning I had to take a shower. When I turned it to hot just to see what happens, no water came out. If it was like your set up then cold water would have come out with no hot water mix. And taking a shower on full cold is terrible, I had trouble breathing.
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i have the moen revolution shower-head. i really like it. it "spins" the water out - feels pretty cool.

    i verified that it actually does spin the water too. i put a cup under the shower-head and it formed a whirlpool - kinda neat.

    the only thing i wish was that the massaging action was harder, but i suppose that's because my home only has average water pressure. i miss my old house where the water pressure could actually hurt. [​IMG]
     
  9. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

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    BrianW - thanks for the good list of features to consider. As for the gender discussions on massaging action both my wife and I use this shower and I guess I was not considering the more prurient aspects of that from her point of view. :b

    Will check out the Ondine/Rio as well as the Moen revolution mentioned above. The research continues...
     
  10. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    There was already a thread on this maybe a year or two ago, search for more recs.
     
  11. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  12. Jason Boucher

    Jason Boucher Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to place my vote for the Speakman, with the plastic water saver removed. Not a massaging head, but very good flow and the head of choice in most of the better hotels.
     
  13. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    Steve_Tk, I agree wholeheartedly. I have a particular cheap plastic showerhead that I keep buying, then I drill out the center piece for maximum flow. Seinfeld hit the nail on the head -- pressure is the key to a good shower.
     
  14. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    Water volume is also an issue, the new water meter the water company installed in my house restricts the water flow and it really sucks
    you can not have anything else that uses water on (washing machine) and take a shower at the same time, never had that problem at last residence
     
  15. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    But what about water pressure regulation? I've been to old houses and homes in other cities/states and they have great pressure whatever shower head they have.... give you volume and pressure.

    My new house in California sucks! I came to the conclusion that the best shower head money can buy can't reproduce the pressure some of these old homes have.

    I remember when I lived in an apartment, it was great..... and washing your car was awesome!

    And don't even get me started on toilet bowls. I have to flush 3 x during my sitting just so I won't clog it up. Everytime my sister comes over, she forgets about the water regulation here and do only one flush afterward and has to ask me for a plunger.[​IMG]
     
  16. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Any of these shower heads uses less than 2 gals per minute...I'm trying to save money! [​IMG]
     
  17. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Drew try this one.
    Not for those into the rain-forest water fall bar designer setups. But much better in the long run.

    http://care2.greenhome.com/products/...ers/shf000006/

    I know it looks goofy, when I bought my first one it had advertising something like “used by the military” to conserve water. These come with a push button on the side to stop the water (without changing your hot/cold setup) for a few minutes while you soap.

    We never use it that way but we love it.

    We had a 65 year old home with NO water pressure ( finally just had the sewer/water redone last year) and a tendency to have showerheads clog quickly with impurities in the water supply. (even after reg de-liming etc). After having purchased several ‘designer’ water heads over several years with large pricetags.. I purchased one of the above for 4 dollars as a stopgap when one of our heads went out again. (I felt at the time…it was a quick fix till I researched a several hundreds dollars new facet setup I was going to shop for the following weekend).

    The little thing fixed all of our problems….with no water pressure we actually had a massage like (too hard to stand…flow) if we turned the flow values up too high.

    It did not clog up as fast as its 200+ dollar shower-head peers. Now we have been through 3 of these little heads in the last several years. LOVE them. Next time I purchase a new entire setup I’m ripping off the included showerhead for one of these.

    In all honesty it’s so tiny in diameter that it just looks like your 1” plumping extents into the shower.
    But it works…..feels ….great…saves water…..works like a charm with the son who now has this and a tankless water heater for his 30min to 1hr showers.

    Wives will hate its look in their new Roman style walk-in designer bathing room. I (who often rate style and taste high) am completely sold on them, some things are worth giving up for utility!


    PS: Home Depots stocks them usally hangling on a tiny strip display with the bottom-end cheap rental- property type fixtures) I don't care...the darn things are great!
     
  18. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    We had a thread a while back on this. Mine is a modified Water-Pik Cascadia. Like gentle rain on one setting. 2nd degree burns on the other. Love it.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    you like that head Zen?
    I was looking at heads at H-D this weekend and those look cool, spendy, but cool.
     
  20. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I bought that same one pictured in Zen's post for my wife.
    The first few days she felt like she was drowning. Next it's hard to get the head to stay where you want it. The arm doesn't seem strong enough to hold it in place. It also goes through the water fast. I took the restrictor out because water wasn't coming out all the holes. Other than those things it's a pretty good one.
     

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