Give Yourself A Hand Shower – On the House

Give Yourself A Hand Shower

By on September 1, 2015

There aren’t very many projects that you can undertake in your home that will cost you less than $30 that can offer as much convenience as adding a hand-held shower. Yes, you can spend more – easily – but the truth is you can get a really good quality hand-held shower with a hose and a mounting cradle for only $19.95 – plus tax. We can speak from experience when we say that you definitely can get cleaner with a hand-held shower. Oh, and cleaning the shower is easier too! And don’t forget the physically challenged. If you can’t get Mohammed to go to the mountain then all you have to do is bring the mountain to Mohammed – get it?

There are so many choices. And besides choosing which hand-held unit is the best there are a couple different ways that they can be installed as well. Here are a few things that you may want to know about hand-held units:

Most hand showers are made of plastic – even the very expensive ones. The reason is plastic is lighter than metal. And lighter is easier to hold onto. There also is a good possibility that you will occasionally drop it. A plummeting solid-brass hand shower can really put the crush on an innocent bare toe that gets in the way – even a light-weight plastic unit would really hurt. By the way we still can’t figure out why they charge more for the expensive ones. The water flow seems to be equal between those costing $20 and the ones that sell for $200 or more. Keep in mind that there are poor quality shower heads that cool hot water by vaporizing it. Cooling hot water is a bad thing – especially as expensive as it is to heat water these days. Stick with one of the major name brands and you probably won’t have to deal with this problem.
If you decide not to purchase a kit unit be careful when it comes to choosing a hose to go with your hand shower. Metal hoses scratch, discolor, rust and corrode. They are heavy and can tear up your shower stall. A plastic hose is lighter – making it easier to hold onto. And a soft plastic hose can’t damage your shower like a metal one. Oh, and plastic hoses hold up better than metal ones.
A hand shower can replace your existing showerhead or it can be used in tandem with it. Although most folks replace, there are diverter valves that can be installed directly onto the shower arm that allow a hand shower to be installed while the existing showerhead remains. The diverter allows water to flow through either the existing showerhead or the hand-shower depending on the position of the control lever.
There are two kinds of valves: 1) the push-pull type, and 2) the conventional dial type. The push-pull type can be difficult to operate – especially if you have an arthritic condition – a substantial amount of force is required to reposition some push-pull valves. Test the valve to find out how hard it is to operate before plunking down your hard-earned cash. Keep in mind that water valves are more difficult to operate when they are installed and under pressure.

As we mentioned earlier hand-showers can be purchased in kit form and when purchased this way one can count on finding a mounting bracket in the box. But not all hand-showers come in kits and a hand-shower cradle that connects to the shower arm is not the only option available. Fancier mounting bars also are available that look like vertically mounted towel bars. With this kind of mount the cradle that holds the hand-held is adjustable and slides up and down the full length of the bar. Some manufacturers offer other accessories that can be mounted on the bar such as a tooth brush holder and a bar soap holder.

A bar style cradle mount is attached to the shower wall with screws. Don’t be afraid. A masonry drill can be used to cut a hole through most shower wall surfaces like a hot knife through butter. A plastic lag shield is then pressed into the drilled hole and the screw goes into it. Silicone should be used to seal the connection between the bar mounts and the shower wall where screws create penetrations.

If you are planning on completely remodeling your bathroom and want a really fancy shower you can install a built-in diverter valve that can redirect the flow of water through two or more shower heads. Diverters of this type can redirect water from one showerhead to another and back – or both at the same time. How’s fancy is that? This kind of system involves the addition of a second outlet pipe just for the hand shower – completely separate from the main showerhead.

For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener line any time at 1-800-737-2474! All you need to do is leave your name, telephone number and your question.

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