Showers: A Steamy Situation For Your Shower
If you are anything like us, your first morning challenge – especially during cold winter months – is maintaining your body temperature once you’ve left the warmth and security of your favorite blanket or quilt. Accomplishing this usually involves consuming some sort of heated liquid refreshment and then waiting for hot running water to pre-heat the shower stall to a comfortably toasty level. For some unknown reason, as we reflect on those waiting moments, the word “frozen” keeps coming to mind. If you haven’t ever had such an experience then you won’t need to consider what we discovered.
Recently, our steam shower went on the blink. That’s right, after 10 wonderful years of enjoying the “very most super-toasty” mornings – every single day all year round – we were left to freeze. Not one drop of steam. No more billowing warmth. Not willing to continue for very long as “the human ice cubes” we decided to look into a replacement unit. Hurry up let’s find one, buy it and get the old one replaced. What we were to discover was interesting, amazing and wonderful.
Before we tell you what we found we need to explain that a steam generator is nothing more than an overdeveloped electric tea kettle. Electricity turns water to steam, which is then sent through the wall via a short pipe or “spout” into your enclosed shower. Nothing could be simpler. The shower has to be tiled everywhere, including the ceiling, and the opening over the shower door needs to be sealed with a piece of safety glass, which corrals the steam and keeps it within the enclosure where it can do the most good. Here’s the kicker – you can take a steam shower and a regular shower – together – all at the same time. Talk about refreshing! Can you spell “really, really clean”?
You’ve been waiting for what we discovered right? In our search for a replacement we found that steam shower technology has improved over the past 10 years. Steam generators used to merely produce steam. Today they definitely do more. They are considerably more energy efficient, and come with optional features such as aromatherapy, something called “chromatherapy” – we’ll get to that in a moment; and waterproof speakers for in-shower music therapy. Who knew?
We interviewed Martha Orellana, Vice President of Mr. Steam, one of the country’s’ largest manufacturers of steam generators. Mrs. Orellana, lovingly known by company employees as “Mrs. Steam”, gave us an inside look at some pretty cool innovations.
Do you like the smell of eucalyptus, lavender or mint? How about during a shower? Mrs. Steam told us that today’s steam generators can be fitted with a built-in automatic scented-oil dispenser. How cool is that? The oil dispenser injects and blends aromatic oils directly into the steam. The Carey wives have spent more money than makes good “scents” at fancy health spas for nothing more than these same soothing whiffs. Martha says it’s a calming therapy, our response, “Not when you have to pay a big spa bill!”
According to Martha, “Like water and heat, light can affect how we feel.” If you don’t believe Martha then ask John Travolta how he felt in the seventies dancing under a mirrored globe illuminated by colored strobe lights. How about this one – you awaken and look out the window to see if the sky is blue or gray? Is it lighter or darker than usual? And how does that make you feel? Martha says that certain colors ranging from soothing shades of blue and green to sensual and energizing colors like red and orange can be selected to saturate the steam environment.” We know that the color of a room can have an emotional effect. So, what’s so different about the shower.
Music Therapy (sometimes known as Beatles-therapy or Bach-therapy):
This is what we call, “having it all” – “the icing on the cake.” Speakers in the shower, whispering your favorite tune. Sorry Martha, you are too late. We’ve had waterproof speakers in the ceiling of our shower for over 10 years. And yes, you’re right – music in the shower is incredibly soothing.
Now, for the rest of the story! There was absolutely nothing wrong with our steam generator. It was a bad wire in a nearby electric panel. Within an hour after discovering the problem, our unit was up and running again. We had steam! Kind of disappointing when we think about it though! We had actually been anticipating ordering all the features along with the replacement unit. Will someone loan us a big hammer?
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.