The Treehouse + The Cave


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Saturday, December 11, 2004

Impromptu Engineering

Problem:

We had just moved into a new apartment.
A loft in quite an industrial building really.

As a house warming/birthday gift, my best friend gave me a fancy, dual-head, multi-mode showerhead.
After installing the showerhead, I turned on the water to give it a test.
The water just dribbled out.

After a sigh and the removal of the showerhead, I set about destroying the flow restrictor required by US law.
It's a conical black rubber bastard with 3 small holes in it.

Flow Restrictors

It took an X-Acto, a drill bit and a pair of needle-nosed pliers (used to detick my dog as a kid) to dig that motherfucker out.
But I got every last rubbery chunk out of there, and screwed the showerhead back in.

Second Test: It's fucking Niagra Falls, this shower looks like it will be the best of my life.
Two independently postionable heads.
Each variable from traditional shower to "massage".
Killer water pressure.

So, I of course picked up my tools and took a celebratory/benchmarking shower.
It was great.

Except for the fact that I ran out of hot water.
Turns out, the cheap Hasidic landlords cut every corner they could when dividing up this building.
And gave us a coffee can for a water heater.
The walls are also so thin that yesterday we were serenaded by my neighbor's nostalgic TV Themesong Countdown.
Duck Tales.
Mission Impossible.
Three's Company.
Knight Rider.
But that's another story.

While the amount of water is certainly sufficient for one person to have a comfortable and lengthy shower.
It is not sufficient for two people to take back-to-back showers in a casual manner.
Heather and I both work and leave at around the same time, so this shit wasn't cool.

Hypothesis:

What I really needed was just a way to choose my own water pressure.
A way to vary it from post-coital trickle to Seinfeldesque torrent.

Solution:

I spent the best $8.00 I've ever spent.
On a Ball Valve.

Ball Valve

I screwed a 3/4" Ball Valve onto the water supply stem coming out of my shower wall.
I screwed a 3/4" Brass Nipple (threaded male at either end) into the Ball Valve.
And I screwed the showerhead onto that.

Now we have independently variable temperature and water pressure controls.
On the days I know there's enough time for the water heater to refill after my shower, I let that water flow freely.
And on days where there's a queue, I am a bit more conservative.

It is easily the best shower I've ever had.
And just as I harrass my guests with knowledge of this contraption, I harrass you.

Anonymous ToastyMallows thought:

Very well done.

August 30, 2008 at 12:46 AM - Comment Permalink  

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