I am always surprised when I see a shower or a tub installation that does not have a hand shower. I have no idea how either can be cleaned without this admirable device. I am sure that there was a time when a hand shower was an exotic add on to an already expensive project. However, the small additional cost is easily balanced by its function.

In order to operate both the hand shower and the shower head, you need to install a diverter. Showers are normally engineered so that the valve, either thermostatic or pressure balance, turns on the overhead shower first. A valve called a diverter takes the water that is flowing from the overhead shower and delivers it to the hand shower. A simple turn makes this happen. (See diagram).

There are several variations on the hand shower theme. The simplest is a hand shower on a hook where the head hangs from its “neck”. Simply remove the hand shower from its’ hanging device, turn the diverter handle and the water comes out of the head, but not out of the overhead shower. The style of the bath determines the style of the hand shower itself; install either a traditional head or a modern cylindrical one.

There is also the option of a hand shower on a bar. This is a great alternative especially when a large rain shower is installed. The hand shower can act as the regular shower head to prevent water from spraying on your head. Additionally, the hand shower on a bar is designed to move up and down to better protect newly coiffed hair.

Hand showers can also sit in a cradle. This device allows the head to sit facing down parallel to the floor supported by double prongs. This works as well as the hand shower on the hook.

Bathtubs as well as showers need a hand shower. You can more easily bathe your dog or rinse yourself after a soapy bath with a hand shower. Finally, you can clean the tub when the bath is over.

Exposed tub shower mixers almost always come with a hand shower. Bath fittings that are mounted on the deck for a soaking tub have the option of hand shower or not. I would always opt for the hand shower with the diverter built into the spout. Again, cleanliness is easily accomplished with the trusty hand shower.

This is a post where the pictures speak for themselves. The hand shower is part of the European way of life. I have been in countless wonderful hotels where there is a great bathtub and only a hand shower for showering. It is slightly awkward for hair washing but it forces you to have a long soak in the tub and then have a delicious cool rinse with the hand shower.

Barbara
bsallick@waterworks.com

 

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Comments

  • Nina Hancock   /   February 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Upon seeing this drawing, I wished recommended mounting heights for the components would have
    been included. I totally agree with your comments about the need for a hand shower…it’s a necessity.

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