Friday, July 20, 2007

The Saga of the Shorty Showerhead

This was our showerhead. It's nice enough, it has fantastic water pressure, coming from a time when there was an endless water supply. But it was short. My dear husband had to either duck down to get underneath it, or stand way back against the wall. So we bought a nice little extender arm and a pretty new showerhead. What's easier than swapping out a showerhead?? not much, really.. but sometimes it's not as easy as it ought to be.

This is the ball joint at the end of the shower arm. Apparently, it was rather standard back in the day, but I'd never seen one before.
No problem, I said.. it's got a threaded fitting. Surely there is an adaptor for it.

This is the standard adaptor for the fitting. The picture clearly illustrates my typical experience with "one size fits all."

There was one other adaptor, but the threads on it were completely wrong. The nice man at the fantastic hardware store down the street told me to just swap out the shower arm. But I was nervous about doing that because it disappeared behind the wall so far that I couldn't see where it connected to the pipe. How could I see if the new joint leaked if I couldn't see the connection? He thought that made sense, so he gave me the number of a nearby plumbing place that he thought would have the fitting. They didn't have anything either. "Swap out the shower arm," they told me. "It's probably only half an inch back into the wall." When yet another plumbing store told me the same thing, I gave in and bought the $3 shower arm and decided to try my luck. Plus, I bought a cool strap wrench so I wouldn't scratch any of the shiny new chrome.

Here's the shiny new shower arm sticking out of the wall. It connects to the pipe 2.5" inches back inside the wall! But the whole bathroom is going to be redone anyway, so at the very worst we'd have a little more rot in the wall we're going to tear out anyway. Doesn't seem to be leaking though.. I put some teflon tape on to be sure, which is more than was there before.

Not a scratch on it!

Here's the new extender arm that crumpled while I was tightening it. That joint was like a sprinkler when I turned the water on.

The next one I used my cool new strap wrench on, and it went smashingly.

And here - drumroll, please - is the fully operational, husband-height, non-leaking, non-scratched, non-crumpled showerhead. You can shut the water off by turning the head, which I think is a much better way to save water than trying to clean off under a super-low-flow drippy showerhead!

You can see that I left the escutcheon off.. with the hanging shower caddy it always hung down anyway..

This just in.. apparently it's somewhat difficult to turn the water back on while your hands are all soapy.. but I don't think it's anything a washcloth couldn't fix.

So the saga ends.. next up, the washing machine!

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