Shower massagers are one of the greatest inventions since indoor plumbing. Like coffee, chocolate and good smelling candles, they are small indulgence, a tiny bit of pampering in the midst of the hectic everyday.
Recommend this product?
Personally, I don't care for baths. I lived, for three years, in a house with a gorgeous garden bathtub. It was fun to decorate around the tub, but I never actually used it once. (I know, my friends were appalled, too.) What can I say? There is something about just sitting in water that is not appealing to me. Not only does it feel like a waste of time, but I have to have a shower afterwards anyway.
Showers are a different story. I love my showers, to the point of obsession. I love aromatherapy shower gels, exotically scented shampoos, creamy hair conditioners, loofa scrub mitts, natural bristle back brushes …soft, fluffy towels…and a warm and cozy robe.
Most importantly, I love lots of good, hot, powerful streams of water. Gotta have a good water heater, and gotta have a great shower massage head.
Waterpik Original Shower Massage Shower Head SM-3U
Two years ago, we picked up our family and moved into my husband's family home to help take care of his aging father. We weren't in our new home a day, when I asked my husband to pick up a new shower massage for my bathroom. One shower, a few moments before, was all I needed to know that I had to have "more power". I didn't give him much instruction other than the shower massage had to be hand-held, not just wall mount, and it better be good. Husband scored five stars by coming back with this Waterpik.
Hand held vs Wall Mount
Why did I want a hand held model?
While a wall mount model (which attaches directly to the shower pipe) can have all of the different massage levels as a hand held model, it is much less versatile. Usually less expensive, wall mount models are probably fine for small shower stalls or rarely used guest bathrooms.
A hand held model has a hose (five feet long on this model) which attaches to the shower pipe. The head fits in a permanent, yet adjustable bracket, meaning you can shower hands-free if you like - or you can use the hand held feature to:
* rinse shampoo from hair thoroughly
* clean, er, "hard to reach" spots on body
* bathe children quickly
* spray house plants (bring them in the shower first!)
* wash down shower walls on cleaning day
Take a tip from me, though, and don't be overzealous in bouncing the shower water on your hand held all over. Apparently there were a few heretofore unnoticed cracks in the shower tile. I managed to hit them a number of times with a stream of water, causing quite a leak in our kitchen ceiling below. It took two plumber visits for the origin of the leak to be determined and provided an excellent opportunity for my husband and the plumber to make fun of "women and their showers." Hrrumph.
When choosing your shower massage, spray settings are the most important consideration. On this model there are five spray settings.
* Turbo Pulse
My favorite. Whoosh -- powerful streams of water beating down on you in a rhythmic pattern. The turbo pulse is powerful enough to knock small children off their feet…and just right for waking me up in the morning. I use this setting virtually every time I take a shower.
An alternating combination of shower spray and pulse. I'm not sure why somebody would want this…I find the change back and forth highly annoying and avoid this setting like the plague.
A lighter version of turbo pulse, and most likely the setting appealing to a greater number of people. Yawn. Not enough power for me.
* Outside Spray
Just your normal shower spray. This is the setting for the kids, the dog bath, cleaning your shower walls, watering the plants in the tub.
* Center Spray
Kinda cool. This setting concentrates the spray in the center, producing a sort of "needle-like" feel to the water. While I prefer turbo pulse, the center spray setting provides a nice change of pace on occasion.
Installation is easy
I didn't install the Shower Massage myself, my dear husband did. I tried to interview him for this review, asking him about the installation experience. Unfortunately, he's refused to comply with my interview request, citing a desire not to aid and abet my recent obsession with writing Epinions. Still, I am able to tell you with complete confidence, that installation was easy, based on these following clues:
* My husband was able to do it without once calling his friend Tim the Plumber for help
* I did not hear a string of curse words coming from the bathroom during installation
* The shower head has not fallen off a single time and indeed worked perfectly fine on the first try with no adjustments
Trust me. This is the highest recommendation for easy you will ever get. My husband has many fine qualities, but home improvement is not one of them. If he can do it, you can do it.
Very important - do not use any bathroom cleaner on the showerhead. Solvents found in bathroom cleaners can actually weaken the parts under pressure. Just wipe the showerhead with a damp cloth.
The filter needs to be cleaned once a year or if you notice a reduction in water flow. This isn't hard. You just have to unscrew the shower massage hose nut from the shower pipe, remove the screen, and rinse.
Would I recommend this product to you?
Absolutely. I don't have a single complaint, not even a quibble. We've had ours for two years with bunches of showers and zero problems. Now, there was that ceiling leak in the kitchen, but you can't hold the shower massage responsible for that. Just blame "women and their showers''.
Of course, if you do, I'll get you back by telling the whole world how bad at home improvement you are.
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