modifying shower heads

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by mabu, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. mabu

    mabu New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I just purchased one of those Discover 7 shower heads. It seems pretty nice but the flow from this unit is much lower than my old head.

    Assuming I don't install the shower head in any locale where there may be code restrictions, how might I modify this shower head to improve flow? Does the backflow restrictor affect throughput?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    "Assuming I don't install the shower head in any locale where there may be code restrictions,"

    Bagdhad would qualify. If you live anywhere else, welcome to the 21st century. You are just going to have to live with it.
  3. mabu

    mabu New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Exactly... I'm in Baghdad.

    Now can I get a straight answer from you people? Or is that too much to ask in this forum?
  4. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I was going to try to help, but changed my mind after reading that last post.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2005
  5. mabu

    mabu New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Why plumbers suck

    In other words... what?

    You want to know why nobody has respect for subcontractors any more? It's because of the two pompous replies thus far.

    Is the depth of your wisdom so shallow that you need to dole it out in teaspoons? Are you that insecure of your usefulness that you need to be like this?

    I can figure this stuff out for myself. It's not rocket science. So fine. Screw you guys. You can claim your little plumbing superiority throne. I'll go find some other place where people aren't so insecure and arrogant about what they know. Not that it matters. I was trying to save a half hour of messing with the obvious, which I can do myself and figure it out anyway, so thanks for nothing! What goes around comes around. This is totally ridiculous that I get such responses from a simple question.

    I'm a highly skilled technical person. I am not a plumber, but i've been systematically renovating my house myself and the one thing I've found is that I can do a better job than any "pro" because the truth of the matter is that most of them are scam artists that have a few tricks and are otherwise inferior. I can design electronic circuits and program computers. And plumbing is insurmountable? I think not. I thought I might inquire among this forum for some sage advice, but what do I get? The same old crap. Inbred, self-righteous, unworthy a**holes that primarily make their living by keeping their clients in the dark. Pathetic.

    You people might find out if you help others selflessly, without having to have your fragile ego pampered, you might fare better. What a drag!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2005
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The 2.5 gallon per minute is a FEDERAL water conservation requirement. That is why you cannot find any other type of showerhead in the US. For most showerheads now the 2.5 GPM is achieved by internal design and there is no simple way to override this. If you want to take your showerhead and fiddle around with it, you will have to do that on your own. You won't be the first person to do that.

    Low flow from shower heads is tied for 1st place with poor performig low flush toilets as far as complaints received on a DAILY basis by plumbers. The problem is caused by the GOVERNMENT and not by the plumbers. If you have a complaint, take it up with the environmental wackos, not me!
  7. mabu

    mabu New Member

    Messages:
    5
    You still didn't answer my question... maybe you don't know?

    Does the backflow restrictor affect throughput?

    From my cursory observation, it seems like it would. I am not asking for a political discussion on environmental regulations. I'm simply asking which elements of the fixtures have an impact on flow. This to me seems like a pretty straightforward question. I'm not asking what religion or political affiliation you are. I'm not asking whether you think the EPA regulations are designed by "wackos." I don't feel posing this question requires me to identify what country and regulations I'm bound by. Just a simple question... or so I thought.
  8. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    If you read over the forum, you will find everyone goes out of their way to help whenever possible. From your responses you must be great, probably invented the internet also.

    Best of luck on your modifications.

    Paul


  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Regarding the backflow preventer: Anything in the water path which is other that a smooth full diameter pipe will affect flow at least a little. I have not seen a manufacturer's chart which describes how much it affects the flow.

    Now, not ALL codes require a backflow preventer on a hand held shower unless it is used on a Roman tub situation. So it may be perfectly OK to remove that device from your shower. In fact, more often than not today hand held showers are sold without this device. You didn't actually mention that yours was a hand held shower, as opposed to a fixed shower head, I just assumed that. Fixed shower heads are not required to have a backflow preventer, by any code I am aware of.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2005
  10. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Jimbo,

    You must have the patience of Job is all I can say.
  11. WillieB

    WillieB New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Confederacy
    just a question

    Having read this thread over several times, I have an opinion to express and questions to ask.

    First it seems the originator asked a reasonable question. He may have reacted to a fairly "cute" response inappropriately but the question itself strikes me as one many folks are frustrated by.

    In my home there are lighted areas where the lighting was calculated assuming 150 watt floods. Shortly after we built, the Feds decided to only "allow" 120 watt floods to be manufactured. Reason given: Energy conservation...for a fixture whose purpose is to produce a given amount of light for a given input of energy...Go figure? SO the solution was to add more cans to contain the additional 120 watt floods to produce the required (also according to US lighting guidelines I might add) lumens. Net result? Same energy expended, same light output, more cost of light bulbs, and a chopped up ceiling. (And more manufacturing ENERGY used in producing the additional glass globes, filaments, brass bases, paper cartons, gas to deliver the product in the same size containers, floor space to stock, etc etc etc!) This insane federal reasoning frustrates millions of folks and solves no problem, not a d@mn one. Now producing more lumens per watt of energy might have been a reasonable regulation but its the government bureacrats we are dealing with hear and IQ is not their strong point.

    Now back to plumbing. The question of a 2.5 gpm restriction is a bureacratic regulation. Manufacturers are prohibited from making higher flow shower heads but not many (any?) local codes require that flow restriction. Moreover, people have resorted to installing multiple shower heads and jets in the same shower to be operated simultaneously yielding far more than a 2.5gpm rate..Once again the crazy regulations fail in their dubious purpose.
    Why then is it considered a crazy question for an individual homeowner to want to know how to modify a single shower head to bypass this stupid restriction when no restriction exists on how many heads may be installed, or for that matter what the flow of the yard watering system on the same property is? There are no restrictions on the individual homeowner regarding modifying an existing shower head by removing the restrictor that I know of and if there were many of us would not care and do it anyway. Is there some plumber's code that prevents knowledgable folks from sharing information on whether or how these devices can be modified? After all we are not talking about making a nuclear weapon or cooking up a bunch of antrax here. (Relax NSA).

    I guess I don't understand the treatment this fellow received on this forum. Plumber's in my area will generally give pretty pragmatic answers to reasonable questions like this. I also have one of these hand held Discover 7 shower heads and if I find the answer to whether poking a hole in the little pink membrane at the base of the handset will increase the flow, I will post it here. In the meantime I would like to know why the folks here treated this guy the way they did. Was it because of his reaction to a non-answer? Was it because no one knows the answer? Was it because you feel you are the guardians of the Regulations book? What? No one asked anyone to violate ethics or codes or the law. I'm not trying to be contentious but I am puzzled.

    In the meantime I will continue to flush twice every restricted toilet tank I find on general principles if not to complete the job one bureacratic flush fails to accomplish. New to the forum in Georgia.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,488
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    answer

    You really need an opterectomy operation, but that device has nothing to do with "backflow" so it is not a backflow restrictor. And if it were related to backflow it would be a backflow preventor since ANY backflow is prohibited. Now that we have that straightened out, it is a FLOW restrictor, so any alteration to it will either increase or decrease the flow, which is another term for throughput.
  13. WillieB

    WillieB New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Confederacy
    now I understand.

    If you meant "optorectomy" I guess you must be speaking from experience..Thanks for the answer to the question and the attitude of this forum. Advice from ill willed people is advice I can do without. Good luck in your profession.
  14. shower heads

    mabu, all you got to do is poke a hole in the damn thing..

    or pry out the restircter inside of it.....

    this isnt brain surgery , like you mentioned


    what ever you do in your own home to

    your own shower heads is your business.

    They (the governemt) are just trying to cut back on the
    public consumption of water.

    their arent any "shower head police" that are gonna fine you.

    though it looks like you found one or two today on this site.


    you nailed it right on the head
    about the general atitude of people
    who think they are the guardians of some
    secret cult.


    I suppose..they just dont have much else going on.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,488
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    surgery

    That is what happens when you do not reread before sending. I meant an Optirectomy which severs the nerve which gives you a shi*** outlook on life.
  16. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well. I don't think anyone on this forum has ever expressed SUPPORT for low flow shower head laws, but it IS the law and we tend to be law abiding types. Most of us certainly see the inconsistency in regulating the flow of one shower head, but not limiting the number of heads allowed in a home. We also have first hand understanding that low consumption toilets, especially in the early years, had to be multi-flushed. They have gotten better but not perfect. Even so, #1 flushes outnumber #2 flushes by some significant margin, so some savings are realized even in the worst case.

    As to the original question, I think the fellow knew the answer before he asked ( everyone else in the country knows it) : some heads have a plastic restrictor right at the inlet which can be removed. Some don't. That's it. There are no "magic bullets" that I am aware of on any brand or model.

    Some of us tend a little to the sarcastic side occasionally ( it's an occupational disease) and sometimes this rubs a person the wrong way.
    Life's a bitch and then.......................................
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Life's a bitch and then.......................................

    Life's a bitch and then.......................................

    I think mabu should chill a bit.
    The answer he got was pretty simple, concerning code at least.

    All things are possible, some things just take more time and money.
    Can you drill a hole in a flow restrictor? Yes.

    Is that the answer you wanted?

    Now here's my question.
    Do you always feel that you have to tell everyone that you are a better and smarter person?

    If so, then here goes.

    Mabu, yes, I see that you are a very smart person. Enlightened in every way.
    Just being around you makes life sweeter and more worthwhile.
    Thank you for dropping by and letting us know that you are indeed very smart and capable.

    Now the rest of you, admit it, Mabu "is" very smart.

    Later..........
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,488
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    yes

    Let this be the mantra pronounced when entering this site, "Mabu is smart. Mabu is very smart. Mabu is extremely smart. All hail Mabu."
  19. WillieB

    WillieB New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Confederacy
    "The 2.5 gallon per minute is a FEDERAL water conservation requirement." Exactly. A manufacturing requirement not a code requirement at least anywhere near me so Mabu doesn't need to move to Bagdad. Not against any "law" I could find on the books either by the way.

    I'm not sure Mabu is any smarter than the rest of us but he certainly didn't deserve the smart@ssed responses to his original question and my outlook on life is no more sh***y than comments from others on this forum/thread, including the forum owner, would indicate their's is. (my dictionary still spells it optorectomy btw but whatever)

    If this is the weclome one gets to this forum when asking a specific question about a specific product with no malice toward anyone it seems to me the forum is primarily for the self gratification of those "senior members" who have a quick sarcastic wit, not those with knowledge to share in a friendly way. (Mark excluded, and thanks Mark for your reasoned approach and understanding)

    So flame away, I'm outta of here. Too much flux for the solder involved.
    BTW, (preaching to the choir) the water saved by 1/2 a flush is insignificant compared to the water used by all other non restricted purposes. Careful of numbers here since vast amounts of water are lost just to evaporation in spraying decorative fountains in the air for esthetic beauty at commercial office buildings so I can flush twice to float the logs downstream. Lawn watering restrictions do present a savings but only a modest one and only then if strictly enforced and most are not. Typical g'ment bs. Bye y'all.
  20. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Willie is probably not here to read this, but for what it is worth regarding water consumption, I offer this tidbit:

    At my condo, I happen to sign the checks for the bills; consistenly over more than 4 years worth of data, the bill for the household use is about TEN times the bill for the landscape and swimming pool meter. Obviously this is not a direct comparison to single family homes, but we do have a moderate amount of lawnscape. The household use of course is showers, toilets, and washing machines.
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