Source for "universal shower head"

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Montalvo, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    I stayed at a hotel that had a shower head that I really liked and when we built our house, I bought a similar head for each of our showers at Home Depot for only $29.95. It was called a Universal Shower Head because it could be made higher or lower as well as swivel all directions. But the HD shower heads had wingnuts that you had to tighten after each adjustment. Two of these heads are in guest rooms and our guests frequently adjust the heads when they visit, resulting in leaks from the joints that spray all over the ceiling.

    Rather than give each guest a ten minute training session on the proper way to adjust the shower, I thought I'd break down and buy a higher quality version of this head like the one at the hotel, i.e., one without wingnuts that could be adjusted without creating leaks. But I've surfed the web looking for them without success. The only one I've found was at Restoration Hardware and it only comes in chrome; I need polished brass and RH can't tell me where to find a different finish.

    Can anyone offer any guidance on where to find this head. Here's a link to RH's ad so you know what I'm talking about.

    http://www.restorationhardware.com/...navCount=1&pageStyle=print&_requestid=1298914

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Bob
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    2,734
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  3. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    1,053
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
  4. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    No thanks, folks.

    I appreciate the suggestions for other shower heads but I don't think you can change my mind about my Universal Shower Head being a terrific design. First, the articulating arm allows you to raise and lower the head through a range of 18" (vertical). And the head itself can be adjusted up or down and side-to-side. Lastly, the spray, although not adjustable to a bunch of different settings like some, is a very soothing rain-shower effect, with some individual streams tending to shift direction. It feels great and the adjustability is a great feature in a guest room where we have everything from grandkids to adults. If only the damn thing wouldn't leak!

    The one at the hotel (The W, in Westwood Village (LA), CA) didn't leak when you adjusted it but, of course, it didn't have wingnuts on the hinges. I guess I need to give management at The W a call and see if they have any leads. I'll check back in and let you know what I find out.

    Bob
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
    New England
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,734
    Location:
    Central Florida
    If the hotel has a real concierge, he/she would be the one to start with. Otherwise, ask for the head of engineering. If all else fails, check in for a visit and take a pipe wrench with you :D .
  7. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    The Grohe might work, Jim.

    The Grohe you mentioned has some of the adjustability that I was looking for, although it doesn't appear to have 18" worth. And at almost $300, it's a big step up from the $29.95 that my current heads cost. But if it doesn't leak, it might still be worth it.

    Mikey, I'll try the concierge at The W...good thought. And the pipe wrench and overnight stay is a good back-up plan;) .

    Bob
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,270
    Location:
    New England
    Well, the arm is about 20" long, and it can go from straight up to straight down, that's about 40", a lot more than 18"....discounts are available if you search...not that many people pay retail.
  9. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    Found it!

    Well, thanks again to Mickey who suggested that I call the concierge at The W Hotel. She identified the supplier as Gemini and then a quick Google and I found the shower head. But to my surprise, it too had wingnuts for tightening the joints after adjustment (here's a link: http://www.geminibkp.com/uni.htm). It's $128, almost $100 more than the cheapo HD ones that leak so I decided to buy one on faith hoping that it proves "You get what you pay for" rather than "There's a sucker born every minute" :D .

    And regarding Jim's comment on the adjustability of the Grohe, while it probably does have as much or more adjustability than I need, a 20" arm only gives you 40" of vertical adjustment if the head is mounted on the end of the arm...which it wasn't. But the point is well taken. I may try the Grohe if this one doesn't meet my expectations.

    Thanks to all who shared their comments.

    Bob
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    First, you have to get over the notion that a quality shower product will be $19.85 like a plastic shower head at HD. I have never seen one of those articulated arms work very well. The joints are not designed well. Perhaps if you pay over $100 for it, might be OK.

    Instead, I would consider this type of product:
    http://www.alsons.com/Products/Catalog_Im/62003.jpg
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,270
    Location:
    New England
    That's what I put in. You get more flexibility.

    The Grohe Freehander's arm is over 20", and the outer head (you can turn the inner one off), would give you nearly 40" of adjustment. But, you would probably only use the top or bottom third of the rotation, or it would be interfering with the loop at the end. By far, an adjustable holder on an arm for a handheld gives more flexibility. It is particularly handy when cleaning the tub...the hose allows you to get the spray in places you just can't go with a fixed head, even with the type you are talking about.
  12. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    Adjustable handheld is a possibility, too.

    The spray on the universal shower head is what I fell in love with. It's got 127 holes and apparently something inside the head tickles the output so that some of the sprays seem to randomly shift around. It feels great, better than any shower head I've experienced (and I used to stay at dozens of high-end hotels every year when I was working).

    There's a great shower head display at a store in LA and I might check it out the next time I'm down there. They have dozens of heads mounted on a wall behind a glass window and you can push a button to turn on each head, allowing you to evaluate its spray pattern. The store is The Great Indoors, owned by Sears and intended to compete with HD's Expo stores but apparently they haven't built too many of them. There are none here in No. California that I know of.

    I do like the idea of the handheld for cleaning out the shower and/or tub. If I can marry that idea with the universal head's spray pattern, I think I'll have a winner!

    Bob
  13. Homefixitparts

    Homefixitparts New Member

    Messages:
    3
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