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February 3rd, 2006

The Second Shower Knob

One of the most annoying things when you step into a shower is having either freezing cold or scalding hot water hit you. It requires a certain level of flexibility to curve your body around the water stream in order to adjust the temperature. After this happened to me for the 8,443rd time, I thought about it and came up with the answer:

A second shower knob.

This one would be placed on the exact opposite wall, so that you’d be facing it if the water was hitting your back. This way, you can step into a shower knowing that if it’s too hot or cold, you can just step forward–away from the water–and adjust the temperature.


Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday February 3, 2006 -- 11:11:43 am
I've never seen a show where it was impossible to just reach in, test the water, and adjust before you got in. That sounds like a frustrating and perilous shower-stall design!

DATE: Friday February 3, 2006 -- 11:12:17 am
And of course by "show", I mean "shower". Though heaven knows I'd love to adjust the show before I get in as well.

FROM: mel
DATE: Friday February 3, 2006 -- 12:33:13 pm
Our shower is just the stall-type, and it is built into a corner. The shower head and knob are in the far corner, opposite the stall door. To turn the shower on, you have to get in, take a guess at where the knob should be turned to, quickly turn it on, get the hell out of the way, then wait 10-15 seconds for the water to come to temp. If you missed your mark, you have to get in and adjust as fast as you can while trying to avoid either scalding or freezing yourself (being 7 months pregnant pretty much eliminates all hope of flexibility)... The only solution I've got is to point the shower head as far to one side as I can before turning it on, but this only helps by avoiding the freeze/burn on half of my body.

If it were possible to place an additional knob in a safer place, I'd be the first in line to buy one.

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday February 4, 2006 -- 10:29:09 am
Ah, but the knob is connected to the plumbing, so if you had it on the opposite side you'd just have that much more pipeline where things could go wrong. And that many more possible leaks.

Or you can just get one of those gripper things they make for people with limited mobility, and reach over the shower door to move the knob.

My shower head actually moves enough that you can escape the path while cowering in the shower. Most "water conserving" ones, though, do not rotate much.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Sunday February 5, 2006 -- 10:50:25 pm
It would be cheaper to buy a shower head on a hose. Mine's on a hose so you can reach those er, cracks and crevices--maybe just crack and crevices. If it's too hot, you just learn to take it out of the way and then adjust the temp.

Of course, if you want to do it the hard way, with two knobs, your plumber would love it. After eyeing you suspiciously with the "you must be stupid or just a jerk" look, he'll be happy to the pull the pencil from his own greasy crack and write you up a work order for about $1,000. He'll agree you're brilliant though, and ask if you've shared the idea with any of your friends and if so, if would you please recommend him. A residential job with a price tag like that is about what it takes to get a plumber out to the house anyway.

Just buy a shower massager head on a hose for $20, install it yourself and forget about it. You'll soon wonder how you ever lived without it.

FROM: mel
DATE: Monday February 6, 2006 -- 2:09:06 pm
No, see, I don't want a bunch of piping and hoses and grippers and shower heads on a hose (the last one of those was lost to the kids playing "tarzan in the rain" in the shower). I have zero technical knowledge, but this is 2006, so I shouldn't have to. There should be an inexpensive and feasible way to solve the problem. In fact, showers should have thermostats. Just punch in your selected temperature, wait a minute or two, and get in. This method has been working well with my furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater for years. Although I understand the concept, the logistics are lost on me, but I think this should work in a shower. I want a shower thermostat.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday February 6, 2006 -- 9:38:05 pm

You only have one wish. Your wish is my command:


Sorry, I cannot grant your wish to pay the $400 for the unit and the installation charges on top of that. You're on your own for that.

FROM: mel
DATE: Tuesday February 7, 2006 -- 9:12:50 am

This certainly appears to fulfill my wish, however, I'm a little bit leery of a product that tells me more about it's aesthetic qualities than it's technical ones, especially for one that seems to have so many features.

I'll still take it.

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