Friday, July 17, 2009

Commando 450

Our shower at home leaves a lot to be desired. The city that we live in and particularly the area, for some reason does not have good water pressure. If for some reason, some other appliance that utilized water is being used at the time of the shower, you barely get a dribble. In good times when you have the water supply to yourself, you get enough water to get clean but never a manly flow. By that, I mean a shower that skips the soap and just peels the outer layer of skin off your body. One that will pin you to the back wall of the shower or perhaps knock you clean out of it like the Commando 450 does in that Seinfeld episode.

So it was with great surprise that I turned on the shower head up at our apartment in the city and was pinned back against the wall. I count myself extremely fortunate that the shower head had been pointed straight towards the back wall so I didn't lose an eye or perhaps lower where more valuable stuff is located. I was so surprised by the force that the intial cold blast of dregs left in the pipes from the previous shower didn't even faze me. I fought my way back to the front of the shower and knocked the nozzle to the side to give me a chance to evaluate the situation.

I'm six foot two inches tall and for some reason, the shower head on the standard shower seems to be five feet at best. Now with a normal flow shower head, I just stoop over to wash my hair and other parts above five feet. At home, I even eliminated this by adding an extension that made our shower head closer to six and a half feet. However, turning the Commando 450 nozzle down so that the fire hose spray lands somewhere in the tub opens up sensitive vital organs to being cleaned plumb off the body they were attached. Aiming it up above the sensitive areas means that I have to stand in the blast or it will hit the back wall and flood the bathroom with the resulting spray. After much trial and error, the only solution I could find was to turn it to the tiled side so that it doesn't spray out of the shower and doesn't hit any vital organs. I am left with sticking in parts of my body one at a time and even then they come out red from the force applied.

Perhaps even worse is that the spray coming out of the Commando 450 is of such volume, it overwelms the normal sized drain in the bottom of the tub. I can take a shower of under five minutes and the water is already part way up my shin, my ankles long since submerged. In fact, I calculate that if I didn't finish the shower in about ten minutes or less, it would completely fill the tub and spill over the sides. I don't take long showers so this doesn't bother me too much but it does kind of bother me to have to stand in a pool of my own filth that I just sluiced off my body while I am trying to get clean. I thought I might just stand in their after I had turned off the water and give my feet a quick rinse once the drain caught up but that seems like an eternity.

In the end, I have decided that as manly as the Commando 450 showerhead is, I just can't hack it. I am planning on stopping by a hardware store to see if I can get another one of those extension type heads so that I don't have to stoop. With the pressure we have at the apartment, the direct downward flow that is quite a bit more dispersed should feel quite nice, especially on the sensitive areas.


R. Sherman said...

I changed all the shower head in our house when we moved in for the reasons you cite -- not enough flow. Also we live on a ridge which adversely effects water pressure. I got a pressurized storage tank for the basement which helps a lot.


Murf said...

I have a love/hate relationship with this post. I love the Seinfeld episode you mention. I hate it when you remind me that you're not built like a Ken doll. I'm trying to forget any mention of 'sensitive areas'. :-)

PhilippinesPhil said...

In the marines I learned to take a passable shower out of my helmet, which comes in handy over here where most folks use a bucket and a plastic ladle. I can get clean with a half bucket if I really feel decadent. Ever hear of navy showers? Turn it on for a few seconds, just enough to get wet, soap up, turn it on for a minute or so to rinse off. Sounds like water is not an issue where you live? You see a lot of home owners around here with their own little water tank on the roof. That way they are sure to have at least some pressure when the local pump goes down for whatever reason. We keep plastic trashcans around the house and in all the bathrooms for when we lose all pressure. Happens whenever the power goes out for more than a half hour, which is common. You Americans, so damned spoiled! ...grin...

Ron said...

I love my solar keg shower. :) It's pretty much a navy shower, like Paul described. Course, if it ain't hot out, I skip it...

Your story cracked me up pretty good. I've experienced hotel showers like that, where I had to stand outside the tub and receive the mist indirectly to survive. :)


Ed Abbey said...

R. Sherman - I've grown used to the lack of flow and now just tell myself I am doing my part to conserve water by not trying to fix the problem.

Murf - If I were a Ken doll anatomically speaking, this post wouldn't have been necessary.

Phil - My MIL has one of those tanks on her roof but it is still filled by a tanker truck that drives by once a week. Most Americans would shudder at the thought of living an entire week with so few gallons of water.

Ron - I'm a cold water shower taker in the summer months. I just can't seem to get refreshed with hot water so a solar shower would be out.

TC said...

Murf: You have no comment on the fact that Ed is basically saying he's not very manly?

You're slipping.