While taking the picture for the caulk post, it reminded me of a useful shower accessory I installed a few years ago. The shower head swing arm.
It may not look like much, but it made the showers more functional. It installs between the shower head and the pipe sticking out of the wall. The arm enables the shower head to be 9 inches higher or lower.
You can probably already see how this would be useful, but let me list the ways:
- Kids and short people - I initially installed the swing arm for our kids so they could reach the shower head and it works great. It also means we can transition them from bath to shower younger (when they are shorter), or at least with less hassle.
- Tall people - I'm only a little over average height (6' 1") but most shower heads are too low for me so I have to duck under them. The swing arm lets me raise the shower head to a comfortable height.
- Rinsing - The swing arm increases the range of motion of the shower head so you can use it to spray water on the walls of the shower to rinse off soap, shampoo, etc. It also helps for rinsing off your body.
A variation of the sprayer adds a vertical rod the spray handle attaches to that, allowing it to be moved up or down. But it didn't look easy to clean and I didn't trust that it would hold up over time.
The swing arm is simple, cleans easy (and doesn't need to be cleaned often because it's out of the water spray) and works. The joint is secured by a thumb screw that loosens as it's moved, but it's easy to tighten and hasn't been a bother for us. It drips a little, but this is a shower so who cares about dripping water?
I bought the swing arm at my local Home Depot, but I'm sure you can get them at most hardware or plumbing supply stores. Google shopping turned up many on-line stores. They are available in a variety of finishes.
In closing I must say: showers are wonderful. Yes, wonderful. I wonder how I'd get along without them. The shower is my only morning stimulant - every day it gets me going. And in Winter a hot shower is a little slice of nirvana. I hear that people in Europe only bath/shower once or twice a week - I couldn't handle that, I'm a daily addict.