Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Standing up to 'The State'

I will simply not have the government dictating how much water I can use. Many people take far longer showers than I do and otherwise I am very careful with water use, but I am not having a shower putting out a dribble of water.

R's shower head was sagging, ten minutes after getting out, the tell-tale sound of water could be heard as the arm sagged and the rose emptied of water. Time for a visit to the big green shed to look at a new one.

We found one but as well as being a good bit dearer than they used to be, the salesman told us that it was not so easy to remove the water flow restrictor. This used to be a simple procedure, remove the washer where it screws onto the pipe, take out the restrictor and put the washer back. Ah, yes, Americans dictate to us again. In the US the prescribed flow rate is 2 gallons per minute, for us the same at 9 litres a minute.


Well, we ummed and ahhed and bought nothing, not confident that we could remove the restrictor. We let it rest until we were both within earshot of the bathroom and there was the tell tale sound of the shower head emptying. Enough, said R. I am going to buy a new one. The style of one above suits us perfectly. It lifts high enough for R to wash his hair (he is on the tall side), is simply adjustable and without a restrictor gives a great shower, without jets that feels like a thousand needles on your skin. And that is the one with the new sort of restrictor.

But before R set off a second time to buy rather than look, we watched a tutorial. It did cross my mind that I would like this rather ocker plumber to visit and offer his advice personally, but oh the cost. As you can see in the video, he is quite disparaging about shower water flow restrictors.



Right, this shan't beat us. We too will smash it, bash it, whatever, get it out. R returned with the new head and sure enough, the flow restrictor was not where it used to be, behind the wall plate where it screws on to the pipe in the wall. We disassembled the shower head end, and there sat the evil little device, held in place by a metal clip. The pointy nosed pliers made short work of the clip and the device. Look at the evil little bits. Three tiny holes for water to flow through. Piss off. We are well rid of them.

 

It all went back together but now the head was a bit loose. There was a little grub screw, so with an Allen key, I tightened it and the head was now tight. Back on to the pipe and yes, we have beaten the government prescribed water flow. R is happy with his non sagging full flow shower. So Nanny State, stick that in your meerschaum and smoke it.

32 comments:

  1. Andrw, I love your video. Have a nice day.In Poland water is very expensive so most peple save it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosia, I don't know if our water is expensive by world standards or not. The price keeps going up though

      Delete
  2. I don't care what he costs. I want that plumber to fix my long list of yet to be discovered plumbing issues. Thank goodness we don't have restrictors in water rich Scotland. I do remember them in California though and yes they were easier to remove in those days. Most impressed with your DIY skills. Is a wrist tattoo next just like Mr Plumber?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craig, maybe you will have some work to be done that require you to assist him. Plumbers can get into very awkward positions at times. So what about Engand? Are their showers restricted or just naturally bad. I have enough tatts, thank you, and of an older style and position on my body.

      Delete
    2. I think it's different down there Andrew. Not sure that they have restrictors but I do know that some areas of England have metered water whereas ours is a fixed low rate on our property tax bill.

      Delete
    3. Craig, I heard about the outrage in Ireland where for the first time water had to paid for. So in your situation, the charge is on the property owner, not a tenant?

      Delete
  3. How sneaky to put several restrictors in place. Unsurprising, but sneaky. And a good shower is a thing of joy and beauty. A shower which dribbles is NOT a thing of joy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, I hope your new one gives you satisfactory water flow.

      Delete
  4. You will be tracked down, the metadata police are onto it at this moment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandis and Abbott can stick their meta data up there collective.......nostrils.

      Delete
  5. I actually do think water should be not wasted. So I suggest that noone should have a bath or shower alone... always with at least one friend. And leave a bucket next to the bath or under the shower so the water can be collected and thrown onto the garden from the bathroom window.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, you are such a left over hippy, but also with a water conscious.

      Delete
    2. A bucket under the shower? But that's where I stand!

      Delete
    3. Oh dear, spelling, conscience. I don't mind the idea of shower water going on the decorative garden, but I would not like it used on a vegetable garden.

      River, two buckets, one for each foot. Keep your phone nearby to call for an ambulance when you fall over.

      Delete
  6. Nobody likes a dribbler; they're terribly unsatisfying. I do rather fancy Hels' idea of shower mates...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jac, I too find that to be so. Gushing is what is required, gushing. In the 70s during a drought car bumper stickers with the slogan, save water, shower with a friend, were popular.

      Delete
  7. You had a bit of an ordeal there, and pleasing to know you persevered with the desired effect.
    Doesn't take long to have a shower or and wash the hair....I can't see any point in a 10 minute shower plus to me it is a waste of precious water.
    It is very annoying to have a dribble of water in the shower, takes twice as long to have one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WA, if I am getting ready for work, 2 minutes is enough. Maybe a little longer if I have the time, but never 4 minutes. Yes, twice and long and I find you get cold.

      Delete
  8. We bought our last shower heads from Deals Extreme (dx dot com) which is in China, because they had a 3 colour LED shower head. You can get ones which change colour with the temperature, or ones that put on a bit of a colour show while you are in there. The latter is the one we picked. It does not need any power or batteries, there are little water turbines inside which drive it.

    It is a bit like a disco in there now. It is certainly a cheerful way to start the day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snoskred, what a hoot! I hope plenty of water flows through too.

      Delete
  9. I remember when water restrictions were first introduced and we were all encouraged to buy a water saver showerhead. I did and was so disgusted within a week, I took it off and put the old one back on. It's impossible to effectively rinse shampoo out of long hair with a dribble of water. If I'd know how to remove the water restrictor component I would have done it, because that showerhead was nicer looking than the old one. The shower I have now is okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, there was free replacement scheme here, where they gave out shower heads like ours with the easy to remove restrictor.

      Delete
  10. hello from Tank Water Country. we pray for rain all the time.
    I don't understand how The Hoover Dam has suddenly failed California. Maybe time to watch ChinaTown movie again, as it was based on a true California water board swindle.
    Happy dappy families full of children use masses more water than old people. I know where I would put a flow restrictor oh yes indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, before you work out your wine budget, work out a water budget and just buy it. Never mind families, the vast most of our water is used in agriculture, probably to feed the citizens of China.

      Delete
  11. This is such a big peeve for me. I wonder if I could do this myself. Patience would be the biggest obstacle. Ah well, I should try because not only are the shower and kitchen sink slower than molasses but the bathroom sink has about 1/2 less pressure. When I complained that my BR sink was not working, the maintenance guy told me they are all that way. So, I have to brush my teeth and wash my face in the kitchen sink. Wha'ts a girl to do?

    My thinking is that if all the people with swimming pools and huge grass yards would quit wasting water, then there might be enough for the rest of us ordinary people. Why is the pressure at the car wash always so strong anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rubye, it could be restrictors. It could be aerators or just old pipes. But if you can easily get the shower head off, just have a good look at it. Ok, not much grass, but our building does have a pool. Divided by over two hundred and fifty people, it is not a lot of water each.

      Delete
  12. Yes, I read that in California, under severe drought, that residents must restrict water use by 25%. Yet farmers, who use 90% of the state's water, face no restrictions. This would make me want to sneak into farmer's houses, in the night, and take very very long showers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe Strayer. I like the way you think.

      Delete
  13. Enough with these remarks about agricultural and residential use of water. In most cases (other than, for example, with Adelaide which draws some of its water from the Murray), it's not the same water. Subject to those exceptions, farmers are not generally taking water which would otherwise be available for residential users, and residential users are not taking water which is available for farmers.

    And water restrictions and shower-head-rate restrictions are rationing, albeit of a fairly primitive and not always fair kind (though views of what is fair mostly seem to start from each person's appreciation of their own situation). The goal is usually to reduce the need to build further dams and water works (with commensurate expense and environmental downsides) and the risk that the supply will otherwise become insecure in times of drought. Rationing is authoritarian but it is not "Nanny state."

    Nanny State is the state deciding that things are bad from you when you are the one who should be able to decide and assess the downsides for yourself in the absence of harm to others, as in, eg, recreational drug use, watching pornography, reading material online about ways to kill yourself, etc. (Of course there is a tendency these days to justify Nannyism by claiming there is harm also to others, as in, eg, smoking/passive smoking/costs to state of health care of smoking, drinking/drink driving & street violence, pornography/degradation of people making it, etc etc)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Marcellous, Nanny State is not a term I normally use and generally I approve of laws and regulations our government enact on our behalf. I agree that my use of Nanny State is not quite right, but it did add some nice colour and I am not happy that the government tries to restrict the amount of water that comes out of shower head.

    I was impressed to learn that your desal plant is powered by renewable energy. I don't know if it gets used though. Ours has not been used yet. We can make as much fresh water as we need, but the energy used to produce is the key question.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I had no idea those things were in place, I need to investigate my shower head now. Bastards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fen, as the plumber said, smash it, bash it, whatever, get it out.

      Delete