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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Unintended Consequences - Plumbing

A couple of Christmases ago, sweet Wifey got me a hand held shower massager for my shower stall. What a nice gift. This was one of those high tech, oh so green, devices that had water saver features and was supposed to reduce our water bill (go read about our water bill) and save the planet all at the same time.

Well, for the first year or so, everything was just hunky dunky, but eventually, slowly but surely, the flow seemed to diminish with every refreshing shower until there was only a trickle. Yes indeed, just like a feeble old geezer with a huge prostate gland, that youthful flow was a thing of the past. It took the water forever to get hot and when I got out it seemed as if I had only gotten just a little bit damp.

Finally I had no choice but to disassemble the thing and search for answers. Attached to the pipe coming out of the stall, I found a curious little disk. See the picture at the left. This little disk was full of little slits. I held the disk up to the light but I could see no light shining through. On further inspection with a magnifying glass, it dawned on me that this little disk was the water saver and the holes in it were plugged with gunk which seems to accumulate on all our fixtures due to the very hard water we have here (our water comes from the mighty Tennessee River). I attempted to clean out the holes best as I could with a pick and a small piece of wire. Finally I could see daylight again. So I reinstalled the water saver and put everything back together.

SUCCESS! I had a good flow going again! Unfortunately, my glee did not last very long. Over a period of about 3 or 4 months, the flow diminished rapidly. That prostate had grown back at record speed.

Grumbling heavily, I removed the water saver once again only to find it plugged worse than before. So I just left the damned thing out. Now that shower head will knock you half way across the stall if you don't brace yourself first and I have enough pressure to almost remove the hide. Yes I am wasting water hand over fist, although the water department will never know the difference, and I am destroying the planet at light speed. One thing is for sure though, I'm getting squeaky clean with not a speck of cereal anywhere. Hope the water Nazis from Obama's administration don't come snooping around.


  1. Having experienced the same problem once upon a year, I finally got around to installing a whole house water filter. It got rid if the clogging little pinholes and as a by product, the water tastes better. Course, I dont got no steenkin water department, I pump mine straight outts the ground.
    73, Lizzard

  2. Grouch,

    Have you considered a water softener for most of the inside plumbing? Softeners seem to keep the minerals from attacking the plumbing as quickly as hard water does. If you decide to give it a try, you might want to separate drinking water from the soft water if you use a salt based unit, just to keep sodium levels down.

    "Mr. E"

    mystere's moonbat slayer club, / rattrapper's myfox trappings (blogger)
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  4. I agree with Mr. E, hard water leaves scaly deposits in plumbing fixtures and pipes. As these deposits build up over time, they cause clogs and corrosion that can shorten the life of your home's plumbing system. By reducing mineral deposits, water softening systems minimize buildup and reduce the risks of clogs and corrosion, extending the life of the plumbing system and helping fixtures operate more effectively.

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