April 9, 2010

Shower Poll

Sometimes I get blog post ideas in the shower. You won’t be surprised to learn that this is one of them.

I noticed that I always get in the shower on the end opposite the shower head. My thinking is that if the water is the wrong temperature, it’s only going to hit my feet. But I’ve heard of people who get in the shower on the head-side. I don’t understand this. What do they do to protect their faces and bodies against possibly-wrong-water-temperature? Duck below the water level?

So that got me wondering:

[People reading via RSS may need to visit the site to see the poll]

And then I started thinking about the movie Psycho. Marion Crane gets in the shower on the side opposite the shower head, but has the curtain pulled back so far that she’s practically entering in the middle. But then she turns on the shower after she steps in. That seems like a terrible idea. How do you know the water is the right temperature? I always turn on the water before stepping in.

So that got me wondering:

[People reading via RSS may need to visit the site to see the poll]

If the answer to any of these is “other,” or if you have any other shower insights you’d like to share (Do you do anything weird in the shower? No, I mean like washing dishes or something), please do so in the comments.

Related: Eyeglasses and the pushing up thereof
Related: Choose Wisely


Ours is a shower/tub and the water comes out of the lower tap first, allowing easy temperature adjustment and water control before re-routing it to the main shower head. The shower head can be pointed against the wall until the water coming out of the head is of a comfortable temperature.

I’m usually not too worried about the temperature as my shower’s pretty good about that. I’m more worried about stepping into a stream of water while the curtain’s open and spraying water outside the designated area. That’s my main thinking beind getting in on the opposite side from the shower head.

The only thing with a shower/tub combo is that lots of times when you hit the switch over there is a shot of really cold water that was already sitting in the shower head. I use my band to deftly block this.

I love to brush my teeth. You don’t have to hold the spit in your mouth, you can just let it dribble down your front. You can also brush with an electric toothbrush in the shower, believe it or not.

i turn the water on full heat to spray the ants off the shower wall (i want them to burn AND drown) before turning it back down to medium and entering the end opposite the shower head.

My wife is Spanish, and the first time she visited the US, she was confused that we had shower heads that didn’t detach on a hose like all the showers in Spain do. Such detachment solves many of these problems…even knife-wielding psychopath problems if your reaction time is fast enough.

Like adam I have a shower/tub. And I check the temperature from the lower tub faucet before switching to shower mode. Usually the water starts out cold and then heats quickly to the temperature it was in the tub faucet, so I try to stand back away from the water for a second until it warms.

I step in on the shower-head side, so that I don’t bounce all that shower water out of the shower and get the whole bathroom wet. Oh, and I test the water temperature with my hand before I get in. I know my hands can handle a higher temperature than the rest of me, so I make sure it’s within a comfortable range.

One the first poll, I have to (unofficially) answer “other.” We have an old claw-foot tub with a showerhead added, and the curtain we use starts from the middle and goes all the way around, meaning there’s only one entry point. However, I always push the shower curtain flap (on the head side) inwards to use as a shield in the case of wrong-temp water, allowing a painless adjustment (or escape) if need be. The thinking is the same as the “opposite” end answer, but very different means.

I do the hand test to make sure the water is fine - it means I can get in showerhead side and not worry about wrong temperature.

I have a shower with a door.

I get in from the showerhead side or else I’d have to step in the cat’s litter box. But I always turn on the shower before I get in and point the showerhead towards the wall while the water is warming up anyway.

Shower tub/combo here as well, with sliding doors that are not accessible from the away from head end.

Run the water ‘til it’s warm, get in, use hand block gesture while flicking the switch from tub spout to shower because there is always that little bit of cold water that gets spurted out initially.

I get in on the head-side, feeling the temperature with my hand and adjusting accordingly before stepping in entirely.

If you get in on the opposite side and it’s the wrong temperature, it might only hit your feet first, but then you’re on the wrong side to make temperature adjustments from. How do you correct it without going through the freezing/scalding stream? Get out and get back in? Awkward reach-around?

I love your blog.

Your shower questions remind me of a similar bathroom conundrum (albeit a little more vulgar). How do you wipe? Sitting or standing? From the back or from the front (between the legs)?

I was shocked to find such a wide variance from the way I do it (sitting, from the back). Perhaps another poll is in order?

Why on earth would someone turn the shower on before they step in? You won’t know when it’s just right if you’re not in there to find out! If you miss the moment it turns good, you’re wasting precious water.

I turn on the water, but only have it flow through the tub facucet, and when it’s at the right temperature I get in (it hardly matters which end), and then I turn the diverter from tub to shower, and step back (because invariably there is some cold water in the pipes that needs to be discharged before the selected temperature water comes out of the shower head. I find this to be the best method because no water can splash out when I get into the shower since it is only falling from the tub faucet at that time.

I am actually about 3 weeks away from completing construction on my new house and solved specifically for this problem with the design of the bathrooms. I placed the shower controls on the side wall, very far away from the showerhead, so you can step in wherever you want, turn on the shower using the controls, and not have the water come anywhere close to hitting you until you walk into the stream.

Also, radiant heat under the tiles in the shower so the floor is warm before you even walk in. BAM!

Good for you, Mike D. I’ve always thought that placing the shower controls for adjusting water temperature right under where all the water is pouring on you is one of the stupidest design ideas ever. I suppose it’s basic and cheap (but still stupid).

she turns on the shower after she steps in. That seems like a terrible idea.

You would have to think that if she had any sense, she wouldn’t be stopping at the Bates Motel.

What the first commenter, Adam, said, but add in the detachable shower head that Erik R. mentioned. In fact, I cannot stress enough how awesome the detachable shower head is.

I have a claw-foot tub/shower. I turn the hot on full and pull the shower pin. I wait five to ten minutes then get in. Perfect every time. Yum-yum.

Another question to add to your poll would be the nose blowing and peeing in the shower. I do both. I don’t understand the people who do one and not the other because they think it’s gross. Probably the same folks who turn on the water AFTER they get in the shower! On a similar note…those same people probably put the toilet paper the WRONG way, over the back and under. Blech! You KNOW who you are!!!

Not to worry, Darwin will take care of them…

Mike D, are you installing European-style faucets for your shower? Instead of one control for hot and one control for cold, you would have one control for temperature and one control for flow rate. Once the temperature is set properly, you only have to use one control. Saves lots of fiddling.

The best way is to have a shower before you go to bed. Or do you want a dirty bed?

My shower is in a bathtub which is right next to the sink. I lean over the sink to turn on the shower and wait until the water is the right temperature, then I close the curtain on that end of the tub and open it at the other end and step in, so I don’t have to climb over the sink.

This is the same setup as our previous apartment and pretty much every other house in the neighborhood (two-family houses built in the 1920s).

It’s usually a pretty good idea to stick your hand in the water to gauge temperature before hopping into the shower, from either end.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve stepped into the shower from the opposite end. But after careful consideration, I realized it is because most every place I’ve lived had the toilet right next to shower/tub combo effectively blocking entry near the showerhead. The habit formed as a child.

People who brush their teeth in the shower fascinate me. I’ve always wanted to adopt that habit because it makes sense, but I don’t shower everyday and split my body cleaning duties between baths and showers. To the shower teeth brushers, do you also have another toothbrush at the sink for times you want to brush your teeth but aren’t going to shower?

The toilet is next to the shower head side of my shower, so I have to get in on the other side. But maybe it was specifically designed that way because most people get in on that side.

Also, in Hungary, they have detachable heads and they shower sitting down. It’s difficult to find even a shower curtain there.

Here in Norway, like in Spain, the shower heads detach. Awesome technology.

HEADS UP: This may sound like an advertisement….

Not only do I brush my teeth in the shower, but I also bought a water pick so that I can floss. The one I bought was from http://www.showerfloss.com/ (no relation to them except a happy customer). It’s a $20 piece of plastic you attach between the water valve and your shower head that allows you to divert the water (analog so you can keep the shower water going as well) into the pick for easy flossing. It also makes a great ant killer and just tool to use to aim at specific parts of the shower if you want to clean them. BUT WAIT THERE’s MORE, it comes with a little holder that you attach to the wall that has 4 spots on it, one of which I leave my toothbrush in so that I always have it there. I was never much of a flosser but it is seriously very very easy and only takes a couple seconds. And not only did I have poor flossing habits but my regular brushing habits have improved as well since I never forget to brush when I’m taking a shower. The dentists love me now. In all seriousness, it was one of the longest lasting and most satisfying purchases I’ve made for only $20. Maybe you could find one for even cheaper on eBay.

Oh and I get in on the shower head side, but only because I like to keep the bathroom door open so the mirror doesn’t fog up, and the when open the door blocks the opposite end.

Neither :). I step by the tube, turn on the shower and fix the temperature with my hand. When the temp is ok, I rinse the bottom level of the tube so it’s not cold, then I step in. :p

First commenter nailed it.

We have European-style thermostat controls. That makes sure the temperature is always at the set level, so you don’t ever have to worry about this again.

About having ideas in the shower: my girlfriend bought me a scuba diving note taking kit so I can actually take notes while in the shower.

I live in a college dorm with shower cubicles, which are small enough that the stream of water always hits the opposite wall if the shower head is at the slightest angle. I’m 5’2”, which means that I can stand directly under the shower head without getting wet (assuming it’s appropriately angled). So for me, the only way to avoid getting hit by possibly ill-temperatured water is to step in on the shower head side, right up against the wall. As for turning the water on AFTER getting in, those people are just crazy thrill-seekers.

I’ve always been perplexed by people with bath/shower combos that run the BATH faucet to warm up the water for their shower. The bath faucet uses more water while not warming up any faster than the shower would, plus you get the initial burst of cold water when you switch over. I always immediately switch to the shower head when I know that’s what I’ll be using. Why do it otherwise?

What Jessica said! I start the shower, then start the electric toothbrush, then get in about 1 minute into the 2 minute toothbrush cycle.

The only problem is forgetting that I left my toothbrush in the shower the next time.

I get in at the side of the shower head because I’ve been adjusting the temperature from there already, running the water before I get in, so it just makes sense (once the temp is right) to just go right in. Why would you start it from the outside, then go around to get in?

Also, even though I’m tall I can generally entirely avoid the spray if I stand right under the head. So if I need to adjust further I’m right there and I can duck out of the way.

I have a penchant for sleeping in the shower. Sometimes for as long as an hour. I turn the water pressure down as low as it can go and still actually spray, and then I lie down in the tub with a washcloth over my face so I don’t get water in my ear.

It’s obviously a terrible waste of water, for which I’m more than mildly ashamed. Someday I’ll build a shower made for sleeping that has waterproof cushions and and a switch that can choose between pulling fresh water when I’m washing, and recycling used water when I’m just sleeping.

My shower is square and for some reason it has a.. sitting place on its bottom. I always step on this seat first, than turn on the water, holding its head(it’s also detachable) and point it in another corner. Waiting it to heat takes 10-20 seconds, I think

I have a shower with a single control (left-right: hot-cold; up-down: waterflow) which is quite usual in Spain. No great mistake in the temperature as long as no-one else has moved its sideways position.
I step in from the opposite side, as it’s the only one available, and switch on the water once I’m in: I save water and only have to wait a few seconds for the the water in the pipes to run and nice hot water flowing.
Strnge things?
* Sweep the bits of sand the cat leaves, as the cat litter is next to the shower and the cat tends to scatter sone sand into it.
* Shoo the cat away with an evil shower accident, wetting the cat if he’s trying to drink the water from the shower base.
* Watch TV if I shower very carefully, so as to be able to leave the curtain open and peek at the Tv set a few meters away from me, in direct angle ;-)

A cold beer in a hot shower is an amazing, amazing thing to experience.

I always get in on the end opposite the shower head, otherwise, I would crack my head on the pipe and/or the shower head. I always test the water temperature using my forearm because it is more sensitive than my hand.

From tonights New Inventors program in Australia - a device that harvests the cold water from the shower, and then mixes it in with the hot water. Result? The cold water normally lost is saved.

It reminded me of this thread…


From tonights New Inventors program in Australia - a device that harvests the cold water from the shower, and then mixes it in with the hot water. Result? The cold water normally lost is saved.

It reminded me of this thread…


I turn the water on first, switch to the shower head, and then take my time getting undressed. It takes quite a while for the water to warm up. Once it’s warm enough, I get in on the side opposite from the shower head, mostly because I like to avoid being splashed anywhere before I’m ready. Which now that I’m saying it sounds really weird.

Also weird is that I always get out of the shower on the other end, the end with the shower head. I have no idea why.

Before reading this comment thread, I had always thought that people turning on the water after getting in the shower was just a conceit used in TV shows and movies for aesthetic reasons. But apparently people in real life do it too. I find it unfathomable that anyone would, though.

I also can’t fathom why anyone would object to peeing in the shower. I don’t want to flush right before a shower because it affects the water pressure and wastes water. I don’t want to pee right after a shower because, well, I just washed myself. Why would I want to start getting dirty immediately after? It just makes good sense to me. If you think it’s gross, well, you’re in the shower to wash anyway.

On weird stuff in shower:
Once a week, I clean the bath-shower before I get in for my shower, then use the shower spray to rinse it down the drain while I take my own shower. Saves time and water.

I turn the water on after I get in. I had no idea that so many people did it the other way. I still think I’m right.

Open the door on the faucet side to turn it on, piss in the shower from outside of it while I wait for it to heat up, turn it down a notch (same spot every time), step in from the faucet/head side.

After reading your post, I had to let you know about a product my wife and I invented for shower thinkers. It is a waterproof notepad that allows you to write down your great ideas while you are in the shower. www.myaquanotes.com