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December 12, 2005

Twist or Press?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

01 faucet.jpg



Do I push it or pull it? Does it go to the left or the right? Perhaps it's meant to be pressed, or maybe lifted. If it's spring-loaded, will it give me enough time to wash and rinse?


shower handle03.jpg


Perhaps this is one that needs to be pushed and twisted. Is there any way to adjust the ratio of hot to cold? Or will the water come out scalding no matter what I do?


shower handle02.jpg


Do we celebrate the dynamism and inventiveness of America's plumbing-supply industry? Or do we find having to puzzle the code out anew every time we confront an unfamiliar faucet a pain in the neck?



posted by Michael at December 12, 2005


Hell, for these fellows, would be faucets that require ever changing modes of activation. Starting with the simple and straightforward, then progressing to ever more bizarre, distasteful, and embarrassing methods. All while a vile fungal infestation progresses over their skin unless the skin can be kept wet.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg on December 12, 2005 7:11 AM

Vive la divercite (French of my own invention)!

Posted by: Tatyana on December 12, 2005 8:43 AM

This is clearly a CRISIS!!

We need Federal legislation/regulation!

Congress must ACT!!


Posted by: Donald Pittenger on December 12, 2005 9:46 AM

Separate knobs vs. one nob vs. push/pull vs. twist vs. whatever -- these are mere details. Don't the British still prefer separate spigots for hot and cold water? Now there's a system worth complaining about. In this respect the USA is a much more advanced nation.

And don't forget German toilets. I think we have it pretty good here, plumbing wise.

Posted by: Jonathan on December 12, 2005 10:59 AM

Remind me to write a post about bidets in Portugal.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 12, 2005 11:28 AM

At a friend's house one night, I had to ask how to turn on her shower after spending 10 minutes pulling and twisting all the hardware in vain.

Also, I once heard Dr. Leonard Berry, an expert on customer service, give a presentation that included about 25 photos of toilets in Japan. Very interesting!

Posted by: beloml on December 12, 2005 1:55 PM

Worst are the kind you find in movie theatres, hotel bathrooms, etc which are TIMED and turn off just when you've gotten soapy (like the toilets set on automatic flush).
When I had 2 fun carpal tunnel operations, I couldn't manage the pull-and-twist variety in the loo for a while, so I did most of my washing-up in the kitchen which had the old-fashioned lever variety.

Posted by: winifer skattebol on December 12, 2005 2:13 PM

Winifer, commercial timed variety have photoelements in them; all you have to do is to appear in the field of vision once again.
I specify them all the time; they're terrific as a water-savers.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 12, 2005 2:31 PM

The lavish American Club resort hotel in Kohler Wisconsin (home to four spectacular Pete Dye golf courses including Whistling Straits) offers as one of its attractions the, to my mind insane, diversity of Kohler faucets in the bathrooms.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on December 12, 2005 4:02 PM

Tatyana: Please do!

Posted by: Jonathan on December 12, 2005 10:07 PM

I'm eager for Tatyana's Portuguese-bidet observations too.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 13, 2005 12:08 AM

The push/pull-and-twist types are the worst. Especially in the shower so that, instead of enjoying the hot cleansing flow, you have to put on the same clothes and shuffle out to seek help. It happened to me at a hotel -- an extremely humiliating experience, I must say. To admit that, for all your education and smarts, you can't figure out how to turn on the shower... I was on the right track, though -- had I pulled harder, I would have made it but I was afraid I'd break the faucet -- a hot water gusher in the bathroom would have complicated things further. I say, keep it simple.

Posted by: Alexei on December 13, 2005 5:44 AM

Alexei, did it look like this? You do have to pull and twist the knob, but Hansgrohe balance valves have advantage of temperature comfort zone and temp. memory as well as anti-scalding features. As part of Raindance system (see user report here) it's unobtrusive, effective and technically perfect. Pile of dineros, though...

Posted by: Tatyana on December 13, 2005 9:37 AM

I actually like the timed faucets, cause I'm a total germaphobe. And I need directions for everything, so you know what my answer is about all these non uniform faucets....

Posted by: MD on December 13, 2005 10:46 PM

Reminds me of work by an artist friend of mine in LA:

Posted by: Toby on December 14, 2005 12:44 AM

Tatyana: No, it wasn't that neat -- it had an ugly plastic knob that wasn't easy to push or tilt.

We should discuss toilet flush systems next time.

Posted by: Alexei on December 14, 2005 8:07 AM

I have no idea how they did this, but in my apartment, they installed the faucet in my bathroom with hot knob being on the right side and the cold on the left. Even though I've lived here nearly two years, I scald my hands with hot water at least once a week.

Posted by: Neil on December 14, 2005 9:52 AM

Neil, check CA PLumbing Code: if contractors did the opposite to what's stated there, you're in luck. You can stop paying your rent until the lendlord remove violation and complies with the code.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 14, 2005 10:18 AM

You missed the foot pedal controlled faucets that laboratories use.

Posted by: rmark on December 14, 2005 10:57 AM

I just stayed in a hotel and had a hot bath and simply could not figure out how to re-open the drain to empty the tub. I somehow got it to close so that I could fill the tub, but getting the drain to reopen (a twisty affair) was beyond me. I checked out with the tub full of water!

Posted by: annette on December 15, 2005 12:56 PM

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