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Hand-Held Showers

These easy-to-install bath fittings can make cleaning up more convenient in more ways than one.

A hand-held shower gives you a lot of options when it comes to washing. This device looks like a regular shower head, with one important difference. It has a 60-inch hose that connects it to the plumbing in your tub or shower. Hold the device in your hand and take control of your bathing experience.

There's no end to the things you can do with a hand-held shower. Use it so you can sit down when you take a shower. Point it between your toes to rinse all the soap from your feet. Bring it close so you can get all the soap out of your hair after a shampoo. Let it rinse you off while you sit on a bath chair in the tub. Spray off a youngster after she's enjoyed her bubble bath. You can even use your hand-held shower to rinse your shower walls after their weekly cleaning.

Your hand-held shower will be easier to use if you can turn on and off by pushing a switch on the handle. Pick the largest switch you can find. Then you can shut off the water by pressing the switch against your body. Look for a unit that shuts off when you drop it. This keeps water from squirting all over the bathroom - and all over you.

One Shower Head or Two?

You don't have to choose between the shower head you have now and a hand-held model. You can have both! Keep your current shower head where it is. Ask a plumber to hook up a hand-held unit, too. You can hook the hand-held device anywhere your shower wall. Then use a special valve to switch your water supply from one shower head to the other. The valve is easy to use. You could even make the switch in the middle of your shower.

Are two shower heads a bit too much? No problem. Just replace your regular shower with a hand-held model. Mount your new shower right on the wall where your old one was. Connect it to your plumbing and you're in business. You can use your new shower head like your old shower - hands free. When you want to hold the shower in your hand, just take it down from its hook.

Be sure that you put the shower head at a good height for you. You want to be able to reach it easily. You shouldn't have to strain when you are taking the shower off its hook or putting it back. Be sure to attach the shower unit to a wall stud. It will be more secure.

Look for a hand-held shower that can be mounted on a bar on the wall. That way, you can slide the shower head up or down. Kids - and short people - love these. They get a shower at the right height for them, not six feet up the wall. And people who want to sit while showering will find this shower head is easier to reach.

If you don't want to change your plumbing, buy a spray unit that fits right on your tub faucet. This device is easy to put on and take off. It will work fine if you're washing while you sit in the tub. You may not have enough water pressure to take a hands-free shower.