I took a shower the other day (hold your applause) and went in determined not to come out until I figured out how everything worked. Well, I’m out, without even wrinkling, but much of my space-age machine remains a mystery.
I have to say, the parts I’ve figured out I really like, and my showers are probably far longer than they ought to be because I’m playing with all the new toys. In the old days I had two choices: pull up for a shower, or put a stopper in for a bath. Now I have so many choices I barely know which to try next, and I haven’t yet made it to a bath.
While all the current reviews don’t say it, a lack of instructions, both for assembly and use, is a major drawback, and if I were going to review it, I would give it three stars out of five for this very reason. If the company would provide instructions, in Real English (trademark), this would easily be a 5. Well, 4.5.
The tub is very tall, and when one’s sacrum is out of whack, getting a leg up is difficult. Although it’s much easier to get in than out, making one’s vow to stay put inside until All is Learned much easier.
Dusty solved that problem, and this is why he’s the contractor and I’m not: Sam and I measured where my foot wanted to be as I put it out of the shower, but Dusty said No, you want it as high as the tub floor so that in and out are at the same elevation. And he was right.
So I can get in and out, and it was fairly easy to determine the three knobs that control water temp, water pressure and which implement(s) are going to spew water. The knobs all operate backwards from what Americans are used to, and if you squint really hard you can see temperatures etched into the metal, all of them Celsius, giving you a couple of clues as to why all this might seem foreign. Oh, it is!
I do sometimes forget which is for water pressure and which is for implements, and the only hazard there is that the water in unused implements starts out cold and I’m not prepared to dodge.
I like to start with the “acupressure jets” just below the three dials. So far I’ve only tried about three-quarters water pressure, but they do feel nice, and I like being able to sit down without having to fold myself all the way to the floor.
I also like, which I didn’t expect, the hand wand, although I feel kind of rock star-ish as I lift it out of and back into place, because it sits just like a microphone. (No singing in this shower, however.) And it comes in handy for things like rinsing after shaving, because the rainfall shower head, also nice, is pretty much straight down and you have to twist your body if you want parts under the crown of your head to get washed.
The bath is the one feature I haven’t tried yet, and it’s got most of the pieces I still haven’t figured out. It does seem like the only way to fill it is from the spout that sits just below the hand wand (and above the white piece on the wall). It seems like it could take a long time to fill one’s bath this way. (It also doesn’t seem to come with a stopper, but Lynn has one that looks like someone washing down the drain that I can use.)
On top of the tub are these dials with Klingon symbols in the middle. I figured one out: it’s simply the on/off button for what I assume is the whirlpool action for the tub. It makes a lot of churning noises when I push it, anyway, although I don’t leave it on for long because I don’t know if it’s harmful to the mechanisms if there’s no water in the tub.
Sometimes there’s water in the bottom of the tub, and I’ve tried it then, but I don’t see or feel any sort of bubbling. And the other two dials, one on either side of the back end of the tub, rotate but so far don’t seem to control anything. Maybe we need Klingons to operate them.
Then there’s the electronic control panel. I get that in this day and age of non-reading, pictures are supposed to suffice for everything, but I think it’s been well established that I am not of this day and age.
I understand on/off, and experimentation has revealed that the thing that looks like a flower appears to be a fan inside this (because it’s completely enclosed, with its own roof). The light bulb is for white lights, and the sun-looking thingy gets the cool color-changing LED ring around the showerhead going.
After that it’s much more tenuous. The split icon that looks like a movie clapboard seems to turn on the radio, but all I get is static. When I push “vol/tun” at the bottom, I get a reading that my sound is at 11 and my frequency is 87.1, but nothing I push seems to change either.
The clock button so far does nothing, and the temperature, which I think ought to switch me from Fahrenheit to Celsius, just mocks me quietly. I don’t know if this is because the panel isn’t completely hooked up, it’s broken, or I’m not pushing correctly.
I assume “MEM” is perhaps to record preferred settings, but I haven’t gone there yet, and I can’t get any sort of reaction when I push the other two buttons on the bottom, which seem to say the same thing only in opposition.
That leaves the button with wavy lines, and as near as I can tell, that’s the steam function. When I push it, a little bit of water trickles out only one of the holes near the bottom of the tub; eventually steam starts spewing from the white thing on the wall; my water temperature starts fluctuating wildly (hot on my feet, almost cold on my head), and my entire bathroom starts moaning and groaning like I have summoned every spirit that ever walked among the dead.
Is it supposed to make this much noise? How should I know? There are no instructions. Is water supposed to trickle out of one hole? How should I know? Why does the water temperature fluctuate so much? How should I know? There are no instructions.
I haven’t gotten to the circle on the left hand side of the tub, which also turns and comes with a small hole. I’m wondering if maybe that’s the safety feature that keeps you from overflowing, only you can decide how daring you want to be by turning the hole closer to the bottom or top of the tub.
You are welcome to suggest I give Youtube a try to see if some kind soul has taken the time to explain their shower to the unwashed like me, but so far the best I’ve managed is a 22-minute video (I watched the first 30 seconds) of someone putting together a similar but not the same unit. Maybe if I stuck with it he would get to dials, holes and buttons.
In the meantime, I guess I’ll just keep pushing, turning and twisting until something breaks in my hand, leaving me with a several thousand-dollar paperweight and water spewing all over the bathroom. But it will be bathed in lovely LED light, and that’s all that really counts, right?