The Way of the Exploding Shower Mixer


The Way of the Exploding Shower Mixer

The new house lacks a shower, but has a shower mixer attachment fixed onto the bath taps. Although it’s not the kind of thing you can shower with, it is useful for rinsing yourself down after a bath or after washing your hair. That and chasing all the bubbles and hair out of the bath after it drains.

The water pressure, especially on the cold tap, is pretty darn fiesty. So it only takes about a quarter of a turn of the lever style tap to create quite a forceful jet of water from the shower. Previously I’d found it quite difficult to get a balance between hot and cold, as the cold pressure is so fierce that it seems to lord it over the hot water supply. However, before yesterday morning nothing had prepared me for the sudden and loud BANG from the mixer unit as I was hosing the bath down.

As anyone who has ever given me a fright will recall to their great satisfaction, when startled I go into Ninja Defence mode. This will usually include a reflex action that instantly distances me from the threat. This may or may not be accompanied by an involuntary vocal outburst on my part (read as “Squeal like a girl”). Depending on the information gathered to that point, I may already be in the process of launching a counter attack before I’ve actually landed from the evasive manoeuvre. Regardless, I’ll generally land in a semi-crouched position with my semi-lethal hands held blade-like in front of me, making clear to the attacker that the element of surprize is now lost and that I’m ready to participate in any further engagement.

In the case of the exploding shower mixer of danger, I managed to almost clear the toilet with my evasive leap, while at the same time releasing the shower like it was an electric eel that I’d wrongly assumed to be deceased, only for it to instantly come alive and discharge enough electricity to run a small village for a number of days. Although the first part of my Ninja Defence procedure had been executed to near perfection, I did only manage a half-hearted hands of death pose, due to my precarious landing position of one foot on/one foot behind the toilet.

In the seconds that followed it became quickly apparent that no counter attack was required, due to the inanimate nature of the attacker. Since I was already running late, I decided that the incident had been caused by trapped air in the shower mechanism, and left it at that without further inspection.

This morning it turned out that the entire shower mixer had split in half where the two pieces of its plastic shell had once met, such were the forces involved. Make no mistake – this had been the work of water under high pressure, and validated the evasive ninja defense employed the previous morning. Sadly, it also meant that the shower was fucked.

Not bad. That was eleven days I managed to live in the new house before something like this happened. Something of a result – especially when you consider that, other than drilling a couple of holes and pruning a plant that required only moving, not pruning, Fliss has yet to break anything, at least not to my knowledge.