Remodeling and shower heads

Posted by Tina Sims @tinaesims, May 26 6:30am

I've read the previous discussion on shower heads but I don't think it answered my question. I am remodeling "my husbands" bathroom. My bathroom has the shower head that flips apart. I do like it but I'm looking for a typical shower head in this bathroom. Now that the shower is being redone, I might just use it. I saw mention of a study that rates shower heads but didn't see the link. Does anybody have a suggestion? My contractor just said buy American.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the MAC & Bronchiectasis group.

When I have questions about water/shower safety I often refer to the advice found on ntminfo.org. Dr Joe Falkingham, the NTM researcher, often offers research and answers questions there. Maybe the rating was there?
Sue

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I bought a shower head that opens to dry out between use (after I was diagnosed with mac and frantically trying to modify my environment to minimize exposure). I’d read about water sitting in shower heads and growing mac so this option seemed like a safer way to shower. I live in a condo so I’m unable to turn the temperature up in the water heater, which I understand is recommended. I can’t remember the brand name but I think I read about it here or on the NTM forum. It is really well made and I’ve been happy with it.

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@kathyhg

I bought a shower head that opens to dry out between use (after I was diagnosed with mac and frantically trying to modify my environment to minimize exposure). I’d read about water sitting in shower heads and growing mac so this option seemed like a safer way to shower. I live in a condo so I’m unable to turn the temperature up in the water heater, which I understand is recommended. I can’t remember the brand name but I think I read about it here or on the NTM forum. It is really well made and I’ve been happy with it.

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This is all so confusing, isn't it?? My understanding of Dr. Falkinham's suggestions is that drying out a showerhead is not going to kill MAC. In fact, his lab found that dessicated MAC continued to stay alive for the seven weeks of the study! Yikes. So what's a person like us supposed to do?

Dr F suggests submerging the showerhead in undiluted bleach for 30 minutes. I also have heard him say that he is fond of scrubbing, so you might want to use a brush.

With that said, I take a different approach. At home I use an inexpensive showerhead with big holes that I buy on Amazon. I have purchased both a regular showerhead and a hand-held one by AquaDance (make sure that there is a large hole setting). I swap the head out regularly and donate the showerheads to Habitat for Humanity.

When I go to my California rental property for the winter, I remove the showerhead and shower like that. I have learned to like it. I imagine I am under a Hawaiian waterfall:) Mostly, I take one minute showers. Again, not ideal, but it gets the job done. My husband uses the other bathroom and is not inconvenienced by this showerhead-less approach.

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So drying the shower head out after use doesn’t kill the mac? What do we do? Take quick baths in tepid water and wash hair in the kitchen sink?

Is there no way around this? What about washing or soaking the open shower head in vinegar after every use? Spraying it with some kind of household cleaner or cleaning vinegar (10%) and let that sit on it?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I soak the shower head in my husband’s bathroom (he has MAC) in vinegar every few days. It seems to be doing the trick plus he takes very brief showers.
There is advice on the Arikayce info, which my husband uses daily, to swap out shower heads for those with large holes to give MAC less of an opportunity to grow.

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@kathyhg

So drying the shower head out after use doesn’t kill the mac? What do we do? Take quick baths in tepid water and wash hair in the kitchen sink?

Is there no way around this? What about washing or soaking the open shower head in vinegar after every use? Spraying it with some kind of household cleaner or cleaning vinegar (10%) and let that sit on it?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Hi, Kathy-
Another group I'm in has recommended a shower heads by Pall. They meet the requirements to filter NTM. I have not tried them myself and understand it takes a bit of work to get them and they are expensive. One of the members posted a contact number for a specific person who was helpful to them at Pall. I will see if I can find it and pass it on to you.
-Echo

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Thanks for this information. I seem to recall that I looked up Pall shower heads and it was difficult to get them in Canada. Perhaps that has changed now.
I feel like people with Mac must do better with super short hair 🙂 so that they can minimize wash/rinse time.

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