help me take a shower
August 31, 2013 8:45 PM   Subscribe

i just moved to my new apartment. i can't get the shower to work. the bathtub turns on, but nothing makes the water come out of the shower head.

here are two pictures of the setup:

the faucet is sort of a ball-style thing that turns on by being pulled up. temperature is determined by turning left and right. down/middle is off. "out" doesn't seem to be possible.

the thing below the faucet controls the drain. i verified this by attempting.

please, please help me. i am so tired and dirty and gross from moving.
posted by millipede to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Can you pull on anything inside the bathtub spout? Reach in there and see if there's a ring you can pull down on.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 8:47 PM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

pull on the bottom of the spout. may need pushing, but that's more unusual.
posted by momus_window at 8:47 PM on August 31, 2013 [7 favorites]

Like in my question from a while ago.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 8:47 PM on August 31, 2013

Yeah, the spout should move up and down to switch it between bath and shower.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:51 PM on August 31, 2013

What does the drain plug look like? One time when I moved into an apartment, the solution was that you had to push on the drain plug. It seemed like a normal one in that it screwed in and came out, but you had to push on it to make the water start. At least that's how I remember it.

The word for "drain plug" is on the tip of my tongue.

I'm sorry that you're going through this.
posted by vincele at 8:51 PM on August 31, 2013

Totally pull down on the bath spout (i.e. the ring right around where the water comes out.) I have the same thing in my apt. right now; it confuses me pretty much every morning.

Moving sucks. Having a confusing interface for your shower also sucks. I hope for brighter things in your near future.
posted by nicething at 8:52 PM on August 31, 2013 [6 favorites]

nicething has it. I am almost certain. You push up and twist.
posted by vincele at 8:53 PM on August 31, 2013

I was housesitting two weeks ago and spent 20 minutes trying to figure out the damned spout (pull down on the ring where the spout is). I also went online. I was one page click away from having to ask this same question here on the green.

You might have an even weirder shower contraption thing but I'm betting it's the same kind of shower stopper that you pull down on.

(I had tried twisting the the nozzle bit but nothing would happen, it would just basically spin freely. It did not occur to me to pull down and why would it? What fiendish device is this?)
posted by bfootdav at 8:57 PM on August 31, 2013

You poor thing! It's not you, it's the stupid non-intuitive design. We were in a B&B last year where the shower configuration looked exactly like that, and we finally figured out you had to do what nicething recommended--pull the ring around the spout down. Good luck. I hope you can have a nice hot shower soon.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:58 PM on August 31, 2013

Your faucet looks like this one, which is called a pull-down diverter.

Hope you are showering by now!
posted by The Deej at 8:59 PM on August 31, 2013


i actually tried that before, because i have experienced this stupid design previously, but it didn't budge the first time. i was pulling too much of it. this time i reached further in and pulled harder and it worked! thank you!
posted by millipede at 9:15 PM on August 31, 2013 [19 favorites]

Those pull-spouts are a nightmare. I stayed at a friend’s place a while back, and on my first day I took a sponge bath instead of a shower because I could not figure out the spout.
posted by migurski at 9:28 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

It's designed to be used when the water is already running, if that helps; start the water first and it should be easy to move, and the water pressure keeps it down after you pull it.

It springs back up when you finish showering and turn off the water, so you never have to worry about leaving the switch in the wrong position and getting surprised with a blast of cold water from the showerhead.

I hear you about them being confusing the first time you come across them. Hotels with them are starting to put little instruction signs in the bathroom, next to the soap.
posted by ceribus peribus at 9:39 PM on August 31, 2013

Hahahahahahaha I just faced this exact same stupid problem my first day in my new apartment, and like migurski, after 20 minutes of searching just took a goddamn bath. But yes, the solution was also "pull down" for me (after the water was running, pace ceribus peribus).
posted by en forme de poire at 11:30 PM on August 31, 2013

One thing...if your apartment is like mine, and the neighbors' showering habits (or washing habits, or having-a-faucet-on-at-the-same-time-as-you habits) affect your water pressure, make sure to hold the faucet down for awhile when the pressure is low. If you just pull it and release when there's lower water pressure, it won't "take," and you'll be irritated.
posted by xingcat at 9:21 AM on September 1, 2013

I too have had sponge baths as a houseguest because of that pull-down spout. Showers invariably have terrible UI, and it's a social nightmare too: even if your host is around, you're already naked and/or in the damn shower before you realise you can't work the thing.
posted by holgate at 9:36 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Same thing happened here, you're not alone. I ended up googling the name of the faucet brand and found many others who were confused. Pulling down. Who knew.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:34 PM on September 1, 2013

OH. MY. GOD. I have the exact same setup, and I tried pulling down with the water off, and nothing happened.

Turned on the water? NOW I HAVE A SHOWER! First shower I've taken in this place, and I've lived here for 4 years now.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:09 AM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

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