on December 30, 2012
I actually have a number of Santec shower heads in my home, the 6 jet variety that look almost identical to the Speakman but at almost twice the cost. If I had to guess, now that I own the Speakman, the Santec model is a Speakman that has been re-labeled. So first off, these Speakman shower heads are every bit as good as the Santec IMO. Now, to the 6 vs. 8 jet question. I ended up with both models of Speakman and ended up installing them both. And yes, I took out the o-ring water restrictor. My personal opinion is that it adds at least 25% more water flow. So if you are good with the restrictor in, fine, but if you need more pressure, for whatever reason, I would remove it. The 8 jet provides less pressure or force than the 6 nozzle model but the 8 nozzle model gives you a wider spray area. At the end of the day, I prefered the more concentrated 6 nozzle spray. That being said if you like being in a wash of water without focused force then you would like the 8 nozzle. The 8 jet also is bigger and looks more elegant and grand for certain. But again, if you just want a "power" wash, then you may be disapointed with the 8 jet unit. Again, this is just one persons opinion. If you have your water pressure cranked up in your home and are not worried about a pipe bursting while you are on vacation, then the 8 nozzle unit with heavy water pressure would likely be awesome so get the 8 if you have strong pressure. My guess is that with the 8 jet variety, you simply have the water distributed over more nozzles hence less force from each one given the additional distribution points. I had thought originally, hey 8 nozzles, more water flow. The when I actually thought about it, pretty difficult for a shower head to spray out more water than is coming in...
on August 10, 2012
I received this information directly from Speakman.
The flow restricter on this unit is simply the small rubber o-ring down inside of the neck. To remove the o-ring use small needle nose pliers, a pair of tweezers or a bent paperclip. There is no need to remove or break any parts. Once you remove the o-ring you get full flow of the water.
I took mine out and realized that the water pressure was too great for my shower area and was able to drop the o-ring back down and push it back into place under the prongs. If you break out the filter like another review indicates you will not be able to put it back in.
on June 22, 2013
First, I performed an experiment to see the difference between both flow restrictor removal methods, here are my results:
1) O-ring removal only
This was fairly straightforward, by using only a paperclip bent into a tiny-shaped hook, I then clipped the tip with wire cutters so it was good and sharp. Then, with some maneuvering, the o-ring popped right out. This procedure revealed several holes thru which water could now flow thru the white plastic restrictor, which remained intact.
Results: Water flow was sharp and sand-blasty set at wide-spray, set at narrow spray it was weak and limp.
Not satisfied with these results, I continued my experiment.
2) O-ring is already removed, now for removal of white plastic restrictor
This too was simple, using only a sharp drywall screw, I sank it into one of the holes earlier revealed by removal of the o-ring. Since the sharp screw bit easily into the plastic, I wasn't worried about the restrictor falling into the shower head, but I was cognizant of the risk. Once the drywall screw was secured into the restrictor, using pliers I pulled the restrictor out by gaining purchase on the screw head, this required a bit of strength, but I'm no He-Man, so I'm pretty sure most handy-types could do this. The restrictor popped-out neatly in one piece.
Results: Water flow was directional, powerful, yet gentle at wide-spray, set at narrow spray it was forceful and robust, but still soft.
This is by far the best shower head for washing thick, long, hair. In an unrestricted shower it could take up to 30 minutes (rinse, rinse, rinse). With this shower head installed, I can wash and rinse 3x (which I must do because my hair is so thick, long, and coarse), in less than 15 minutes. While definitely not a water-saver, it is truly a time-saver!
I would recommend removing the restrictor in a series of steps like I outlined so you can judge for yourself, if you prefer a stingy-sharp shower (or are more eco-conscious than I), you could probably stop at o-ring removal. However, if you're really looking for "unrestricted" flow, don't stop at removal of the o-ring, remove the white restrictor too. I would've been dismayed if I had stopped at o-ring removal and probably returned the shower head (after replacing the o-ring, of course).
on June 29, 2012
I installed the Speakman Anystream Icon 8-Jet shower head this morning. Warning- removing the flow restrictor did prove more difficult than Speakman's website will have you believe. In the new design, you cannot remove the collar without a special tool.
Here's how to do it, you will need only needle nose pliers and a small-tipped yet sturdy flat head screwdriver.
1) Look into the neck- you will see white plastic with 4-prongs holding in a black o-ring.
2) You need to make sure you don't push the assembly into the housing of the shower head so be sure to proceed with caution. Keep the neck/ball at an angle to make it harder for debris to fall downward (possibly clogging a jet).
3) Using needle nose pliers, grab each prong forcefully while pulling OUTWARD toward yourself. Pull out ALL four prongs (they will break off, that's OK), if you're lucky the whole assembly could fall into your lap. I was not lucky but an edge of the white plastic restrictor lifted up.
4) Remove the o-ring and discard.
5) You should be looking at a white plastic flow restrictor. Using the small-tipped flat head screwdriver gently pry the flow restrictor outward (towards you), once you have enough edge exposed, use the needle nose pliers to remove the restrictor.
6) If you are having trouble you could always use a sharp drywall screw and gently sink it right thru the center of the white plastic giving you purchase to pull it out with brute force. Again, just be careful so the assembly doesn't fall inward.
The shower head is not very different than the Geissdorf 8 we are replacing. They are both a high quality and high volume shower head. The difference seems to be that when properly adjusted (not wide open) the Speakman's jets are more defined while maintaining a larger spray pattern. The shower seems more forceful than the Geissdorf but still does not sting my wife's sensitive skin.
on April 6, 2013
This is my second one of these. The first one was great, but eventually clogged with too many hard mineral deposits so the spray pattern was all over the place. So I bought another but I'm disappointed in two areas. The first is spray pattern. It's more spread out than it used to be, and as a result, less intense. The second is the build quality. They're using plastic where there used to be metal. Not what I expect in a $130 showerhead.
I may return this.
on November 11, 2014
First of all, if you choose to remove the white plastic flow restrictor, follow M. Silla's review/instructions on June 29, 2012. He's right, new product design. I had to use his "drywall screw method". And Cara's review on June 22, 2013 also correctly describes what the restrictor looks like when you remove the O'ring & break off the plastic clips as M. Silla describes -- a white disk with several tiny holes thru which the water flows rather than one big opening thru the entire width of the shower head's intake pipe when the restrictor is removed.
And therein lies the biggest problem. Water pressure & water conservation aside, if you have old piping or dirty water, in time you'll have to remove the shower head to either remove the clogged debris or remove the entire white constrictor.
SIMPLE TEST BEFORE BUYING: take a shower WITHOUT any shower head attached. If there's not enough unrestricted water flow coming directly out of the pipe to quickly rise your hair and the soap off your body, save your money. Just buy the cheapest shower head (and if it makes a difference, remove the water flow restrictor). At least that'll make you feel like you're getting a decent shower. It'll take longer to rinse your hair enough that you may go back to showering without a shower head like you were using a simple garden hose. The problem is not the shower head. It's the volume of water and the problem is with the water pipes.
SECOND SIMPLE TEST BEFORE SPENDING OVER $120? Remove the aerator from the tip of your kitchen or bathroom faucet & take it apart. It's a $4 item on any traditional faucet, if you forget how to put it back together, easy to replace. Take apart the layers of rubber rings & plastic disks. If you see black grains of dirt plugging any holes in the aerator, that's the same dirt that's going to ultimately plug the Speakman shower head restrictor killing your $120 investment. You may be better off getting a $20 shower head & replacing it every year with one that has a restrictor that is simply a rubber washer with a narrower center hole.
I LOVE Speakman shower heads. I have both the 6 and 8 nozzle type in different baths. All were bought back in the early 90's (if not 80's) before restrictors so I have the benefit of a long track record -- shows how long they last. Just bought a new 8 nozzle simply because after 25 years, the old one it was so calcified and when I removed it, the inside was completely rusted. But I also saw, no flow restrictor so I knew what I would get if I removed the restrictor on the new one.
FACTS ABOUT WATER RESTRICTORS & HIGH PRESSURE SHOWER HEADS:
Think of high pressure shower heads as you would washing down your driveway with a regular garden hose vs. a high pressure washer. An open garden hose will gently flow water over the dirt until it's loosened enough to remove the dirt. A high pressure washer will forcefully remove the dirt quicker using less water.
Now think of how you want to wash your skin.
If you like the tingling effect of tiny streams of water on your body, then you'll like a high pressure shower head. But it'll take longer to rinse off the soap, just like another reviewer posted that with the Speakman she can wash her hair a lot quicker. It's a matter of simple math: if you have a 40 gallon bath tub, no flow restrictor will save water. It'll just take longer to fill the tub.
BOTTOM LINE: test your unrestricted water flow first. No shower head will make you feel like you're under a water fall or give you a wider spray if there's not enough water coming out of the shower pipe. High pressure heads will just make you feel like it but you'll be in the shower longer.
On the plus side, you don't need 100% perfect water pipes. I have 1950's old galvanized pipes, probably rusted & with restricted flow. Yet I was perfectly happy with my last 8 nozzle Speakman unrestricted flow show head for 25+ years. Here's hoping for another 25 yrs.
on April 12, 2012
- Lever rotates continuous 360 degrees, allowing to precisely set the intensity, regardless of your current water pressure. It's got the full range - from ultra-sharp needles, to a smooth rich waterfall.
- High flow, if restrictor is removed (use needle nose pliers to pull it out, or make a hook out of paperclip, thread it through, then pull out with pliers holding both ends of the clip)
- You can fine tune it to where the water flow doesn't spread out, so you can get concentrated flow at any height.
- Can't think of anything. Having tried half a dozen other "good" shower heads, I'm just glad I gave this one a shot.
on October 7, 2012
Purchased this on a lightning deal a few days ago, and installed it this weekend. Even after the lightning deal price, I was still a bit hesitant to spend this amount on a showerhead but took a chance on it anyhow.
First impression after removing the shower head from its box was how heavy this showerhead is. It feels like a nearly solid chunk of metal as heavy as it is. I suspect this showerhead will have a long life based on the seemingly solid materials and build quality. As an added bonus, since the jets extend and retract when adjusted this seems to also provide a bit of self-cleaning action that removes some deposits and prevents the jets from clogging as easily.
I read other reviews about removing the flow restrictor, but decided to try it first as-is. It was a decent performer with no modifications, especially on the finer spray settings, but it did seem to be lacking adequate flow on the heavier sprays. The black o-ring inside the neck is indeed the flow restrictor that needs to be removed. Was not able to remove it without pulling out the 4 white teeth as mentioned in another review. Pulled out those 4 white plastic teeth, removed black o-ring, and reinstalled. Water flow probably doubled. The heavier sprays now had some reasonable pressure, and the finer sprays almost felt like small needles hitting my back (but in a good, massaging sort of way). After removing the flow restrictor, I had no doubt this shower head was worth the price.
Bottom line, this looks nice in my shower, it is heavy and well built, it provides a generous flow of water after removing the flow restrictor, and is easily adjustable to suit most anyone's shower style. I highly recommend, and will purchase more in the future for other showers in my home.
on June 26, 2012
Over the years I have always used the Speakman 6 head version. I replaced a generic unit in my new shower and decided to upgrade to the 8 jet model. Wow. Not a lot to say except this is one amazing showerhead. It is a little larger in size than I expected but it delivers a fantastic shower!
on July 13, 2013
I experienced the Speakman Anystream in several fine hotels, and was truly impressed with the flow rate & soothing feel of its water stream. It recently came time to replace an also-excellent Moen shower head, so I went with a Speakman Anystream (polished brass).
The shower head is beautiful, heavy brass construction and absolutely simple to install.
The only question, as debated & commented on in several reviews, was whether to remove the small o-ring flow restrictor as well as remove the little plastic plate that the o-ring is seated on. Removing the o-ring without damage looks (& is) simple -- just use very fine needle-nose tweezers or perhaps a toothpick.
I first tried the Speakman straight out of the box with no mods. This did not result in the "fine hotel" experience I remembered. I then removed the o-ring; this produced excellent soothing, non-stingy flow... just as I had remembered. Believe me, with this simple non-destructive mod, there's nothing wimpy about the flow rate. I'm not sure who would need more flow, unless their water pressure is just awful.
My old Moen shower head had a similar o-ring & plastic seating plate mechanism, so I tried an experiment. First, I removed its o-ring; this improved the flow, but the shower experience was markedly inferior to the Speakman. I then used a surgical retractor to attempt to remove the plastic seating plate in back of the o-ring. The plate promptly broke.
Given the excellent performance of the Speakman with its o-ring simply removed (a reversible operation), I would definitely NOT remove the little plastic plate in back of the o-ring.