26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Niagara Shower Head- 3/6/14 Ongoing Experience- Works Well but High Maintenance,
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This review is from: Niagara N2915CH Earth Massage 1.5 GPM Showerhead, Chrome (Misc.)
Summary: I've owned two, first purchased June 2010, 2nd August 2012. They work really well for a phenomenal price, Niagara does appear to redesign for improvement, but in my experience do not last.
Summary: The review below applies generally to both; the difference is a higher flow rate for the new one: 1.5g vs 1.2g for full blast cold water; also, the spray feels softer. The first failed after 2 years due to chrome plating flaking off INSIDE the head, abrading o-rings, and clogging passages. The second failed 3/6/14 after 1.5 years due to o-ring failure (distended).
We have pretty good water pressure here- I think about 60 psi.
Pro: Feels good, and you can get clean! That's what a shower is all about.
Cons: You have to work a little to get fully rinsed. First one I purchased clogged after about 6 months use by *one person*. I initially thought the problem was hard water (what the manufacturer suggested), but I finally took it apart, and saw no mineral deposits. I did find all the o-rings were disintegrating- apparently abraded. I think they may be cheap, there's grit inside and the real culprit is the chrome coating breaking down and abrading/clogging the head parts. A vinegar rinse appeared to flush it out for awhile- makes no sense, but that was my experience..
Tip: spray your head first to warm up the rest of you.
- I do not use the massage setting, so no opinion on that.
- the water loses heat quickly due to fine spray, so run the water fairly hot.
- I have hard water (103-205 ppm, 6-12 grains), so shower heads may eventually clog with minerals..
- my "fussier" relatives seem to be happy with it, although wish for more water.
-I developed this procedure when I mistakenly thought mineral deposits were causing problems, and actually chrome pieces from the coating breaking down was probably the problem (However, this procedure should work for demineralizing any shower head. ) The chrome coating inside (yes, inside) disintegrated, abrading the o-rings, and clogging small passages. I'm surprised that demineralizing with vinegar seemed to help the chrome problem, as vinegar doesn't affect chrome. I should also note I saw some rust inside, which makes little sense.
- Put shower head into an empty 2 cup measuring cup. Cover with vinegar, weigh it down (a mug works well) as it floats. Or- put into a Ziploc bag, fill with vinegar, and set in a cup to hold upright (I've found the ziplocs leak a bit)
- When you start, vinegar poured into it will probably barely go through. Soak it AT LEAST until the vinegar flows through freely.
- It will not hold much vinegar, so don't work to get more in it. I would soak it at all settings. Shaking it, and working vinegar through it by draining and refilling may make a difference.
- Cleanings first purchase: It first clogged after about 6 months of use- to Nov 2010. My notes say I soaked for an hour, & it clogged in 2 months, although I seem to have lost some time! Soaked May 2011 for more than four hours, and it clogged in about 5 months. Soaked 10/25/2011 overnight this time (only soaked spray setting, little agitation) and lasted 3 months. Soaked 1/15/2012 for 24 hours, set on spray setting only & little agitation. Clearly didn't do much as on 3/23/2012 delimed again. This tme soaked for about 14 hours, agitated several times, moved the spray setting. 5/15/2012: soaked overnight, agitated a lot, rotated spray setting often. Interestingly, after several hours a large number (50?+) of small pieces of chrome appeared, apparently from inside the head.
It's pretty good, even if not perfect. I'd love to find a clone of one I bought 25 years ago that had the same or better low flow and much better coverage, but it finally wore out. I guess they were too far ahead of their time.
Continues to clog up more and more rapidly. I wouldn't mind the fact it only lasted two years, but frustrated at high maintenance.
And I bought another. My thinking- after doing research, I identified theAmerican Standard 1660.717.002 FloWise 3 Function Water-Saving Showerhead, Chrome. It's four times the price, and uses quite a bit more water. It's easy to swap a head, so I'm going to try another.
If you want to take it apart. 1) Pry off the ¼ inch round metal piece in the middle of where water comes out. Remove screw under cover. 2) There are two "lines" encircling the head where pieces fit together. Line A is nearest the inlet, B nearest the outlet. 3) Unscrew on line A. 4) Insert narrow screwdriver in Line B and pry on the cover. It helps to hold thumb and forefinger of one hand around the cover and apply pressure in the same direction you're prying the cover off.
Original review: Feb 2011; updated 5/6/2011, 1/15/2012, 3/23/2012, 5/15/2012, 7/8/2012, 1/6/2014, 3/6/2014