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A typical stall shower with height-adjustable nozzle
A combination shower and bathtub

A shower is a place in which a person bathes under a spray of typically warm or hot water.[1] Indoors, there is a drain in the floor. Most showers have temperature, spray pressure and adjustable showerhead nozzle settings.

The simplest showers have a swivelling nozzle aiming down on the user, while more complex showers have a showerhead connected to a hose that has a mounting bracket. This allows the showerer to spray the water at different parts of their body. A shower can be installed in a small shower stall or bathtub with a plastic shower curtain or door.

Showering is common in Western culture due to the efficiency of using it compared to a bathtub. Its use in hygiene is therefore common practice.[2] A shower uses less water on average than a bath: 80 litres for a shower compared to 150 litres for a bath.[3]


The original showers were neither indoor structures nor man-made, but were common natural formations: waterfalls.[4] The falling water rinsed the bathers completely clean and was more efficient than bathing in a traditional basin, which required manual transport of both fresh and waste water. Ancient people began to reproduce these natural phenomena by pouring jugs of water, often very cold, over themselves after washing. There has been evidence of early upper class Egyptian and Mesopotamians having indoor shower rooms where servants would bathe them in the privacy of their own homes.[5] However, these were rudimentary by modern standards, having rudimentary drainage systems and water was carried, not pumped, into the room.

The ancient Greeks were the first people to have showers. Their aqueducts and sewage systems made of lead pipes allowed water to be pumped both into and out of large communal shower rooms used by elites and common citizens alike.[6] These rooms have been discovered at the site of the city Pergamum and can also be found represented in pottery of the era. The depictions are very similar to modern locker room showers, and even included bars to hang up clothing.[7] The ancient Romans also followed this convention; their famous bathhouses can be found all around the Mediterranean and as far out as modern-day England. The Romans not only had these showers, but also believed in bathing multiple times a week, if not every day. The water and sewage systems developed by the Greeks and Romans broke down and fell out of use after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Modern showers

The first mechanical shower, operated by a hand pump, was patented in England in 1767 by William Feetham,[8] a stove maker from Ludgate Hill in London. His shower contraption used a pump to force the water into a vessel above the user's head and a chain would then be pulled to release the water from the vessel. Although the system dispensed with the servant labour of filling up and pouring out buckets of water, the showers failed to catch on with the rich as a method for piping hot water through the system was not available. The system would also recycle the same dirty water through every cycle.[9]

This early start was greatly improved in the anonymously invented English Regency shower design of circa 1810 (there is some ambiguity among the sources).[4] The original design was over 10 feet (3 m) tall, and was made of several metal pipes painted to look like bamboo. A basin suspended above the pipes fed water into a nozzle that distributed the water over the user's shoulders. The water on the ground was drained and pumped back through the pipes into the basin, where the cycle would repeat itself.[citation needed] The original prototype was steadily improved upon in the following decades, until it began to approximate the shower of today in its mode of operation. Hand-pumped models became fashionable at one point as well as the use of adjustable sprayers for different water flow. The reinvention of reliable indoor plumbing around 1850[10] allowed free-standing showers to be connected to a running water source, supplying a renewable flow of water.

Modern showers were installed in the barracks of the French army in the 1870s as an economic hygiene measure, under the guidance of François Merry Delabost, a French doctor and inventor.[11]As surgeon-general at Bonne Nouvelle prison in Rouen, Delabost had previously replaced individual baths with mandatory communal showers for use by prisoners, arguing that they were more economical and hygienic.[12] First six, then eight shower stalls were installed. The water was heated by a steam engine and in less than five minutes, up to eight prisoners could wash simultaneously with only twenty liters of water. The French system of communal showers was adopted by other armies, the first being that of Prussia in 1879, and by prisons in other jurisdictions. They were also adopted by boarding schools, before being installed in public bathhouses. The first shower in a public bathhouse was in 1887 in Vienna, Austria. In France, public bathhouses and showers were established by Charles Cazalet, firstly in Bordeaux in 1893 and then in Paris in 1899.[13]


Many public swimming areas offer poolside showers


Domestic showers are most commonly stall showers or showers over a bathtub. A stall shower is a dedicated shower area which uses a glass door to contain water spray. The shower over a bathtub saves bathroom space and enables the area to be used for either a bath or a shower and commonly uses a sliding shower curtain to contain the water spray. Showers may also be in a wet room, in which there is no contained shower area, or in a dedicated shower room, which does not require containment of water spray. Most domestic showers have a single overhead shower head, which may be adjustable.


Many modern athletic and aquatic facilities provide showers for use by patrons, commonly in gender segregated changing rooms. These can be in the form of individual stalls shielded by curtains or a door or communal shower rooms. The latter are generally large open rooms with any number of shower heads installed either directly into the walls or on posts throughout the shower area. Open showers are often provided at public swimming pools and at popular beaches.

Military forces around the world set up field showers to enable the washing away of dangerous residue from modern weapons such as caustic chemicals, deadly biological agents, and radioactive materials, which can harm forces on both sides of a conflict.[14]

Wet room

A wet room is a bathroom without internal dedicated or raised areas which has an open shower. Structurally, a wet room requires the bathroom to have a gradient or slope towards a drain hole, and a foul air trap connecting the floor to the waste pipes.


Rib shower
Brazilian electric shower
  • Air shower, a type of bathing where high pressure air is used to blow off excess dust particles from cleanroom personnel
  • Electric shower, a shower stall device to locally heat shower water with electrical power
  • Emergency showers, installed in laboratories and other facilities that use hazardous chemicals, and are required by law in the United States;[15] designed to deluge continuously at around 30–60 US gallons (110–230 l) per minute [16] for at least 15 minutes [17] and should be located at most 10 seconds away from potential users[18]
  • Graham shower,[citation needed] any type of shower taken in limited environment where normal shower facilities do not exist (e.g., under a rain-filled gutter, under a spigot)
  • Navy shower, a method of showering that allows for significant conservation of water and energy
  • Power shower, a shower stall device to locally increase the water pressure available to the shower head by means of an electric pump
  • Roman shower, a shower that does not use a door or curtain
  • Steam shower, a type of bathing where a humidifying steam generator produces steam that is dispersed around a person's body
  • Vichy shower, a shower where large quantities of warm water are poured over a spa patron while the user lies within a shallow (wet) bed, similar to a massage table, but with drainage for the water

Types of shower heads [19]

  • Fixed shower heads

Traditional fixed shower-heads are mostly common shower-faucets because as they can easily connect to the plumbing fixtures with-out any additional hardware. Fixed shower heads come in all shapes sizes and colors to match your design and budget requirements. Each comes with a standard ball joint fitting and can be used with either a wall-mounted or a ceiling-mounted shower arm. The ball joint fitting also allows the angle of the head to be adjusted once it’s secured to the shower arm to allow you to direct the water to the most comfortable position. Many fixed shower heads also come with rub clean nozzles to help prevent the buildup of lime scale.

  • Shower handsets

Hand-set shower-faucets are connected by a flexible-hose, but they are mounted and used like the a fixed shower-head. The shower-head are a good way to bathe, without using fountains of water at any one time. Over the years, the shower head has become very practical, featuring anti-clogging features, a variety of spray modes, and of course; hand held features. Handsets are the perfect solution to accommodate a separate handset in the shower. A designer touch, choose from the modern slim line designs feature cubist forms or curvaceous lines to complement your existing brass-ware wall outlet in round or square design to match your other bathroom brass-ware.

The most important aspects to consider with a shower-head is the water flow as nobody enjoys a weak trickle of water when they are trying to shower. Typically, the flow of shower-heads is limited to 2.5 gallons per minute to conserve both water and energy. With some less well-designed models, this restriction can result in poor water pressure and an unsatisfying shower. Although many shower-heads have flow restrictors that can easily be removed, with good design it is possible to keep the water and energy savings while having good pressure. One of the factors that influence your shower experience is a good shower head. To make sure that the shower is the most relaxing and invigorating.

  • Ceiling-mounted faucets

Ceiling-mounted shower-faucets are typically rain-drop shower-heads mounted in one shower ceiling. Water-rains down, at low or medium pressure, using the gravity to shower on one from directly above. The Ceiling-Mount Shower Head enables its user to reach the pinnacle of relaxation with its waterfall like water flow. This luxurious shower head will transform your shower from mundane to extraordinary.

  • Adjustable shower heads

Adjustable shower faucets are often have numerous settings, including the pulsating massage settings and high-pressure. One adjust the spray pattern and water flow to suit one preferences.

This adjustable shower head is a simple and easy way to update the look and functionality of your bath. Simply remove the existing shower-head and install the new one. Plumber’s tape is recommended to ensure a water-tight connection. It provides a truly better shower experience. The warm, drenching water coverage is the result of a denser water pattern and larger droplets that retain their heat longer to soothe and revitalize you. The effect with our water-efficient models is a luxurious, indulgent shower that actually conserves water. Large drops and dense wide spray pattern creates a blanket of water that gives you complete coverage.

  • Shower panels

Shower-panels are always a lesson in-bathing luxuries, including different jet spouts that give your body numerous splashes. Introduce a solitary divider panel or numerous little stream panels along one shower dividers and roof.

In today’s reality, the advancement of shower-panels is expanded ten-fold. Regularly one can say that power and water don’t blend. All things considered, this is not valid for some mechanically more created shower panels. On the off chance that you get a kick out of the chance to sing while bathing, you can have an ambient melodies originating from the shower-tower. You can even discover such as that panels have screens introduced on the panel and one can even watch in the YouTube recordings through WI-Fi connection. The shower-head can be utilized as a mouthpiece also, on the off chance that you need somebody to hear you’re singing a short time later. Actually, the diverse shading lights are an absolute necessity in such stroll in-showers and they are effortlessly available on the shower-towers. As such, one shower can be one music-studio. This is the way far we have originated from quite recently singing under the one shower is felt with a static-shower head. Presently one can sing in casing less shower with music and light.

Shower panels additionally control how water streams from rainfall shower heads. Everything can be balanced by the controls-on the shower panel, from the water rate, to water-temperature and the water-profile originating from the shower-head. Some shower-towers even have unique projects, for example, water sparing system or tempest shower software for when one truly are in a surge. When one enters a shower you basic begin the system enduring anyplace from a moment to thirty minutes and make the most of your shower without worrying about conforming anything. What is truly adored in some all the more cutting edge shower-panels is that one can make your custom projects as far as water profile and in addition the melodies that are being-played while one is having a shower. One can pick Vivaldi for unwinding getting a charge out of shower or even-some Rockefeller for one to-sing with. If one can get ready to wake-up and from a hard day up impact from the water, as well as from the music too one can put-on some Eye of the Tiger which can get one spurred and on the right moods.

Shower faucets go a long way in ensuring that the flow of water in the shower is ideal, thus enhancing the shower experience. Different types of faucets for the shower can be purchased online from dealers of home products, or from local hard ware stores. While some faucets are easy to fix and more of do-it-yourself projects, some like the shower panels may require some expertise and are better off fixed by a contractor.

Use and ecology

Hydro-massage on Lake Moynaki, Yevpatoria, Crimea

Shower usage in the latter half of the 20th century has skyrocketed. Personal hygiene became a primary concern, and bathing every day or multiple times a day is common among Western cultures.[20] Showering is generally faster than bathing and can use less water.[21] Showering, as opposed to taking a bath, is recommended for older people because it reduces the risk of injury related to falling.[22]

When a person takes a shower may indicate their social position. Blue collar workers have been found to be more likely to take a shower in the evening after work, whereas white collar workers have been found to shower in the morning before work.[23] An equal number of reasons can be offered for showering at night as for showering in the morning.[citation needed] Contrary to myth, there are no adverse health affects from showering at night.[24]

Some people take more than one shower each day – in the morning, after working out, and at night. People also shower to cool off in hot weather.[25][better source needed]

Used shower water can be employed as greywater.

Cultural significance

Showering is mostly part of a daily routine primarily to promote cleanliness and prevent odour, disease and infection. Advances in science and medicine in the 19th century began to realize the benefit of regular bathing to an individual's health. As a result, most modern cultures encourage a daily personal hygiene regimen. Showering has also developed the reputation as a relaxing and generally therapeutic activity.[26]

Structure and design

Repairing damaged tile in a shower stall with a caulking gun

Designs for shower facilities vary by location and purpose. There are free-standing showers, but also showers which are integrated into a bathtub. Showers are separated from the surrounding area through watertight curtains (shower curtain), sliding doors, or folding doors, in order to protect the space from spraying water. Showers with a level entry wet room are becoming very popular, especially due to improvements in waterproofing systems and prefabricated components.

Places such as a swimming pool, a locker room, or a military facility have multiple showers. There may be communal shower rooms without divisions, or shower stalls (typically open at the top.)

Many types of showers are available, including complete shower units which are all encompassing showers that include the pan, walls, and often the shower head, as well as pieced together units in which the pan, shower head, and doors are purchased separately. Each type of shower poses different installation issues.


Though the installation requirements of each of shower will differ, in general the installation of a shower requires the laying of several water transportation pipes, including a pipe for hot water and for cold water, and a drainage pipe.

It is important that the wet areas of a bathroom be waterproof, and multiple layers of waterproofing can be employed. Grout is used to fill gaps between tiles, but grout and tile setting materials are generally porous. Tiles are generally waterproof. Thus small mosaic tiles offer less of a defense than large format tiles. Sub-tile waterproofing is important when tiles are being used. Best practice requires a waterproofing material to cover the walls and floor of the shower area that are then covered with tile, or in some countries with a sheet material like vinyl.


Shower repair showing drain piping with trap
This diverter valve about to be installed behind a shower mixes hot and cold water.

Some shower areas utilize a second emergency drain outside of the shower in case of overflow. In Australia and some European countries plumbing codes require this second emergency drain (but not in the United Kingdom nor North America).[citation needed]

Shower head

A shower head.

A shower head is a perforated nozzle that distributes water over solid angle a focal point of use, generally overhead the bather. A shower uses less water than a full immersion in a bath. Some shower heads can be adjusted to spray different patterns of water, such as massage, gentle spray, strong spray, and intermittent pulse or combination modes. Hard water may result in calcium and magnesium deposits clogging the head, reducing the flow and changing the spray pattern. For descaling, various acidic chemicals or brushes can be used or some heads have rubber-like jets that can be manually descaled. A homemade remedy is to immerse it in a solution of water and vinegar for a while, since the vinegar is able to dissolve limescale.

Some governments around the world set standards for water usage and regulate shower heads. For example, in the United States, residential and most commercial shower heads must flow no more than 9.5 liters per minute (2.5 gallons per minute) per the Department of Energy ruling 10 CFR 430. Low-flow shower heads, less than or equal 7.6 liters per minute (2.0 gallons per minute), can use water more efficiently by aerating the water stream, altering nozzles through advanced flow principles or by high-speed oscillation of the spray stream. USEPA administers a voluntary water saving program, WaterSense, which can certify low-flow shower heads.

Shower curtain

Shower curtains are curtains used in bathtubs with a shower or shower enclosures. They are usually made from vinyl, cloth or plastic. The shower curtain has two main purposes: to provide privacy and to prevent water from flooding or spraying outside the shower area. Shower curtains usually surround the bath inside the tub or shower area, and are held up with railings or curtain rods on the ceiling. To accommodate the different types of bathtub shapes, railings can come in different sizes and are flexible in their design. Some people use two shower curtains: one that is inside the tub, which is mainly functional or decorative as well, and an outer shower curtain, which is purely decorative. The bottom portion of the inner curtain often comes with magnetic discs or suction cups which adhere to the bathtub itself.

Shower door

Shower doors are doors used in bathrooms that help keep water inside a shower or bathtub and are alternatives to shower curtains. They are available in many different styles such as framed or frameless, sliding or swing. They are usually constructed of aluminium, clear glass, plexi-glass or tempered glass. Shower doors can come in many different hardware finishes and glass patterns that can match other bathroom hardware such as faucets and shower heads. There are also shower doors that are in a neo angle design for use on shower pans that have the neo design as well. The design of the shower pan is extremely important as the shower door must be the type required for the pan in order to work. A shower door requires plastic lining along the edges of the door to protect against water leaking out.


  • Pressure balanced valve, a device to provide constant shower water pressure and prevent temperature fluctuations
  • Shower cap, a cap worn while showering or bathing, to protect hair from becoming wet
  • Shower radio, a radio that is waterproofed to allow it to be used in a bathroom or other wet environment
  • Sunshower, a device to locally heat shower water with solar power
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Shower Pumps
  • Washing mitt, a tool for applying soap to the body
  • Water heat recycling units to reclaim much of the waste water's heat and recycle it to the shower head and minimize heat lost to the drain
  • Shower panel, a large control panel with shower head and the piping [27]

See also


  1. OUP 2009, p. 772 Shower, def 3.
  2. Shove 2004, p. [page needed].
  3. Gillespie, Ed (4 September 2009). "Let's talk dirty…how long do you spend in the shower?". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Stand-Up Bath". Retrieved 5 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. James & Thorpe 1995, p. 460.
  6. Humphrey, Olsen & Sherwood 1998, p. 280.
  7. James & Thorpe 1995, p. [page needed].
  8. "A 19th Century Regency Era Shower". Janeaustensworld. Retrieved 30 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "The History of Showers". Retrieved 30 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  11. Biot, Roger (2005). Fameux Rouennais, Rouennais fameux. Rouen: PTC-Normandie. ISBN 9782350380117. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Hervé Dajon, La douche, une invention d’un médecin des prisons, le docteur Merry Delabost, Criminocorpus, 2010 Online text - in French
  13. Feltgen, Dr. (8 November 2000). "Dr. Merry Delabost, inventor of the shower?" (PDF). Hopitaux de Rouen. Retrieved 30 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Jones 2004.
  15. "1910.151: Occupational Safety and Health Standards — Medical services and first aid". Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR). Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 18 June 1998. Retrieved 1 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Mayer 1995, p. 155.
  17. Vincoli 2000, p. 343.
  18. Brauer 2006, p. 533.
  20. Shove 2004, p. [page needed].
  21. "Shower vs. Bath". Consumer Energy Center. California Energy Commission. Retrieved 5 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Mullick 2005.
  23. Look Out, Are You About to Join the White Underclass?, Joe Bageant, The Silver Bear Cafe
  24. Is Taking A Shower At Night Bad For Health?, Malaysian News Agency
  25. Take A Cold Shower To Cool Off This Summer, John Westenhaver, Energy Watcher, 20 June 2009
  26. Shove 2004, p. [page needed].
  27. "Shower panels". Retrieved 2015-02-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Brauer, Roger L B (2006). "Personal protective equipment". Safety and health for engineers (2nd ed.). John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-29189-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Humphrey, John W; Olsen, John P; Sherwood, Andrew N (1998). Greek and Roman Technology: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-06136-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • James, Peter; Thorpe, Nick (1995). Ancient Inventions. New York: Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-40102-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mayer, Leonard (1995). "Emergency systems". Design and planning of research and clinical laboratory facilities. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-30623-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Oxford University Press, ed. (2009). Oxford New Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus (3rd ed.). Berkley. ISBN 978-0-425-22862-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Shove, Elizabeth (2004). Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience The Social Organization of Normality (New Technologies/New Cultures). New York: Berg. ISBN 978-1-85973-630-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Vincoli, Jeffrey W (2000). Lewis' dictionary of occupational and environmental safety and health. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-56670-399-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Web pages
  • Jones, Jerry (29 October 2004). "Decontamination shower system revamped". Reporter. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Retrieved 5 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mullick, Abir (2005). "Bathing for Older people with Disabilities". UB School of Architecture and Planning. Retrieved 5 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>