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What Happens When You Use a SUICIDE SHOWER HEAD in the US

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What Happens When You Use a SUICIDE SHOWER HEAD in the US | Watch Now!

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The Suicide Showerhead is one of the strangest electric appliances ever created, still in use today in hundreds of thousands of homes. But WHY? I wanted to learn more about this unusual appliance & share my findings.

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Disclaimer:
Due to factors beyond the control of Silver Cymbal, I cannot guarantee against improper use or unauthorized modifications of this information. Silver Cymbal assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. Use this information at your own risk. Silver Cymbal recommends safe practices when working on machines and or with tools seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of Silver Cymbal, no information contained in this video shall create any expressed or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage, or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or from the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not Silver Cymbal.

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10 Comments

  1. Lived in Central America a couple years – many times I’ve gotten an electrical shock using these if making contact with the head while showering. Had one explode on me at the end of its life cycle, getting burned with the sparks shooting out of it. Also, the lower the water pressure (and slower the flow), the hotter the water will be coming out of these. There were times the pressure would fluctuate and get so low the water would be scalding hot.

  2. As a retired master electrician I have seen these throughout Central and South America. Suicide shower head is rightly named. I haven’t seen one installed with GFCI protection or proper sized conductors. I’ve taken hot showers using them, but was very careful as I thought staying alive was more important than a hot shower.

  3. I grew up in Paraguay in the 1970s and 1980s. We got our first electric shower (as they are called there) in late 1979. Before that we used a shower bucket with a capacity of about 15-20 liters. So “cold” showers were the norm. For a warm shower we heated the water on the stove and dumped it in the shower bucket just before showering.
    Now a days the electric shower is usually run on a dedicated 25A circuit (at 230V). The plus (+) and minus (-) signs on the connecting cables have a very specific purpose: you want your “switch” to be on the “phase” side of your heating element, not on the “neutral” side. If you get the polarity wrong, you run a very high risk of getting shocked as soon as you turn on the water tap.
    For new installations (since about 10 years ago) it is standard to have a big CFM breaker installed in the breaker panel, right after the main breaker, that feeds the individual circuit breakers. The neutral is connected to ground at the meter box by the electric company. And the ground circuit in the house is also connected to the neutral line in the main breaker panel. So it is rather common to connect the shower ground wire directly to the neutral line to prevent the CFM breaker from popping. Though this also depends on the mineral content of the water.
    We quickly learned to keep our hands (and other body parts) at least 30-50cm away from the shower head, in order to avoid electric shocks. With lower mineral content, less distance; and with higher mineral content, more distance!
    And yes, the higher your available flow rate is, you will be able to make a bigger temperature adjustment. Also, if your faucet is only a quarter turn to fully open you will have less ability to fine tune the water temperature than if you faucet takes two full turn to fully open.
    Complaint: For safety reasons the shower head needs to installed with the input pipe as close to horizontal as possible. With your inclined installation the shower head drains when turned off and you risk turning the heater on dry. The installation instructions caution to run the shower without electricity for at least 30 seconds after installation or maintenance in order to drain all air out of the heating chamber.

  4. I’m originally from Brazil, 99% of the country uses these electric showers. The one you picked is the most popular and cheapest brand. There are better brands with a shielded heating element so the electricity does not contact the water, but they are more expensive, so people go with the popular one.

  5. Here in Brazil we really have this device and the photos shown are reality in some places. Honestly I’ve never heard of anyone dying from the electric shower, but gas inhalation deaths do happen, which makes the suicide shower seem funny. One thing that helps make the shower safer is that the water and sewer pipes are all PVC. Metal and copper pipes are used only in air conditioning. Another point is the reality that some houses do not have grounding. Another point is when the power connection is at 110V, the ground wire is connected together with the neutral wire. But when it is connected to 220V, (as is the case in most homes) grounding is not used and another benefit is that the electric current is reduced by half.
    Just a note, you should never change the shower temperature with the water on. This severely damages the electrical contacts and runs the risk of arcing (due to high amperage) and ending up creating bad contact at the terminals.
    I hope I could have contributed with some information.

  6. I think it wouldnt be as sketchy looking if the wires were longer and were hooked up somewhere outside of the shower.

  7. I’ve used this head in Lima, Peru and it definitely was not grounded. It was just connected to a breaker box nearby. Occasionally you’d feel a tingling sensation. I don’t think there was grounding in electrical in the house since all the outlets were 2-prong. The sucky thing is that you have to turn the faucet to a lower pressure to get hot water.

  8. Sounds like it could be useful for RV showers, although tankless water heaters are more popular for that nowadays and can fairly easily be retrofitted to even older RVs.

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