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water-sheet shower curtain

I'm not obsessed with showering, honest
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

Two things annoy me about showers:
They constantly need cleaning, if fungus is not to grow all over the tiles and shower-curtain, and the whole room fills up with steam during use.

The latter problem can be prevented by completely enclosing the shower, but then you need doors which will also need maintenance.

I propose a new arrangement of the shower. It would be further away from the walls, allowing it to be fully contained by the low-maintenance vapour-impervious wall I will now propose.

Water will, when flowing at an appropriate rate off a smooth surface form a thin 'sheet'. This could be created to completely surround the showering area at a reasonable distance.
On the touch of a button, water would be deployed from a hole in the roof, pass over a smooth rounded metal basin to create an aesthetically shaped water sheet, only to disappear down a draining ring.
The water would mostly be recycled by pumping back up to a tank, however this tank would also supply devices such as flushing toilets etc, so the water would continuously be replaced.

As the water is not heated, it would mop up the steam, and because it is not solid a biofilm of fungus, algae and mould wouldn't develop. (See additional note below)

Additional note:
There is the potential for microbial growth in the water storage tank, but provided it is replaced at a reasonable rate this probably wouldn't be a serious problem.
Googling found a site suggesting an average of 50 liters per day per person for WC flushing, and 20 liters postulated using the most efficient designs. Given a 4 person house, this is 80 liters per day flushed, minimum.
How big would the capacity of the watercurtain system have to be? We need to maintain a sheet of... say 5mm thick around sufficient area for a shower.. say 2 meter diameter, 2 meter tall.
volume would then be around 2*2*pi*0.005=0.063meters cubed=63 liters. There would have to be some extra liquid in the system since the water will take some time to be pumped back up to the top, but a fair proportion of the water would be replaced every day.

Loris, Oct 22 2003


       Love it. Another possibility is to reuse shower water. In the end this would save water, since shower water would be used to flush toilets.
Worldgineer, Oct 22 2003

       watch out for leaping salmon.
po, Oct 22 2003


+ But...the problem is that low viscosity and the high surface tension makes the water break up into drops. So, how about adding a little gum Arabic to the water? Then, you could be surrounded by protective sheets of slime.

pluterday, Oct 22 2003

       Why don't you just use a squeegee? All this fuss.
k_sra, Oct 22 2003

       2 meter diameter? Finally a good excuse to get rid of the steenkin' bath.
silverstormer, Oct 22 2003

       Sorry k and dag, your ideas are far less elegant and far more boring. Bun for Loris, nothing for you.
Worldgineer, Oct 22 2003

       Ah, those kind of "chores". Ok, that's at least not boring.
Worldgineer, Oct 22 2003

       I'm lazy and my squeegee cost me a dollar. If [Loris] posts a pic, no matter how bad, I will bun the water wall.
k_sra, Oct 22 2003

       If you are squeegee inclined, an application of RainX also helps. RainX Anti-Fog on your bathroom mirrors is pure joy. It is a mystery to me why they don't market it as a bathroom product.
krelnik, Oct 22 2003

       Is that Loris as in "slow Loris"? So the showererer is surrounded by a uniform thing sheet of water. But to actually get wet, you must interrupt that thin sheet. This would provide the spectacle of a bare bum protruding out of a uniform sheet of water. Which I suppose might have its qualities.   

       If you do not interrupt the uniform sheet of water, I think the showerer might breathe up all the oxygen into the enclosed space. This would encourage short showers.
bungston, Oct 22 2003

       Your showers must be very long, [bungs], if you can use up the oxygen in a cyclinder 2m diameter and 2m tall during one.   

       Now that you've mentioned the concept of an air-tight water cylinder, I think it might be cool to have it positively or negatively pressurized to make very interesting shower wall shapes.
Worldgineer, Oct 22 2003


       What a cool idea!   

       Oxygen should diffuse through the water just fine, so I don't think that will be a problem.   

       I assume there's a conventional shower head in the center of the cylinder that sprays heated water more or less vertically. I'm sure you'll get some accidental splatter from the water-wall (especially as it dropletizes) not to mention some from wet bodies stepping out of the shower. And some steam will of course make it out when the wall is deactivated. (It doesn't quite obsolete ye olde vent fan.) But it sure sounds easier to clean than doors or a conventional shower curtain.   

       Whether or not it keeps all the steam in, I think the sheer pleasure of having a waterfall in the bathroom, not to mention the neat visual aspects, make it worthwhile anyway.   

       I want one!
beland, Oct 23 2003

       I remember from my early science classes that soap breaks the surface tension in water. If you recycle the soapy shower water then the problem of the water breaking into droplets would be signifigantly reduced because of this. You may even be able to get away with using much less water. However, if the shower water is recycled you must not forget to include some sort of filtration system, clogs would not help at all.   

       You could really get some incredible lighting effects if you used Rods Tiger's idea with the light shining out from the water. With colour filters and a sound system this has great possibilities. +
Colonel Panic, Oct 23 2003

       Of course, I bump into my existing shower curtain quite a bit, and I would no doubt end up with quite a bit of water on the floor. Which means I would need a drain in the floor.   

       In fact, I might very well just need a "European Style" bathroom, which is fully tiled and just has a shower head coming out of the wall. A good strong fan could vent steam if needed.   

       But that doesn't have nearly the coolness factor of a sheen of flowing water. Even if it would generate a cool breeze in the shower. (I like pumping up the steam anyway.)
beland, Oct 23 2003

       Yeah. I like the steam as well [beland]. I loved the idea though, once I got to the part about the water being recycled. The lighting thingy that [Rods] suggested sounds fab too.   

       And, [beland] again, I have no idea why or where that type of bathroom is known as European.   

       The only one I have ever seen like this was my bathroom in a student hall of residence in germany. This was nothing to do with it being a european bathroom though. Rather it was that my room was in the section of the halls which were designed to allow disabled and wheelchair-bound students to live there. The bathroom was a tiled box, with the shower head above the toilet. Great for mornings/hangovers/sobering up/shagging in the shower.
squeak, Oct 23 2003

       Where do I hang my towel?
RayfordSteele, Oct 23 2003

       On your (door)knob.
squeak, Oct 23 2003

apnea, Aug 30 2008

       //If there were some way to keep the sheet from accelerating as it fell//
Perhaps if the water was pressurised, so it left the slot uniformly at its terminal velocity; but I'm not sure how you would calculate the terminal velocity of a continuous sheet of water...?
Unless you blast the water out at a much higher speed, into its collection gutter, so it doesn't have the time or inclination to break up. (I'm no expert in water stuff...)
neutrinos_shadow, Sep 01 2008

apnea, Sep 01 2008

       Water load of sheet, bro.
theleopard, Sep 01 2008

       //The main reason a sheet of water breaks up into droplets is because it accelerates as it falls// This is not true, in and of itself. Unless you are referring to other phenomena that are a consequence of acceleration, or motion, through a medium. Water, that experiences no acceleration in any direction, forms a sphere. This phenomenon is more a cause of droplets than acceleration will ever be.
4whom, Sep 01 2008

       [4whom], I was just doing an impression of you*, and here you are!   


       *A presumption based on your location, you understand.
theleopard, Sep 01 2008

       //I was just doing an impression of you//   

       My god, man! An impression of an opinionated, self-loathing, psuedo-intellectual with his head *firmly* up his own arse. I hope emergency services were nearby, presumed location notwithstanding...
4whom, Sep 01 2008

       Cripes! No, man - just of someone of reasonable proximity to your longitude and latitude. "Self-loathing," I ask you!
theleopard, Sep 01 2008

apnea, Sep 01 2008

       [theleopard], one day we will meet, and on that day may all your compliments rise up to meet you, in the face! Bro! (colon, hyphen, close parathesis)
4whom, Sep 01 2008

       //close parathesis//
Is that like a normal thesis, but with a large silk canopy?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 01 2008

       [apnea], a good thought experiment, but for the fact of *slabs* of water. These would have to be contained, as fluids (gasses and liquids) almost always take the shape of their containers (bose-einstien condensates excluded). I will have to expand on this a bit later, as I am not in the comfort of my own home and must attend my duties. Suffice to say, I have put some thought into your expirement and will post my answer tomorrow.
4whom, Sep 01 2008

       I think this is a brilliant idea. It would also look cool in films involving characters sneaking up on various women in showers.   

       My only concern is that it wouldn't work, which I see as a problem.   

       A conventional shower curtain stops water from splashing out onto the floor, whereas this one won't. If a stream of water (eg, the sort of stream that shoots off the end of your elbow, having run down your forearm as you wash your hair; or even the stream from a mis-directed shower-head) hits the curtain, it will tend to go straight through. It may even result in the deflection of the aqueous curtain itself, meaning that even more water would escape onto the floor.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 01 2008

       I think the problem of breaking up into droplets and the problem of containing splashes can both be solved by increasing the volume of water. I'm picturing it being at least a centimeter thick at the bottom. I'd recommend turning the curtain off BEFORE stepping out of the shower or you'll make quite a splash. Unfortunately this thick curtain will require a lot more water, and a much larger pump. Hopefully the energy usage for the pump can be reduced by recapuring some of the kinetic energy from the falling water.   

       I like your original thin sheet better if you can make it work.
scad mientist, Sep 09 2008

       //Why don't you just use a squeegee? All this fuss.//   

       The Greeks used a squeegee--strigil, they called it, wielded by slave girls--and dispensed with the shower.
ldischler, Sep 10 2008

       This is an amazing idea worthy of a bun but I have to agree that it wouldn't work for the reason Max posted.   

       And as much as I hate to inflate Max's ego,   

       [marked-for-tagline] "My only concern is that it wouldn't work, which I see as a problem."
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2010


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