Q: I want to install one of the new solid-state, four-head shower/body spray massage kits. Are these easy to install and are there any other new low-cost bathroom water savers?
A: Bathrooms (flushing toilets and showering) are the major water consumer in most homes. There are many new low-cost, do-it-yourself bathroom water-saver products that quickly pay back their cost and improve convenience.
The solid-state, multi-head shower/massage kit is a tall thin unit that mounts against the wall. All the plumbing and controls are self-contained for simple installation. A 10 push-button control panel is built in.
The shower/massage kit includes one overhead waterfall, two (high and low) oscillating and pulsating body spray nozzles and one three- way adjustable pulsating hydro-massage shower head. Push buttons instantly switch among the heads and nozzles. The buttons provide all combinations of the spray heads.
There are many new low-flow standard and pulsating shower heads available. The price of some good quality metal ones is less than $10. These high-tech designs create turbulence and air mixing for a forceful shower. Some have nine different spray patterns and adjustments for low water pressure areas.
One new device, an auto faucet control, screws on and replaces the aerator on a bathroom faucet. A short rod hangs down to start and stop the water. Leave the hot and cold (temperature adjusted) handles turned on. Nudge the rod with your hand or cup for a trickle. For full flow, push the rod further.
A similar convenient faucet water saver, Flip Aerator, allows you to adjust the water from a trickle to full flow with a short flip lever. Adjusting the flow does not effect the hot/cold mix (water temperature).
These devices save water and time when shaving or washing. Adjust the water temperature once and it stays constant. These are ideal for people with arthritis who have problems turning handles. These protect against children walking away with the faucet on and also stop drips from leaky faucets.
A Zippy Rinse kit is a decorative hand-washing basin and water spout that is set on the toilet tank lid. Another model includes a complete replacement lid with built-in water spout. When the toilet is flushed, the incoming fresh water first flows out the high spout into the basin for hand washing.
From the basin, it drains back into the toilet tank as always. This is ideal for children who don't often take the time to wash their hands or for incapacitated or arthritic people.
Write James Dulley, The Baltimore Sun, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio 45244, for Update Bulletin No. 721 listing 17 manufactur- ers of these new devices as well as prices and installation instructions. Include $2 and a business-size, self-addressed stamped envelope.
Q: I have a high-efficiency electronic air cleaner in my central air conditioner. What is the proper method to clean the filters?
A: Read the manufacturer's instructions first. One method is to ,, place the cells (filters) in an automatic dishwasher on the bottom rack with the arrows upward. Also, hand cleaning them in a strong, hot detergent solution works.