Wednesday, 18 January 2012


The first time one of the kids went to wash his hands, it sounded like he was using a shower. It's not really the kid's fault for turning it on full volume, but why does full volume have to be like a shower? It's only a sink for washing hands and faces and cleaning teeth, I thought.

However, closer inspection reveals that you can pull the head of the tap out and wash your hair with it. So in fact it is a shower. Even so, it's not a shower most of the time.

When taps used to be wheels that would turn to open, it was more obvious how much flow you were going to get. If you wanted a lot, you had to turn the tap a few times.

Once they started with these new-fangled lever-taps, the electronic generation just thinks of them as switches. On or off. Either nothing or full force, unless you want to be really careful.

So I realised that what they should do is make taps more like bicycle brakes. The more you want the water to come on, the harder you have to twist. At the moment it's the opposite. You have to twist hard to get any water at all, and then there's very little difference in the twisting strength you have to apply between the thinnest trickle and a full torrent. I don't mean you should have to twist really hard to get full volume; just harder than you have to twist to get a trickle.

This is what you'd get if it was an iPhone app.