The Brazilian showerhead may look harmless at the first glance, but it is a huge source of confusion for foreigners, myself included.
You see, many showers in Brazil actually do not have gas-generated hot water. Rather, it is created by electrical heating right inside the showerhead. Once you get over the fear of getting electrocuted (internet likes it to call it the “shower of death”, but I think as long as you don’t fiddle with the wires you will be fine), it is actually quite nice because the hot water is not going to run out mid-shower forcing you to make the choice between a soapy body or a cold shower.
Here are the things I wish I had known about a couple months ago to get the showerhead to bathe me to my liking!
With only one faucet, how do I control the heat of my shower? The answer is here:
On the showerhead, there is a dial for 3 settings: Inverno (winter), Desliga (disconnect), and Verão (summer). Inverno gives you hot water and summer gives you warm water; desliga gives you normal water.
I am proud to say that even with only 2 choices for warmth, I have been able to engineer my showers to be the perfect temperature. The secret lies in controlling the flow of the water – the showerhead has a limit of the volume of water it can heat up per second, so if you turn up the volume, the water will be less warm.
The last part of the shower contraption took me a LONG time to figure out, I mostly just ignored it until I finally asked my Brazilian friend Gilmar about what it is. The long chord on the side of the showerhead, which I always imagined to generate soap or to be something you yank on turns out to be a mini showerhead!!… Duh…
The way you turn it on is by pulling the rod in the middle. By the way, puxar, sounds like push, but it actually means pull.