When it became apparent that my parents could no longer safely take a shower or tub bath, my sis and I searched for a handheld shower that might work in their existing tub & shower stall. Our search took us to Walmart where we found a product called the Universal Tub Spout Shower made for Walmart by the Alsons Corporation of Michigan. The unit was priced modestly for $9.99 and seemed to be an excellent, low cost alternative to the more expensive handheld shower units sold at home improvement stores.
What made this product different that a regular hand held shower is that the tub spout shower fit over the existing bathtub spout instead of the shower head. This feature allowed for easy removal when not in use, a real plus for guests who might not want to bathe with a handheld shower.
How did Alsons Universal Tub Spout Shower measure up?
Appearance and Construction
The Alsons Universal Tub Spout Shower is made of plastic and ABS, with the packaged kit containing about 6 feet of soft plastic hose, a hard plastic shower head, and a washer.
While the hose and the universal fitting looks to be made of sturdy plastic, the shower head itself was a little on the flimsy side. Since we were anticipating a whole lot of use with this unit, the flimsiness wasn’t that much of an issue. I was pleased however to discover that the product came with a one year warranty.
Even though instructions came with this product, the installation was pretty intuitive. The shower head was to be threaded directly onto one end of the enclosed plastic tubing, and the adapter was to be placed over the tub faucet itself.
It was here where we encountered a major problem in that the so-called “universal” adapter wasn’t that universal after all. My parents have a 60 year old house, and the adapter just would not fit over their tub spout at all. Had the adapter been made of a more flexible rubber, it probably would have worked. Unfortunately, the plastic adapter had very little give making it impossible to slide up and over the spout.
While Alsons Universal Tub Spout Shower might work with faucets styles that have at least an inch of downward turn at the end, it won’t work for models that are streamlined and without a turn. For these styles of tub spouts, it’s best to purchase a tub spout shower with a flexible rubber adapter instead one made of a semi-rigid plastic.
How did it work?
Since I had opened the package (and lost the receipt!) returning this item back to Walmart wasn’t an option. Instead, I tried it on the bathtubs in my own home. While this Universal Tub Spout Shower didn’t work on two of my bathtubs, it did work on the the one in the master bathroom.
I was pleased to see that the adapter fit snugly over the tub spout head, and when the water was turned on, very little of the water escaped from the adapter itself. The shower head itself delivered a nice stream of water, and had this worked in my parent’s home, it would have been an excellent solution for them.
Alsons Universal Tub Spout Shower from Walmart is a low cost and affordable way to turn a tub into a safe, hand held shower for seniors and infants. However, when it comes to the installation, it is not as “universal” as the label claims.