The Little Irritations of Life #5: Non-concussive Taps

I understand the reason for non-concussive taps.  I even sympathise with the reason for non-concussive taps.  But I still can’t help but find them deeply irritating.

Press taps, push-action taps, self-closing taps, saver taps––call them what you will––are an example of a mechanical object, which limits the expression of human free will.  They are designed to deliver a pre-specified flow of water and then shut off, thus eliminating the potential eco-disaster of a forgotten running tap.  So far, so good.

They have non-concussive taps in the washrooms at my office.  Either my workplace is operating at the extreme end of environmentally-conscious or, and admittedly this is more likely, the plumber they employed to fit the taps is operating at the extreme end of employable-competence, but the non-concussive taps in my workplace only permit a flow of water while your hand maintains downward pressure on the tap itself.  This means that you can only wash one hand at a time.  No gleeful rubbing of hands together beneath a powerful aqueous flow; no lengthy luxuriating in a cooling current of cleanliness.

This is not my only gripe with non-concussive taps.  I have encountered the reverse scenario.  Taps, which liberally disperse water for so long after I have completed my ablutions that I am forced to either doubt the efficacy of my hygiene regime, or shout in futile impotence at the unstoppable and wastefully gushing torrent: “Stop. Please stop.  Just stop.”

What was so wrong with old-fashioned twist taps?  At least then I could control the amount of water I used. And for every dickhead who deliberately left the tap running there would be a Good Samaritan like me, who would turn up and turn it off.

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree gets unfeasibly annoyed in the washroom.

Discover some of the other things Simon gets up to in the company washroom in Urinals: a Basic Lesson in Probability.


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