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Nova’s Suction Cup Grab Bars

Suction Cup Grab Bar

Easy Install Grab Bar with No Screws

First time I saw one of these things, I thought “No way! That thing is an accident looking for a place to happen!”  But after owning one, holding it in my own hand, I must say it does have a place, a useful place in my house.

Really, when it comes to grab bars, I’m an old-school kind of guy. Give me that chrome bar and some #10 screws any day.  Done right, I could hoist up a small refrigerator on that thing. I mean, well, not in the bathroom but, you know what I mean, something really heavy.   I mean that bar can be really tough.  The old chrome bar thing has been around for a long time, and though they can be tricky to install correctly, once completed, they are hard to beat.

What? No Screws?

When I saw Nova’s suction cup grab bars, I was skeptical, to say the least. “Small and plastic,  and  probably made in Taiwan or China” I thought. “Hmph,..  waste of time and money.” But, my supplier was offering these things for me to sell on the website, Caregiver-Aid.com. So, I guess I had to take a closer look at these suction cup grab bars.

So, when I actually got one and held it in my hand, I was surprised to see the bar was made by Nova. I have a lot of respect for Nova products. They seem to be serious about producing good products. Everything I’ve seen from them seems to be well thought out. That’s kind of refreshing in today’s corporate world. OK, so if Nova is selling it, there must be something to it. Suction cup grab bars are sold by many different suppliers under different brand names. If this was a bad design, then this company would not have it in their product line-up.

Well,…  it was still small and plastic. As I read the directions, I thought to myself, “Just as I suspected, lots of do’s and don’ts.  It says,” This product is meant for balance-assist only. Not intended to support body weight.”  It also says,” Product will secure only to a smooth, flat, non-porous surface.”

How Suction Cup Grab Bars Work

Ok, so Nova’s suction cup grab bars have two large diaphragms with levers over each one.

Red - no seal/hold
Red means no seal, no hold

There are tiny little indicators that tell you if you have a good seal (green) or not (red). You are supposed to clean and dry the surface first.  So I proceeded to stick this thing onto different surfaces around the house. I tried it out on our kitchen cabinet doors and it stuck pretty good. I tried the refrigerator door which has a textured surface, and the suction cups did not like that. I stuck it to some painted doors, and got a green indicator, at first, but it would lose its grip and turn loose after a minute or two.  Well, this is fun, but how does it work in the bath?

First, I learned the surface MUST be a smooth, flat,  non-porous surface or the suction cup grab bar will NOT stick securely. My tub is surrounded by square tiles about 4-5 inches wide on the walls, and, of course, there are grout lines around tiles.  If I position the grab bars over any grout line, it would not achieve a good seal, and the indicator would show red. However, I could position the suction cups where both of them were within the tile boundaries and not on a grout line and the suction bar would hold fast. Once you get two green indicators, then the grab bar will not release. I pulled and jerked on the bar trying to get it to fail and I could not make that happen.

One note of caution: the directions clearly state “Balance-assist only.”  I’m sure that the manufacturer would consider what I’m doing as product abuse.  But I just had to know how well this thing would hold around my tub.

Green – Yes, Red – No

Once I released the levers, and had two red indicators, I peeled the suction cups off the wall using the little tabs on the edge of the cup. I checked the wall, and there was no sign anything was ever there.  I looked at the cup, and thought “Hmm… somebody had a good idea.”  I was pleasantly surprised.

Suction Cup Grab Bar
Suction Cup Grab Bar

I decided to test just how long the cup would keep a seal once it was set correctly. So I positioned the bar correctly and locked it down, while checking to see that I had two green indicators of a good seal. This suction cup grab bar was placed on the wall of a busy tub where there are multiple showers and baths each day. I would grab it and give it a wiggle each time I got in and out of the tub. After a couple of days, the seal indicators still read green. After four or five days, I worried that I might pull it off the wall, but that didn’t happen. The indicators were still green. After seven, eight and nine days, I still had two green indicators and a firm grip.  Hmmm. Finally, on the tenth day, I gave it a strong wiggle and one seal indicator turned red. I snapped back both levers and removed the bar from the wall. I inspected the tiles and I could find no indication that there had ever been anything fastened there.  Hump! Well I’ll be,…

Does Not Leave Marks

You-know,..  being plastic means that it will never rust, and has no problems operating in a wet environment.  With it being so small I could store it in a drawer, cabinet or suitcase. Because it’s so easy to install and to remove,  I could put it up for my shower, and then take it down and put it away when I’m done. It doesn’t leave any marks on the wall, so I could use it without fear of damaging someone else bathroom wall if I happen to be at a hotel or visiting a family member. I could bring it along and use it in the bathroom wherever I happen to be staying.

I’m still a fan of the tried-and-true chrome grab bar with the #10 screws.  But a standard chrome bar can’t do that. But With Nova’s Suction Cup grab Bar, considering the ease of installation and removal, the portability, the convenience of being able to place it in different spots are all big advantages.

What a wonderfully modern world we live in!

So, I guess that I will have to admit that I am a convert. This really is an easy install grab bar with no screws.  Follow the directions, and this thing will actually work quite well.  I think I might keep it.

If you would like to add comments or questions, please be my guest.

 

Nova's Suction Grab Bar
Nova Grab Bar

Nova's Suction Grab Bar
Nova Grab Bar

13 thoughts on “Nova’s Suction Cup Grab Bars

  1. The ones I have suddenly stopped working after a 6 months of light use (shower 2-3 times a week). They would show green and yet slip off the wall which became very dangerous. I’m looking for another solution for the rented flat we’re living in. :(

  2. Hello Rob,

    That problem is certainly concerning. Please contact the Customer Service office of the manufacturer, Nova Medical Products, about your suction grab bar. You may email Nova at this email address: [email protected] Or, you can call Nova and ask for Customer Service, phone: 800-557-6682. The office is open during Pacific Standard Time from 7: 30 a.m. until 5 p.m.. The office is located in California.

    The Customer Service department should be able to address your problems with the product, discuss any warranty, and help you resolve the problem with this product.

    I hope this will be helpful to you

  3. I am looking for something that will secure without screw mounting to a lightly textured surface. Any ideas for me? Thank you

  4. That’s a tough one Katherine. The very nature of the suction cup grab bar is to have a smooth, clean surface that will hold the suction cup reliably.

    The textured surface may prevent the cup from acquiring a strong hold. I don’t know of a suction cup grab bar that work with that type of material. If the bar was to unexpectedly release,.. when the person using it was expecting solid hold,.. bad things could happen. Somebody could get seriously hurt.

    What you might consider is the type of bar that clamps to the bath tub itself (if your using a tub that is). We have a one from Lumex and another by Nova. But I’m sure there’s more if you just search around the net. However neither of the one’s we have will work with a fiberglass tub. Needs to be steal or cast iron.

    Other than that, I’m afraid the best answer is to use the kind that screws onto the wall.

    Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you, I know it not what you wanted to hear.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a believer in “safety first”. So I’ve always used the “screw on” type.

    Hope you find something that works for you,

    Greg

  5. Any idea if vaseline might help?
    clean off soap scum, and polish the tile with floor wax?

    dilute dishwashing liquid

    They do say to wet the cups first?

  6. Is this product made in America?

  7. No it’s not made in America. Probably made in one of the Asian countries.

  8. I dry shower wall n position as explained n I get the green dots. Few minutes later I hear it fall off the wall??????

  9. Hmmm,… there is some reason it’s not getting a good seal. Maybe the suction cups are damaged or the wall is not flat and smooth enough to seal properly. Whatever the reason, since the product is undependable you should stop using it. It could cause someone to fall if while using it and it pops off the wall. Try contacting the maker of the product. They may have some suggestions or might even replace it. Just stop using it.

  10. Can these be attached directly to each side of a tub with wide edges on each side?

  11. Hello Neil,
    It may be possible to to attach these as you suggest, however I would caution against doing that. These suction cup grab bars are not intended to be weight bearing. If the user was using them to get up or down into the tub they could easily detach. This could result in injury, perhaps serious injury to the user.
    They are intended for balance assistance only.
    I hope this answers your question. If you need more clarification you can contact the manufacture directly at http://www.novajoy.com/contact-us/

  12. Do these bar adhere well to marble and stay secure.

  13. Some marbles can be quite porous,in which case may cause an easy failure. You could try, but be careful. If it releases when your depending on it to hold, you could easily fall and be injured.

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