FAQ/Answers Bathroom Plumbing for dummies

sheilaaus122June 23, 2008

I hope this is not hijacking the previous thread of Showers- FAQ but I thought since Bill V had offered to answer a bunch, those were more likely to be tiling related. I thought maybe we should start a new one of plumbing related FAQ's and if we get lucky- answers will be posted here too.

I will start-

for a shower/tub configuration, what is needed besides the tub spout, the shower head, and the on/off thingy?

For a shower configuration(like the master bathroom with a separate tub) what is needed beside the shower head and on /off thingy?

And for both of the above, what optional fixtures do you like? (handheld, stuff like that).

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am bumping this to keep it going. hopefully we will have a thread here of both questions and answers. In the meantime, let's post away. So far Bill Vincent~ most graciously~ has offered to answer the FAQs of tiling on the other thread.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here goes:
I know that the on/off thingy comes in two versions, thermostatic (two handles) and pressure balancing (one handle), but which is more practical/easier to install/works better in the long run?
Comments on big rain showerheads -- nicer or gimmicky/this year's fad?
Ditto on spa shower setups with multiple sprays
Ditto on steam showers
For all of the above, what impact does installation have on one's water usage? This is very important in California and other areas affected by drought!
Frameless glass doors, pros & cons
Is there any practical impact (e.g., ease of use, maintenance, cleaning) to installing a wall mounted faucet or is this strictly an aesthetic/space saving preference?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm redoing my shower and would like info on frameless doors and suggestions/recommendations of faucets-especially inexpensive. I'm looking for roman tub with hand shower.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'll copy in my message mistakenly entered in the tile FAQ thread:

How many knobs/controls do you need with the different faucet/plumbing brands.

For a very specific example (mine!), I've got a shower over tub. I want a thermostatic valve, and both a fixed showerhead and handheld shower. Under Grohe, this would mean one thermo valve trim plus three volume controls (one each for fixed showerhead, handheld, and tub spout). Under Hansgrohe, I can do it all with one control (though the control isn't as flexible as with the Grohe arrangement - for example, you can't just turn on the handheld, you'd have to cycle it thru the fixed showerhead). Are there other options?

Practical impact of vessel vs. "normal" sinks would be interesting too.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm looking for a single handle shower faucet and a separate roman tub faucet with hand sprayer.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please- if anyone has any clues or answers, it would be neat-o to have both questions and answers here. Last night I posted on the plumbing forum asking for any knowledgeable person to take a look at this thread and offer some answers.
Hopefully we get some. (I really do have good intenetions__)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Let me know if this is the sort of info you're looking for, if it's too basic, or not inclusive enough. It's a rough first draft and can be edited as required:

The sort of where, what, and why of pressure-balanced versus thermostatic:
Pressure-balanced or thermostatic temperature control valves are code-required in bathroom plumbing because they eliminate potential scalding and cold water shocks that can occur in a shower.

If you are using the shower and a toilet is flushed, as the toilet uses cold water to refill the tank, the pressure in the cold water line drops a bit below what it was when just the shower was running. If you had a non-balancing valve, youd still get the same amount of hot water that you originally were getting, but with the drop in pressure in the cold water line youÂd have less cold water coming out of your shower head, creating a potential for scalding. Vice-versa, if someone turns on a hot-water faucet elsewhere in the house, the hot water pressure drops and you get a shower of mostly cold water.

A pressure-balanced shower valve is designed to compensate for changes in water pressure. It has a mechanism inside that moves with a change in water pressure to immediately balance the pressure of the hot- and cold-water inputs. These valves keep water temperature within a couple degrees of the initial setting. They do it by reducing water flow through either the hot or cold supply as needed. Because pressure balanced valves control the temp by reducing the flow of water through the valve, if your plumbing supply is already struggling to keep up with the three shower heads and nine body sprays that you have running in your shower, if a pressure balancing valve kicks in and chokes down the water supply to keep you from getting scalded you could end up with insufficient water flow out of the heads in a multiple shower head setup. When it comes to volume control, in terms of being able to turn on the water a little or a lot, for the most part pressure-balanced valves are full-on when water is flowing or full-off when the valve is closed. Flow-wise, think of them as having no middle ground.

Where flow and volume control are important, as in a shower that requires a high volume of water, a thermostatic valve may be the better choice. They also control the temperature, but they do not reduce the amount of water flowing through the valve in doing so. Thermostatic valves are also common with 3/4" inlets and outlets, so they can pass more water through the valve than a 1/2" pressure balancing valve.

Which should you choose?
In a larger multi-outlet master shower, while a 1/2" thermostatic valve may suffice, a 3/4" thermostatic valve might be the better choice. But it does depend on the design of your shower and the volume of water that can be passed through your houses supply lines. In a secondary bathroom, or in a basic master where you have only one head, or the common shower head/tub spout diverter valve, a 1/2" pressure balancing valve would be fine.

If you want individual control and wanted multiple valves controlling multiple heads, then you could use multiple 1/2" valves instead of one 3/4" valve and all would be just fine.

What do the controls on the valve actually control?
While it may vary, a pressure balanced valve is normally an "all in one" valve with only one thing you can adjustÂthe temperature. The valve usually just has one rotating control (lever or knob) where you turn the water on, and by rotating it you set the water to a certain temperature. Each time you turn the valve on youÂll have to set it to the same spot to set it to your desired temperature. For the most part you really donÂt control the volume, just the temperature. With the valve spun a little bit, you'll get 100% flow but it will be all cold water. With the valve spun all the way, youÂll get 100% flow, but it will be all hot water. Somewhere int eh middle youÂll find that Goldilocks "just right" temperature, and itÂll be atÂyou guessed itÂ100% flow. So with a pressure balancing valve, you control the temp, but when the valve is open, itÂs open.

A thermostatic valve can be all inclusive in terms of control (volume and temp) or just be temperature controlling. If itÂs just temperature controlling, you will need a separate control for volume or flow. Example, with an all inclusive youÂll have two "controllers" (knobs or levers) on the valve, one to set the temperature and a separate one to set the volume. In this case you can set the temp as you like it, then use the volume control lever to have just a trickle of Goldilocks water come out of the valve, or you can open it up and have full flow of Goldilocks water coming out of the valve. You can leave the temp where you like it when you turn the volume off after youÂre done showering. The next time you shower, turn the volume on, the temperature is already set. Some thermostatic valves are just temperature valves with no volume control. YouÂll need another valve/control to set the volume. Read the product description carefully to see what you're getting.

What size valve should I get?
Yes, valves actually come in different sizes. The size refers to the size of the inlet/outlet nipples on the valve. For a basic shower, a 1/2" valve will suffice. For a larger multi-head arrangement, a 3/4" valve would be better. Realize that youÂll need a water heater that can supply the volume of heated water you want coming out of the heads, so donÂt forget that when you build or remodel. Also realize that if youÂre remodeling and have 1/2" copper running to your shower, capping 1/2" copper supply tubing with a 3/4" valve provide you with much benefit as the 1/2" tubing is the limiting factor. You can, however, cap 3/4" supply tubing with a 1/2" valve or a 3/4" valve.

Is one better than another?
Thermostatic valves are "better" in that with them you can control both volume of flow and temperature, so you have more control, and they hold the temperature to a closer standard (+/- 1 degree). They also perform better if you are running multiple outlets in the shower, as they do not choke down the amount of water in order to control the temperature. But you pay for that added flow and added control. Pressure balancing valves can be had for about $100-$200, thermostatic valves can be twice that amount. And more.

Will I suffer with a pressure-balancing valve?
For what itÂs worth, when I built my house over 10 years ago I put pressure-balancing valves in my own house. While I have two outlets in my shower (sliding bar mounted hand-held on the wall and an overhead 12" rain shower head on the ceiling), I have a two separate pressure-balancing valves, one valve for each head. With both heads going in the shower, I notice no loss of flow in the shower when the toilet is flushed and the sink faucet is turned on simultaneously. I also notice no change in temperature. So they work for me.

If you are remodeling, if you have your existing sink running and you flush the toilet and notice a drop in volume coming out of the sink, then a thermostatic valve might be the better choice even if you're not having a multi-head setup installed.

If, as part of the remodel, you plan on running new supply lines through your house to the new bath, then properly sized runs will take care of that flow restriction and you can probably do a pressure balancing valve instead of a thermostatic.

So in a house with tricky plumbing, or with a restricted water supply, or with multiple outlets running off of one supply valve, a thermostatic valve might be the safer choice.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Part Deux:

Controls and Diverters
This may be almost impossible to thoroughly attack because there are so many variations in what people want and in what different manufacturers offer.

In general

You need a volume and temperature control. You can buy just the valve body, which is the chunk of expensive brass that gets buried in the wall, and buy a separate trim kit, or you can buy a package that includes the valve body and the trim kit. The trim kit is the bright sparkly metallic knob/lever/escutcheon bling that you overspend for so your friends and neighbors will go "oooooh" and "aaaaah".

If you buy a pressure balanced valve, the valve in and of itself will turn on the water and allow you to control the temperature. If you buy a thermostatic valve, most valve bodies have two controllers on them, one to control volume and one to control temperature. Read the fine print though, because some thermostatic bodies just control temperature. Youll need a separate valve body to provide volume control.

Stops. Some valves come with "stops" some do not. What are stops? Stops stop water flow at the valve itself so the valve can be taken apart without having to turn the water off to that branch circuit or to the whole house. They are normally incorporated onto the hot and cold water inlets on the valve body, and they can be opened or closed with a screw driver.

While Im on this, Ill also mention that some valves might mention having a "stop screw" to limit the maximum temperature. While a pressure balancing or a thermostatic valve will prevent you from being scalded if someone flushes a toilet, there is nothing to prevent someone from being scalded by setting the valve to allow 130 degree water to pass through it. Your first step is to lower the temperature on your water heater to about 120 degrees. For valves that have these stop screws, its then a simple matter of setting a screw that limits how far the temperature knob can be rotated. What you do is rotate the knob to set the water to the max temp that youd ever want out of the shower, then you turn the set screw until it bottoms out. It will now prevent the temperature knob from turning past (hotter than) its existing position.

Downstream of that volume/temp control is where things get dicey. You can have a simple setup where your V/T control just runs to a single shower head. Easy to do. You can have a standard tub setup with a shower head and a tub spigot, where the diverter can be a lever or push button that sends water either to the tub spigot below or to the shower head above. Also easy to do.

If you want to supply water to more than one shower head, to a shower head and body sprays, or to both, either simultaneously or one at a time, then youll need more chunks of expensive brass to bury in your wall.

If you want separate controls and the ability to have differing temperatures come out of differing fixtures, then its easiest to go with multiple V/T controllers. One V/T controller for the shower heads, for example, and a separate V/T controller for the body sprays. This allows you to run different volumes and different temperatures out of the different heads. Your shower head can be 105 degrees and your body sprays 110 degrees.

Remember, the more hot water that you want to come out of your shower, the larger your supply tubing and valve bodies need to be, and the larger your water heater has to be. For sizing purposes, most shower heads and body sprays have a gallon per minute rating applied to them. In theory and planning only, if your hand held shower head is, for example, rated at 3gpm, your rain shower head rated at 4gpm, and each of your 8 body spray heads is rated at 1gpm, and you want to run them all at the same timeyoure looking at a flow of 15gpm. You need a water heater that can supply you with 15gpm of hot water, then you need supply tubing that can get 15gpm of hot water from your water heater to your bathroom, and you need valve/diverter bodies that can pass the required amount of water through them so you get decent flow out of each fixture.

Typical plumbing is 1/2", typical valves are 1/2". For high volume situations, 3/4" tubing and 3/4" supply valves may be required. Out of the valves you can usually run 1/2" tubing to your shower heads and body spray heads.

Back to the hardware. If you want a shower head and body sprays, and want to run either or both off of one valve, then youll want a diverter valve.

Diverter valves can be anything and everything. They can be simple A/B valves, where you can run the water through the valve to only "A", your shower head, or only to "B", your body spray heads. But not both at the same time.

Which leads to the A/B/AB valve, where you can send water only to "A", your shower head, or only to "B", your body spray heads, or to "AB", simultaneously to both.

And from here things go wild. There are A/B/C/AB/AC/BC/ABC valves, and things just can go on and on from there.

Diverter valves are usually described as having a certain number of "ports". 3-port, 4-port, 5-port, etc. Realize that one port is where the water goes in to the valve, the other ports are where the water comes out. So an A/B/C valve that has three outlets might be listed as a "4-port valve", with the fourth port being the inlet.

Not all 4-port valves can do A/B/C/AB/AC/BC/ABC, youll need to look through the description to find out where it can send the water to. A 4-port valve might just be an A/B/C valve, or it might be a more versatile A/B/C/AB/AC/BC valve. Read its description.

If you cant get the customization you need from a single volume/temperature controller and a single diverter, you can run multiple diverters off of one V/T controller, or multiple diverters off of multiple V/T controllers. It all depends on how much brass you can afford, how much water you can supply, and if you have the space to hide all that brass in your walls.

Diverters can be knobs, levers, push buttons, the choice is yours. But do remember that you need to match up the valve body to the desired trim kit so that the bling that your neighbors can see will fit on the expensive chunk of brass that they cant see. You dont want your plumber to bury that expensive chunk of brass in your wall, then tile, then find out later that your bling wont fit. Very depressing.

Its all about reading the fine print.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 2:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How to get the water out of your walls:
A fixed shower head high on the wall, an adjustable hand held, an overhead rain shower head, or body sprays? Or all of them?

Normally 1/2" copper tubing is run from the valve or diverter body to carry the water to the location of the outlet. If you're going to install something permanently, or if you're going to make a connection in a sealed wall, then its normally a soldered fitting.

For things like showerhead arms, or body sprays, these are normally threaded connections. A threaded connection allows you to change out the shower head and arm for a different one if the old breaks, or for a new style if remodeling. When making up a threaded connection, you'll want to use something on the thread, either teflon tape, teflon pipe dope, or some other sort of thread sealer that will allow you to break the connection at a later date.

A common way to connect your outlet to your spray head is to run your copper tubing to the location of the outlet, then solder a 90 degree drop ear fitting to the copper tubing.

You can see that the fitting has a smooth inlet for the 1/2" supply tubing to be soldered to, two holes in the "ears" to nail or screw the fitting to the framing, and a threaded outlet where the water will come out of. These fittings are manufactured in different configurations for different applications.

That brass drop ear fitting will be buried in the wall or ceiling. If you are connecting a shower head, then the arm of the shower head gets screwed into the drop ear fitting and the shower head gets screwed on the other end of the arm. That works if it is a wall or ceiling mounted shower head. For a body spray, youll need a brass nipple like this:

One end of the nipple screws into the drop ear fitting, the other end gets screwed into your body spray. Nipples come in various lengths to compensate for varying wall thicknesses.

For a hand held shower, the outlet for the hand held is mounted just like a body spray head is mounted. I usually mount the outlet for a hand held down low near the bottom of the bar and offset to one side. That way when the head is hung on the bar, the hose hangs in a graceful "U", right up against the wall. Do a dry run with a piece of rope or string the same length as your hose, you don't want your hose laying on the shower floor.

Hand held shower are usually mounted in a vertical bar, the head can be slid up or down the bar to adjust the height of the head. If you dont want a bar, then there are wall brackets that the hand held head can be set into. You can use multiple bracket, one high for tall people, one lower for shorter folk, even one low on the wall to hold the head for the leg shaving crowd.

Both the bar and the brackets are surface mounted in the wall, they are held on the wall with screws. Youll normally drill a pilot hole, insert a plastic anchor into the pilot hole, then attach the bar or bracket by driving the screw into the plastic anchor. Its easier to drill a pilot hole through grout than it is to drill through tile. Prior to inserting the anchor or driving the screw, I always squirt a glop of sealer into the hole, it helps prevent water intrusion.

As to the hose for the hand held, some are plastic, some are metal. I prefer metal as they lay against the wall more consistently than plastic hoses. One end of the hose screws on to the outlet that you screwed into the wall. The other end snaps or screws onto the hand held shower head. Get a hose long enough so that it can reach all corners of your shower, and then some. It helps with rinsing and cleaning the shower, shaving legs, bathing young kids, or even the family dog.

For wall mounted handhelds, you can get everything in one kit, or you can mix and match. Just make sure that everything is compatible so that you don't end up with a head that won't attach to a bracket.

A good combination is a "standard" wall mounted shower head, OR a "standard" head as a hand held, combined with an overhead rainshower head. "Standard" heads give that nice spray that is strong enough to easily rinse your body or rinse shampoo out of your hair, they often have multiple spray patterns as well.

Rainshower heads give a much gentler flow of water. They provide a different experience than a standard spray head. A rainshower head's flow might not be adequate to quickly rinse shampoo from hair. Some manufacturers have rainshower heads designed to mount on a standard arm that comes out of the wall. Those might not be a good idea, as the rainshower heads work best when they are mounted level, not on a tilt. If the head is mounted on an angle, instead of the shower of raindrops, you might something more like a garden hose effect coming out of one side of the head. Since the water "drops" out of the head instead of spraying our of the head, it's better to not have them too close to the wall. I think rainshower heads work best when plumbed to a central location on the ceiling.

If you can only have one head in your shower, than a standard type head with adjustable spray patterns might be your best bet. When I was a kid, most of the hand held shower heads were of very poor quality. Hose fittings leaked or sprayed water everywhere, the multiple spray heads leaked or sprayed water all over. Today's handheld's are of much better construction.

Construction note: If in a freezing climate, try to keep supply plumbing tubing out of your exterior walls. And if running plumbing for an overhead rainshower in the ceiling, if it's unheated attic space above then you'll want to insulate above the plumbing in the ceiling. Also, pitch the horizontal run of plumbing downwards a bit as the plumbing goes towards the rainshower head, so that when you turn the water off, the water in horizontal run of tubing will flow out the rainshower head instead of pooling and being captured in that horizontal run of tubing.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Pressure-balanced or thermostatic temperature control valves are code-required in bathroom plumbing because they eliminate potential scalding and cold water shocks that can occur in a shower."

Question: I'm redoing my 1941 bath. I need a new valve and trim kit for bath/shower. The plumber has given me a choice between the newer single handle setup or a special order on the one that works for the original setup with three handles.
You say pressure-balanced is code. Could that be different here, or could the three-handle setup be pressure-balanced? I'm thinking not. I wouldn't think they'd offer an option that's not code.
I lean toward the special order as I want a period look, but also want to do it right.

Thanks, this is so helpful.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 2:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm fairly certain that if a plumbing code applies in your area, then unless you have a local exception, some sort of anti-scald device is required.

I do think they are a good idea, especially in an older home.

I know I've seen either a pressure-balanced or a thermostatic that can work with a 3-handle setup. Some of them you retrofit the valve in the wall and you can use your original old handles and stems.

Lemme do a quick google...

This was my first hit. Would this work with what you have?


    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mongo, thank you! That is exactly the kind of info I'm (and I think we're all) needing!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is amazing information Mongo, thank you so much! I was just on the internet looking trying to find out what a stop was. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another thank you to Mongo - these are excellent explanations and very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to educate us!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes yes thank you mongoct!And speaking selfishly for myself here, feel free to "dumb it down" even further!
thank you kindly.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the feedback kids! I just reread it in its entirety and it is a bit blotchy in some areas.

If this ever goes to a true FAQ, I'll edit the text a bit and add a few photos/diagrams.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have just been reading all the great info. from Mongo. Thanks!
I am looking for a list of all the necessary attachments I need in order to outsmart my plumbing supply store and order for much less online. But how do I know what to order? Why don't the product web sites give you a list? I have not found this elsewhere on GardenWeb.

This is what I think:
Lav. faucets - nothing extra required.
Bathtub only: Roman faucet with hand held. Does this require 1 thermostatic rough and 1 volume control rough? Or two of each; one for the spout and 1 for the handheld? And some trim?
Shower: shower head and hand held on a bar: same as for the tub?
Or do I have to talk to someone?
Thanks for any guidance.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bless you, sporthill, for bumping this up. It's got so much good info that I need right now as I begin my way on the rocky road of bathroom renovation/expansion.

Look for my post called "Faucets, etc. What do I need for an entire bath?" I got some veru helpful responses.

I've already been through this with the kitchen. Oy, although I love the finished product.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bumping because it deserves it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi bath people! I've spent all day looking for this answer on the Internet, to no avail. I've read this thread over, but am afraid that I may not have processes very well. My apologies if this answer is somewhere else. I've also asked this question on the plumbing forum, but no answer. Here goes:

We're building a new house. Plumber installed Delta MultiChoice Universal Rough Model number R10000-UNBX shower valve. I want to buy Danze Opulence trim kit model number D502057BN. DH won't spend the money on the Danze until I can make sure that it will be compatible with the Delta shower valve. Any thoughts? TIA!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 1:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've got a similar question - our kids' bathroom was remodeled about 5 years ago with a cheap American Standard tub/shower set. I'd like to replace it with a different finish/better looking face plate and spout, but I'd rather not call the plumber and tear out drywall to get to the diverter. How can I figure out which faucets are compatible with our diverter? Will it have to be an American Standard faucet?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great thread. I'm in the same boat as you lfergnic. I have a shower head and control handle in Moen Monticello, which is about 10 years old and we're remodeling. If I buy another Moen that is similar to the Monticello, but all one color instead of the yucky gold and silver mix, then does it mean that I can just take off the top part -- the parts that show -- and put the new ones on without a plumber? Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 12:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Q - "What is needed besides the tub spout, the shower head, and the on/off thingy?"

A - As for plumbing needs there are many things not seen and possibly not included with your plumbing hardware. Your tub filler may slide over a section of 1/2" copper or may thread into a Brass fitting.

Your thermostatic control or temperature control valve needs to have integral stops (shut offs at this point - some have them built in others you need to purchase them). Plumbers use plumbers grease to lubricate O rings, they use Teflon tape to wrap threaded joints.

Most fixtures like body, jets, steamer outputs and showerheads mount to a 1/2" brass fitting. Items like copper, solder, flux, Pex pipe, Pex rings and a selection of 90 degree and 45 degree fittings.

Steam pipe needs to be insulated, as do many water lines.

Water lines should not touch metal or cross each other. Electrical tape, pipe tie downs and pipe fasteners can be used to prevent this behind the walls.

Q - "For a shower configuration (like the master bathroom with a separate tub) what is needed beside the shower head and on /off thingy?"

A - Mongo explained this very well - all I'll add is that there are so many ways to do this and so many different valves. I installed a Grohe fixture that could control both a handheld and the shower head - or both from one fixture and with only a 1/2" supply.

Make sure when your talking to your plumbing retailer and looking for your package you ask this questions "Is this everything I'll (my plumber) will need?" With that take your answer with a grain of salt and then call the supplier direct and review with them your purchase.

My experience over the years is that there is always something missed that turns out to slow the process down. The finish material does not line up with the rough in, there was not built in stop, the discharge is a sweated fitting and not threaded - etc.

Q - "What optional fixtures do you like (handheld, stuff like that) ?"

A - I think a second handheld for rinsing shampoo out of your hair and helping clean the shower is a great idea. My wife is a large water hog (blankets for that matter too) and I'm looking forward to the second supply (my supply) when showering together.

I'm waiting for inspections and just finished up installing our new boiler and water lines for some Column Radiators. I'll post a few pictures of the rough in work with descriptions to help label the "Thingings and Whacamacallit's".

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow - this is REALLY helpful. I've read through but I can see that I need to study further to understand my needs and options.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thankyou for all that information. I think I understand it all a bit better now.
You are very kind to take the time to write all that up for all us DIY.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 3:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Rainheads...handhelds...traditional shower heads on a shower arm...body sprays...what to do...I'm just going to ramble here with my thoughts.

First, I'm obviously biased by my experiences both as a user and an installer.

For a small shower, a single shower head on an arm high on the wall will do you quite nicely. In a tub surround the shower head up high with the tub spout with diverter down low is still king. Nothing wrong with it at all.

A question I often get is about handhelds. Now when I was a kid handhelds were trash. They leaked, they had the 4-in-1 massage heads where the only thing they massaged was your eyeball because there always seemed to be a pinprick stream of water that would leak out the fitting and nail you in the eye. After a few weeks of use they'd be spraying water out the side seams of the head, up and over the shower curtain, soaking your bathroom floor. Ugh.

Not any more.

Handhelds today are pretty darn bueno. The heads are the same quality as those that get mounted up high on static arms. The hose fittings no longer leak. The hoses no longer twist upon themselves like demented strands of spaghetti.

The big benefit of handhelds is the length of the hose allows you to wash/rinse any part of your body without having to be a contortionist. For shaving legs you can take the head off the bracket and hold it in your hand, or mount it on another wall bracket at knee-height. Or you can use the handheld and it's long hose to rinse off remote corners of the shower's walls when cleaning. Or when bathing kids. Or dogs. Versatility.

Handhelds are an obvious advantage in larger showers, but they can be of use in smaller showers too.

Slidebars versus brackets: In a master bath, it's possible the slide feature will be seldom used. You can still have one...I have one in my shower, my wife lowers it when she's looking for a dry hair shower. Other than that it pretty much stays up at my height. And we're 6'4" versus 5'1".

If you have kids, it's an advantage. Low when they are younger. Raise it up as they grow taller.

Different height users who are particular...I know a couple that resets the head height each time they shower. Although they have a small single-head shower, he demands it at his height, she at hers.

Slidebars can add visual clutter to a wall. But while they are functional clutter, in a small shower someone might prefer the cleaner look of wall brackets. A bracket up high. A bracket down low. Whatever you need.

While most companies' slide bars might be plastic or thin-walled metal, there are some that make them sturdy enough to function and be rated and approved as structural grab bars.

Rainhead? A true rainhead delivers a very gentle flow of water. Personally, if you're looking for a true rainhead, I'd recommend a minimum 10" diameter head. 12" is better. Rainheads generally have to be mounted parallel to the floor, as the water pretty much just "falls" out of the head instead of being sprayed by pressure. Were you to tilt a true rainhead, the water could just run along the tilted face of the head and flow off the low edge in a fat stream.

Due to the gentle flow, rainheads are a nice experience. Quite a bit different from the pin-prickish stronger flow of a traditional head. With the gentler flow, those with long/thick hair might find themselves running out of hot water before they are able to rinse shampoo out of their massive manes.

So I consider rainheads to be a nice secondary head, and I prefer them to be plumbed or mounted close to the center of the shower ceiling where it's easy to stand right under them, versus mounted on a wall arm with the rainhead close to the wall.

Rainheads have been modified, now there are ones with "turbo" functions, or air-entrainment, etc. Sort of halfway between a traditional standard head and a traditional rain head. You'll have to sort through that yourself as there are too many options.

Personally, I think a master shower will do just fine with a "standard head" handheld (can be a 4-in-1 head or whatever) on a long hose and a separate rainhead. That'll give you a functional shower plus the option for a soothing rain shower.

If a couple will be typically be showering together, then consider two one supply valve feeding a handheld head, plus another supply valve with diverter plumbed to feed either a second standard head or an overhead rain head. That will allow one person to shower at the handheld with one water temp setting, and another person to "standard" shower or "rain" shower (via the diverter) with a separate water temp setting.

Body Sprays: Personally, I consider them superfluous. I've used them...I think them a novelty. But there are folks who just adore them, so decide for yourself. Do realize that body sprays can pop the plumbing cost through the roof because:

Showers are required by code to have a minimum 2" drain line. Now you can have two 2" drains, or a single 3" drain, but typical is a single 2" drain line. "2 inch" and "3-inch" defines not just the size of the drain opening, but the diameter of the drain branch under the floor.

Code assigns values to drain lines for how much water they can carry away from the shower. A 2" drain line can evacuate 6DFU (drainage fixture units), a 3" line 20DFUs.

Miraculously, shower heads are assigned values as well. Each shower head is assigned a value of 2. A shower head is a handheld, or a fixed head, or an INDIVIDUAL body spray head.

So with a typical 2" drain (6DFUs), you can have three heads in a shower (3 heads x 2DFUs per head = 6DFUs). Since body sprays are usually installed in multiple groupings, installing body sprays can really ramp up your plumbing requirements, both for water supply lines, the water heater, as well as the drainage lines.

I know some inspectors that count the heads and multiply by two and there you go: a rain head, a handheld, three body sprays, that's 5 times 2 = 10DFUs, you'd need ether two 2" drains or a single 3" drain.

I know other inspectors that look at the supply valves and/or diverters and would recognize that the shower is plumbed so that only the two shower heads OR the three body sprays can be on at any one time...two heads times 2DFUs per head = 4DFUs, OR 3 body sprays times 2 = 6DFUs, a single 2" drain will suffice.

All-in-one shower towers? Another animal that I really can't discuss since they can vary from A to Z.

Anyhow, I'm out of coffee, so it's time to go.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is so super helpful!

I pretty much understand now what happens with the "stuff" that's outside of the wall, but I am unclear about the inside of the wall parts.

I have read that PEX is better than copper; galvanized is out; pvc is good/ not allowed/ doesn't matter.

So what's the real deal with the pipes that are supplying water to the shower/bath? Is there one type that is main supply and then another type that connects to the brass-inside-the-wall-parts?

I have also seen on This Old House a type of fitting to connect pipes that has - for lack of a better description - like teeth to connect copper pipes instead of sweating or threading. Is this common? Acceptable for code?

I still have questions about the "expensive brass parts" but I recently purchased a book about that, so I'm going to wait on those questions.

Mongoct - if you wrote a book, I would certainly purchase it!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 4:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

pex or copper. Both are fine.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 12:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I have read that PEX is better than copper; galvanized is out; pvc is good/ not allowed/ doesn't matter."

For water supply, copper is still king, though PEX is making inroads. Things may have changed, but as of early last year PEX was not allowed for potable water supply applications in California and Chicago. CA was on the verge of allowing PEX, but I don't know where Chicago is headed. If anywhere.

As to one being better than the other, they both have advantages and disadvantages when compared to each other. It depends on the application and the specific trait you're comparing.

In my area (CT) PVC is pretty much used just for DWV. Black iron pipe is used for boiler work, plumbing oil tanks, plumbing some gas lines, etc.

"Is there one type that is main supply and then another type that connects to the brass-inside-the-wall-parts?"

If PEX is used, usually metal (copper and/or black pipe) will be run off the water heater or boiler to a manifold. PEX will run from the manifold to the areas of use. Behind the wall at the area of use (near the toilet, near the sink) the PEX will transition back to copper before coming out of the wall. So you'll have PEX behind the wall and copper sticking out of the wall.

PEX is like Dracula, it's not good for it to see the light of day. UV from the sun will oxidize the PEX and cause it to lose it's elasticity. The only PEX failure I've seen was PEX in a basement ceiling run, the PEX ran in front of a small basement window and turned a corner right in front of the window. It eventually suffered a sidewall split in the bend. The PEX on either side of the window was fine, the area in front of the window it was discolored yellow. UV damage.

When comparing 1/2" PEX versus 1/2" copper, PEX has a smaller inside diameter. A few people have complained on this forum of trying to fill their bathtubs through a tub spout with a diverter built into the tub spout, and while filling the tub, water was also pouring out of the shower head up above. Those set-ups works on simple gravity flow. With the tub spout being plumbed with PEX instead of copper, the lesser inside diameter of the PEX allowed less water to flow through it, so water was backing up the vertical tubing and flowing out the next exit point, the shower head.

"I have also seen on This Old House a type of fitting to connect pipes that has - for lack of a better description - like teeth to connect copper pipes instead of sweating or threading. Is this common? Acceptable for code?"

Probably Sharkbite fittings. They may or may not be code acceptable. Years ago they were allowed with restrictions. Today while national code may allow them, some local codes still prevent them. Sometimes they are allowed but not enclosed within framing bays. They're easy, but pricey.

For a handyman or DIY repair they might be worth it for the convenience and for not having to fire up a torch in a tight space. But for whole-house, cha-ching!

I will say there are three types of PEX; PEX-A, PEX-B, and PEX-C. The difference is how they are cross-linked. I prefer "A", which is cross-linked by the "peroxide" or "Engel" method. You'll find others who use B (silane) or C (electron beam) methods. No big deal. I'm simply an "A" guy. Personal preference.

With copper, there are three basic versions of copper tubing used in residential construction, or three versions generally available to the DIY crowd; K, L, and M. "K" has the thickest sidewall, "M" the thinnest.

K is usually used for buried applications, L for residential water supply, and M for low-pressure applications like water runs to/from baseboard heating, or water runs from a boiler to a radiant floor heat manifold.

Top of my head numbers, the sidewall thickness of K is about 20% thicker than L, and L is about 40% thicker than M. Thickest to thinnest, K is about 75% thicker than M.

They all use the same fittings, meaning a simple 1/2" elbow will fit all three types. Flow restriction through any of the tubing is not an issue even with the variations in sidewall thickness.

I don't use M for anything, but that's my personal preference. Just K or L.

In a box store, you have to be careful if they sell all three. If they sell it, with the thinnest sidewall M will be the least expensive, so it might look attractive to the budget. But it should not be used for domestic water supply lines.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the information.

I have another question: I was reading a plumbing book, and I don't understand vents. Well, I think I understand their purpose is to allow air into the plumbing system so that smells are released and water flows as it should - toilets flushing, water going down the drain in the correct clockwise manner, and it goes the other direction leading "used" water to the sewer.

What I don't understand is where does the vent stack end? Through the roof? If that's the case (and it's what I think from the book) how does debris not fall into the pipe?

I'm going to apologize if this is a dumb question, but I am dumb about plumbing, and it's something I've never needed to know before now.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 4:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"What I don't understand is where does the vent stack end? Through the roof? If that's the case (and it's what I think from the book) how does debris not fall into the pipe?"

Simplified, yes, the vent stack runs vertically through the house. The upper end terminates through the roof, the lower end ties in to the pipe exiting your house, either to your septic or to the town/city sewer line.

Rain, snow, hail, things like that can enter the roof vent. No big deal, the water just goes into the sewer line. I've never seen any instances of wildlife or tree leafs/debris entering the open vent and causing problems. I think I did read way back when about bee nest being built in the stack opening. Rare occurrence though.

Some places do have debris screens on them. But in some locales they are prohibited. Once in a while I've heard of rime ice building up and restricting the screened opening. Never seen it, but have heard of it.

Vents prevent siphoning. You know how you can siphon gas out of a gas tank with a hose? Gas can be siphoned up vertically out of the car tank, then down into a gas can? That can happen as long as there are no "holes" in the hose to allow air to enter. Air can break the siphon. That's what vents do in a house. They allow air into the drain system above a waste/drain p-trap so that when you flush a toilet, or so when you pull the sink plug to drain a sink, the slug of water going down the drain pipes doesn't siphon the water out of the trap, causing the trap to go dry.

Having that slug of water in the trap prevents sewer gasses from entering your house through the drain.

Every once is a while someone posts about sewer smells coming from a seldom used bathroom. Or smells in their basement. My first reply is to tell them to run water down the bathroom drains, or if in the basement, the utility sink or floor drain. Without regular use, water can evaporate out of a tub, shower, or sink trap, essentially opening the trap to allow sewer gas to enter the house.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 7:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OH!! That makes so much sense. You should seriously consider writing a book about plumbing - I would certainly purchase it. I purchased and read three different books and ended up with the vaguest idea of what a vent does. You explained it so clearly - thanks bunches!

In renovating an older house (1960s with no work ever done) would it be necessary to replace the vent stacks?

So now, of course, I have another question.

I have read that there are some concerns about scalding with the use of "water sense" shower heads and faucets, and the EPA would better serve consumers if these issues were corrected before promoting the use of the highly efficient "water sense" products.

On the other hand, I have read that the "water sense" products can save tremendous amounts of water and that municipalities should promote these products as they did low-flush toilets when those were first available.

I'm all for saving water, but I once spilled boiling water down my leg and had 2nd and 3rd degree burns from thigh to ankle - no fun I can assure you. While conserving resources is a great thing, I prefer not to risk physical injury to do so.

I suppose I want to ask your opinion of "water sense" shower heads and faucets: are they safe? would it be necessary to use some sort of thermostatic control device in the walls? would a thermostatic shower control prevent the scalding problem? is the warning simply an issue of keeping to the "old ways" or is it a serious concern? When shopping for such fixtures, what products/lines are best? Anything else you'd like to add about the "water sense" program would be helpful.

Again, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 1:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No need to replace the vent stacks.

The issue with the WaterSense heads is that they pass 2GPM while most existing heads pass 2.5GPM.

Anti-scald valves work by adjusting the water mix at the valve, either by balancing the pressure, or by adjusting the temperature.

Let's say your water heater went wacko and sent a slug of 130 degree water to your shower. Your valve receives that slug of 130-degree water and makes an adjustment to bring the temp down to your "desired" temp, say 103 degrees.

The adjustment isn't instantaneous. While your valve is adjusting the water mix, water hotter than desired can still pass through the valve and out your shower head.

Here's the kicker with WaterSense heads...how fast your valve can bring the temp back into the comfortable range can depend on how fast water can pass through the valve. And water can only pass through the valve as fast as it's passing through the shower head.

So a shower head that passes less water (the 2GPM WaterSense) may pass water that is in the scald range for a longer period of time than a head that passes a larger volume of water (2.5GPM).

When it comes to scalding, it's a function of both temperature and time. The WaterSense heads extend the "time."

The issue is not specifically that the WaterSense heads are faulty. They are not. All they do is pass a lesser amount of water. The issue is that for shower valves to be rated as "anti-scald valves", in recent years these valves' reactionary time was tested with 2.5GPM heads. With people now putting 2.0GPM heads in their showers, we are using the valves in applications for which they were not tested.

When you do your research, or when you shop, you can find valve specs that will list the pass through volume that the valve was tested at 2.5GPM, 2GPM, or even 1.5GPM.

Another "safe" way to shop would be to stay within a manufacturer's line. Example, if you buy a WaterSense shower head in Style "A" from a manufacturer and they also offer a valve and valve trim in that same Style "A", there's a pretty good chance that the valve has been tested to the 2GPM standard.

Regardless, it's always good to ask. A simple call or email to the manufacturer's tech department will answer your question.

The Sort Of Big Picture Caveat: It's not just the head, or just the valve, or the combination of head and valve that create potential scalding situations. It's the whole plumbing system. The water heater. The water supply tubing, It's how the branch lines come off the main supply line. In an older house issues could exist. In new construction there should be no issues at all. Your safest bet is to install a thermostatic valve right off the water heater. That takes the pressure off of your shower valve to make the temperature corrections.

Just my opinions.

And as an aside...as someone who suffered burns on 37% of his body (some numbers you just never forget!)...you have my sympathies regarding your burns.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks again. I have my eye on the Eternal Hybrid - it seems like the best of both worlds - so the anti-scald valve off the water heater, and check with the manufacture for correct parts.

I know there will be plumber and a GC, but I feel I am in a better position if I know before all of the work begins -it also means I know how much money I need to have saved.

37% - holy cow!!!! I can certainly understand why you remember *that* number.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You don't have to have an anti-scald off the water heater. I've only installed one there a couple of times. All that is required is an anti-scald at the shower itself.

What I was trying to write at the end is that if you want to keep your water heater high and you want added protection, you get the safest bet by having an anti-scald valve right off the water heater. That valve would be in addition to the shower valves.

That way you can keep your water heater high for legionnaires or whatever, and the valve off the heater will step the temp down to protect the entire house (sinks, tubs, etc) and then the valve in the shower will provide your code-required anti-scald in the shower.

Anther time I'll install a valve right off the water heater is on older houses that have old-style shower valves that have no scald protection.

The supply house near me carries valves by two companies, "Taco" and "Cash". I use Taco valves. In the vicinity of $80-$100 for either 3/4" or 1" valve.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 1:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I understand that you're giving suggestions, but I'm phobic enough about scalding and burns that I think it's an excellent idea. It's officially in the book as a must have. Before your suggestion, I was thinking "low flo, heck no!" You've provided me with a way to use water sense shower heads and deal with my phobia.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 1:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i was wondering if you could help give more answers about handheld shower related issues. we are planning on having a rainshower head on a shower arm extension about 80" centered above the valve trim, then a handheld off to the right, maybe around 60" or so (haven't decided yet) high. so my questions are:

1. DH doesn't want more than one hole in the wall for the handheld. so i was thinking about using something like this:
as the water supply and holder in one. will this do the job?
2. do i need another part to connect this to the pipe in the wall?
3. do i need a flange or a base or anything flush against the wall?
4. anything i should know before deciding how high up to tell the plumber to put the water outlet?


    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 6:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The piece you linked to simply gets screwed on to a typical shower arm. So with that piece, the shower arm would be the "outlet" coming out of the wall, it should come with its own escutcheon plate, then you'd have that piece you linked to screwed on to the end of the shower arm.

If you're looking for a slicker look, a more "all in one" look, look into the combo outlets. A wall outlet and hand held bracket all in one. A much cleaner and less cluttered installation:

With the above outlet all you'd need is a drop-eared fitting and a threaded nipple that joins the outlet to the drop-ear fitting. See the photos earlier in the thread. Your plumber will supply those when he does the rough-in plumbing.

As to the height on the wall, that's totally up to you. It sounds like you're going for a non-traditional installation height. So just figure the elevation gain of the hand held head you'll be using when it's in the bracket and adjust the outlet height down from there.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mongo, thank you soooo MUCH for that link!! i knew those things existed, but i didn't know what to call them, so i couldn't pull up anything in the search terms that was exactly what i was looking for (thus, my link). thank you thank you thank you!!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

btw, mongo, what is a "traditional" installation height and why? thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WOW!!!! This is GREAT!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bump - fantastic info! Thank you so much, Mongo - I'm now reevaluating my list of 'to purchase' items. :-)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 7:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bump for the newbies to the forum (and those of us who need the refresher!)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, just wanted to add my heartfelt thanks to you, Mongo, for sharing so much of your knowledge and time w/ us. You are greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great information - so helpful!

Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 10:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a newly installed Hansgrohe Metric C thermostatic shower trim with volume control. It works beautifully, except that when someone flushes the toilet you get scalded. The old shower trim was also thermostatic and this never happened. Is it possible that the plumber installed it incorrectly? He says there is no way and it must be a faulty item, but I know he had never installed any Hansgrohe before and seemed like he was learning as he was going with all of the plumbing in the bathroom. I'd appreciate any advice.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There could be debris that's preventing proper operation. Or the valve could be defective. Or a few other things.

Has he come back and done any troubleshooting?

If I was responsible, I'd come back, take it apart, flush out the supplies and check supply volume flow, inspect the valve parts, reassemble, and give it another shot.

If I was you I'd call Hansgrohe Tech support and describe how your valve is performing. I have their number as (800) 334-0455. Might be different. That'll at least give you some talking points for when you next talk to your plumber.

Know what valve body you have before calling. Not the trim kit (have that too), but the actual brass valve body buried in the wall behind the shiny trim cover plate.

Best, Mongo

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Mongo! I will try those things next week. Plumber and Hansgrohe are both off until the first of the year.

When you say know what valve body I have, is that the ibox universal plus rough, 3/4" with service stop? I have the invoice of all my plumbing purchases but am not sure what is what. I know the plumber was calling this part the rough in.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"When you say know what valve body I have, is that the ibox universal plus rough, 3/4" with service stop?"


Since you have stops, make sure they are fully open as well.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

MongoCT - Thank you so much for writing this. It is 3:42 am and I can't sleep. I decided to peruse the forum for shower/bath info and stumbled upon this post. It is so helpful! I'm planning to remodel our 2 baths and have been avoiding the whole shower/tub faucet decisions because I was so confused with all the options. This is exactly the info I need... and I always wondered why our water pressure dropped when a toilet or sink was turned on!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 3:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Mongo or any of you other kind souls...,
If you can bear one more from me I would be most grateful. I have a headache... Spent multiple hours/calls with faucet direct and they can't help me... I promise that I have been faithfully reading descriptions and many are not so well-written ... I will also likely never buy another delacora faucet again.

So here tis,
I think I need an a or b or ab valve to go with this rough in hunk of brass that goes with the Delacora tub shower faucet that I bought for another project.


I am trying to pair it with an alsons handheld shower that I purchased...
I cannot find a diverter that is manufactured by either that would seem to work i.e a four port valve - and am limited by the fact that I am using polished nickel Bling.

So I am looking at throwing a third manufacturer in the mix.

Jado seems to offer the bling bling trim kit that most closely resembles the style of my Delacora faucet...

But, all the Jado 4 port diverters say "Alternates water flow between 3 discrete shower outlets" ( which I read as A, B or C. but no combination thereof... since I read discrete to mean apart or separate...

But then the following Danze says "services up to 3 shower systems" which I would read the same as above.
EXCEPT that I finally found a more detailed description on Amazon that reads "This four-port diverter lets you create a custom shower system by making it easy to operate up to three shower systems--like a showerhead or handheld shower--simultaneously. Its eight-position valve channels water to all three or any combination of systems."

So I am confused about whether that means that the Jado really would be A or B or AB functional.

And assume that I should just go with the non matching Danze - EXCEPT to further confuse me, Faucet Direct recommended a Hangrohe which I ordered and then had to cancel because Hansgrohe told FD I can't mix this four port diverter valve with the Delacora... but I have no idea why.
Maybe that it doesn't have an "off" control?

They all appear to have 1/2" valves, so if I use the 3/4" tubing and supply valves I really struggle to understand why I couldn't mix and match the rough in valve with another brand of diverter valve...

Finally, this Brizo 6-Setting, 3-Port Diverter Rough In Valve really doesn't match, but reads Diverter Features:
"Three function diverter. 2 individual positions, 1 shared position"
And even though it reads as a 3 port I swear it appears to have an inlet and 3 outlets... So could it be a contender as well? http://www.faucetdirect.com/mediabase/specifications/brizo_r60700_spec.pdf

So I guess at the end of the day can I simply go with the Jado or any of the above except the hansgrohe; or can someone help me ferret out the differences?

Many thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bumping to the first page. Maybe this can become the first sticky for the Bathroom forum.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any recommendations / experiences with Hansgrohe fixed showerheads? We will have a 10" ceiling mounted Kohler rainhead and a 2 jet handheld (primarily for cleaning) and I still must decide on the fixed showerhead. Do you recommend 1 or 3 different water streams, and which are most effective? I prefer to stay with Hansgrohe and have been looking at the Axor products but just don't know....Bath will be transitional to modern. Shower is small, master.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Am bumping this as several people in the Bathroom forum have been asking about shower basics. Lots of good info here!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, mongoct for taking the time to post this for the rest of us! I am sure this one post will save me lots of time and headache when choosing fixtures.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bumping to keep on the front page.

Excellent info in this thread.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 5:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bump-great questions and info-big thanks to mongo

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you so much Mongo! You're a gem!

I didn't even know what bumping was until now. But this deserves to be bumped again.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bump for those that could find this helpful.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 7:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rach Rahe


I've read all of your notes, thank you so much for the info. I'm still clueless as to what exact brass valve I should look for or what its called in order to have pressure control, thermostatic control and be able to use rain shower and handheld independently and simultaneously? is this a 2 way diverter? I'm looking at hansgrohe and kohler brands... thank you, Rach

    Bookmark   February 10, 2015 at 12:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Does anyone have their light switch NOT by the BR door?
Our new bathroom will be 5' deep by 11' long. There...
Layout help
Hello, I wanted to ask for feedback on my planned layout...
Need advice on best mirror/sconce option in small master bath
My husband and I are FINALLY renovating our master...
Final Decisions - Lighting and Countertop - "Spa-Like" or "Dreary"?
We have been in the middle of a very long & drawn-out...
Contractor messed up shower pan. Fixable?
My contractor who I'm firing tomorrow messed up my...
Sponsored Products
ACF by Nameeks ACF CP04-GO City Play 30-in. Single Bathroom Vanity Set - Gray Oa
Ciro Bath Bar
Round Purple Crackled Glass Soap Dispenser
Round 2 Piece White Bathroom Accessory Set,
Brushed Nickel Whitehaus 514.151WS Three Holes Lever Bathroom Faucet
$269.00 | Blue Bath
Seaside Tissue Holder
$21.99 | zulily
Ice Crystal Canister
$229.00 | FRONTGATE
Apex 07132 Wall Sconce by Ultralights
$364.34 | Lumens
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™