How to reconfigure and re-use some Hansgrohe shower components?

imjazzerSeptember 24, 2011

Would love your collective wisdom as I rework a bathroom. Please bear with me as I describe what we've got, and what we'd like to do.

The previous homeowners put in a large corner shower with Hansgrohe fixtures, installed in 1997. On one wall, there's a fixed showerhead, below that is a small stand alone lever that turns that shower on (and so controls volume), and then below that is the thermostatic trim "dial." On the adjacent wall, there is a hand-held shower on a slider bar and another small stand alone lever that turns that shower on; temperature for this shower is also controlled by the thermostatic "dial" on the other wall, some 4 feet away.

For the past 8 years we've been in the house, we've only used the hand-held shower; showering with the fixed shower head, we quickly learned, means no one else can take a shower afterward until the water heats up again. And it's not even a rain shower!

In reworking this bathroom, we are replacing the shower with an alcove tub (vintage cast iron) and shower. Initially, I thought I'd just get all new faucet components, because I'm not a huge fan of trim dials and slider bars--I'm more of hot/cold metal cross kind of gal, I guess. However, I see the convenience of being able to leave the water at a certain temperature, independent of turning on the shower or bath. Also, as I've shopped around, I've been amazed at how less hefty handles and levers seem to feel these days, and how expensive everything is in general.

Ideally, what I'd like to do is buy just a new showerhead and tub spout (plain, without diverter), and re-use the Hansgrohe thermostatic "dial"/valve and the two stand alone levers/valves, so that one lever turns on the shower and the other the bath., with the dial controlling the temperature of both. (Vertically, it would be showerhead, lever for turning on shower, thermostatic "dial", lever for turning on bath, tub spout).

Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but is this possible? Would it look weird? Also, is it even advisable, given the age of these components? Or because it might lock us into an atypical configuration?

Thanks in advance for any insight!

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My FIL has a similar vintage Hansgrohe shower system installed in his bathroom. And we put in one of the newer ones (single control for diversion and temperature) about 6 years ago.

So, I'll attempt to answer.

FWIW, I'd bet that someone removed the flow restrictor from the showerhead. You can probably get a new one that'll get the flow back down to 2.5gpm. I know I've seen plumbers who thought taking this out was an 'upgrade,' when it's really just wasteful of water and energy for heating it.

If you're keeping the trims and just reinstalling, I think you can do what you want to. Depending on where the inlets and outlets are on the thermostatic valve, it may take some creative piping to connect it all up in the orientation you want.

If you'd like to change out the trim for the valves and thermostatic valve, that's more complicated. Not sure if newer ones would mate up. You'd need to at least pull the trim off the valves and compare the stem to a newer one to see if it's the same. For the thermostatic valve, you may be just stuck. If you have an access panel, you could possibly get a number off the rough valve and see what Hansgrohe says about alternative trims for it.

I'm not sure about lifespan on these, but unless you have really hard water or another situation that'd wear out or gum up things quickly, I'd think you're fine.

I'm a technical guy, so I won't attempt to answer whether it'd look weird. If you're OK with it, do what you like.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:37AM
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