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Thread: Vacuum breaker on deck mount hand held shower

  1. #1

    Default Vacuum breaker on deck mount hand held shower

    We were told by the inspector that we needed a vacuum breaker/ anti backflow device on our hand held shower head. I don't understand how to retro-fit such a valve into the system. There was some mention of something needing to be 6" above the deck, not easy to do, with porcelain tiles. Yes it's my mistake, as I didn't know that it was needed.

    The fixture is an american standard amaryllis set up

    any help would be much appreciated.

    Is there such a thing as a replacement hand-held device with an anti siphon valve built into it?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    There are vacuum breaker units which just attach to the hose in series with the shower head. Hopefully, this will be ok for the inspector,.

  3. #3


    thanks for responding...

    I tried one of the in-line breakers from Alson, but as soon as I turned on the shower head the water poured through where it met the hose, rather than the shower head... I know that sounds as if it was installed backwards, but it would require a female/ male adapter on both ends to get it to go the other way....

    The inspector said that the backflow valve had to be 6" above the outflow.

    what's the normal installation for a deck set-up? I can't even find it in my code book.

    thanks for any help you can give


  4. #4

    Smile Resolution of the problem

    It turns out that there are hand held shower heads, which have a double check valve within them, and that satisfies the need for a vacuum breaker. American Standard does not, even though their customer service people insist they do, Kohler does.

    The inspector who "flunked" us, was satisfied with the Kohler hand held.

    Moral of the story, check with local code to see if the anti back flow protection is required, and then either purchase a fixture which has a double check valve in the hand held OR plumb the vacuum breaker into the system (it has to be 6" above the tub overflow)

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Many times the inspector can be very helpful when asked what you need to do to pass.

  6. #6
    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    SF Peninsula


    If I had my way, I'd require manufacturers to build backflow protection into their diverters. Some already do, many don't. There are also wall mount vacuum breakers on the market, but they require forethought on the part of the installer. The problem you experienced is just one of those which crop up when HO's (or GC's, for that matter) buy the fixtures and faucets. Caveat emptor.


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