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Thread: Can someone suggest a good shower valve and explain pressure balance vs thermostatic

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member shadysprings's Avatar
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    Default Can someone suggest a good shower valve and explain pressure balance vs thermostatic

    I finally had it with the Price Pfister 08 tract home cheapo valve. So I tore the drywall down behind the shower and now have full open access to valve. Wide open with no shower head it passes 4gpm. That's with a brand new cartridge. Without the cartridge, water flow is 30 gpm. So this valve somehow restricts the flow from 30 to 4 gpm.

    I want to replace with a good quality valve that can do a true 8-12 gpm min. I want the shower head to limit to 2.2gpm, not the valve.

    I was told to look at Grohe thermostatic valves and not pressure balanced ones. Can someone chime in and educate me please on why a thermostatic valve can do 18 gpm easy but pressure balanced are around 4-8 gpm max.

    And finally, is there a gold standard shower valve that you pro's use?

    Below is a picture of my attempt to increase flow by using both shower and tub outlets together to increase flow. Don't laugh at my skills, I'm a C-10 electrical contractor. Anyway, this didn't work.

  2. #2
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Thermostatics are used world wide; PB is not. Go figure.
    With only one shower head, you only need a 1/2" diameter not a 3/4" diameter thermostatic. Saves you money.

    At http://starcraftcustombuilders.com/articleslist.htm are articles that will help you get an idea which company makes products of high or low quality.
    P-Pf is medium low. Moen too.
    Delta is OK.
    Anything above Delta is good, and can get expensive.
    Nobody is giving it away. It's not a commodity and they won't make it into one.

    Hope this helps.
    It's a start.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Geniescience,
    I haven't found the shower faucet rating yet, but I did stumble upon this nonsense.
    Where are they getting their facts from?
    Any plumber reading this paragraph is going to be laughing his work boots off.

    For floor mounted toilets, the offset is important. The offset or setback is the distance between the wall behind the toilet and the center of the toilet flange. The flange is the pipe segment the toilet sits on. The standard offset is 12". Unless you specify otherwise, this is the offset you will get. However, offsets from 8" to 16" are available — at a price. Why use a nonstandard offset? Well, if you use an 8" offset you can save 4 precious inches in front of the toilet, which may make it possible to fit a toilet in a small bath where it otherwise would not fit. Many one-piece elongated toilets require a 14" or 16" offset.
    Starcraft Custom Builders
    All new toilets come standard for a 12" rough.
    You options are 10", 12" and 14"
    I have never heard of anything else. If you were to install an eight inch rough like the article suggests, you would never find a toilet to fit.
    All one piece toilets except for a few by Toto and Caroma absolutely need the 12" rough-in. (The Toto and Caroma can use as little as 10" if you have the correct fitting)
    You won't find a Kohler, American Standard or anything else with less then a 12" rough in a one-piece.
    None of the toilets manufactured today require a 14" or 16"
    In the 1920's, they had 14" rough toilets, so unless you are installing some old antique from the 20"s, you should go with 12"

    I would love to see what they make up about faucets.
    There is no way that Star Craft Custom Builders would be allowed to work in my home.
    Last edited by Terry; 05-06-2010 at 06:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    I think it's a good start for a tech like the O.P.
    (although there is nothing about thermostatic valves).
    Background information, with a lot of opinion and folksy humor.

    http://starcraftcustombuilders.com/sources.faucets2.htm "list price"; reviews
    http://starcraftcustombuilders.com/sources.faucets.htm valves, cartridges, disks; the model game; parts;

    I'm sure they'll be wrong about some things too. And engage in "puffery".

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A pressure balanced valve typically (not all) is an all or nothing type of volume valve. It adjusts the mix of hot and cold supplies, and does not care what their actual temperature is - you set it. If the supply temperatures change, it doesn' care as all it is doing is mixing the ratios you set. So, in the summer, when your cold water may be quite warm, you won't need as much hot to find your 'perfect' shower temperature, and in the winter, you will need lots more hot to make it the same temperature. And, if you are the unlucky one to be second or third in taking a shower, you may need to run all hot to reach your 'perfect' temperature.

    A thermostatic vavle often has an independent volume control to turn the water on or off. It does not adjust the temperature, only the volume. There is another dial, lever, knob or something that sets the desired output temperature. On many, this can adjust fast enough (a second or less) to fulfill the anti-scald requirement of the US. The advantage is, you can set the temperature adjustment to your 'perfect' temperature, winter/summer, beginning of the WH tank/end of use, and as long as there's enough hot water to make it your 'perfect' temp, it will adjust the incoming cold from lots, to nothing to try to maintain that temperature. My first experience with those was in a hotel in London. Their plumbing wasn't the greatest, and you could tell the pressure was fluctuating all over the place, but the temperature of the output stayed the same. Those happened to be Grohe valves (which I eventually put into my home shower).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member shadysprings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    A pressure balanced valve typically (not all) is an all or nothing type of volume valve. It adjusts the mix of hot and cold supplies, and does not care what their actual temperature is - you set it. If the supply temperatures change, it doesn' care as all it is doing is mixing the ratios you set. So, in the summer, when your cold water may be quite warm, you won't need as much hot to find your 'perfect' shower temperature, and in the winter, you will need lots more hot to make it the same temperature. And, if you are the unlucky one to be second or third in taking a shower, you may need to run all hot to reach your 'perfect' temperature.

    A thermostatic vavle often has an independent volume control to turn the water on or off. It does not adjust the temperature, only the volume. There is another dial, lever, knob or something that sets the desired output temperature. On many, this can adjust fast enough (a second or less) to fulfill the anti-scald requirement of the US. The advantage is, you can set the temperature adjustment to your 'perfect' temperature, winter/summer, beginning of the WH tank/end of use, and as long as there's enough hot water to make it your 'perfect' temp, it will adjust the incoming cold from lots, to nothing to try to maintain that temperature. My first experience with those was in a hotel in London. Their plumbing wasn't the greatest, and you could tell the pressure was fluctuating all over the place, but the temperature of the output stayed the same. Those happened to be Grohe valves (which I eventually put into my home shower).
    Thanks for the insightful answer. I was looking a Grohe valves today and they all come threaded. If i use teflon tape, then solder on an L, does the heat destroy the teflon tape? I'm trying to figure out the flow of having threaded components and also sweat connections too.

  7. #7

    Default About Toilet Rough-in Offsets

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post

    All new toilets come standard for a 12" rough. You[r] options are 10", 12" and 14"

    I have never heard of anything else. If you were to install an eight inch rough like the article suggests, you would never find a toilet to fit.

    All one piece toilets except for a few by Toto and Caroma absolutely need the 12" rough-in. (The Toto and Caroma can use as little as 10" if you have the correct fitting)

    You won't find a Kohler, American Standard or anything else with less then a 12" rough in a one-piece.

    None of the toilets manufactured today require a 14" or 16". In the 1920's, they had 14" rough toilets, so unless you are installing some old antique from the 20"s, you should go with 12"

    I would love to see what they make up about faucets.

    There is no way that Star Craft Custom Builders would be allowed to work in my home.
    Terry,

    In the late 19th and early 20th century rough-in offsets were not standardized. Builders settled on the 12" standard offset only after WWII when the rush to build millions of middle-class houses required that as many things be standardized as possible.

    Before standardization, however, manufacturers used whatever rough-in offset they pleased. We frequently find 8", 9" 11", 15" and 16" offsets in old houses, and old time plumbers here still remember when 18" offsets were required for some early one-piece toilets.

    You statement that

    "All new toilets come standard for a 12" rough. You[r] options are 10", 12" and 14" I have never heard of anything else. If you were to install an eight inch rough like the article suggests, you would never find a toilet to fit."
    is incorrect, or at least incomplete.

    New 8" (20cm) rough-in offsets are available from Duravit and a number of other manufacturers that originate in Europe where the 20cm offset is fairly common. Further, any number of salvagers of vintage toilets have units that fit an 8" offset. So getting a toilet to fit an 8" offset is no problem.

    Keep the article in context. The site is about remodeling, not building new, and we often have a call for non-standard offsets -- especially in high end houses that often used European plumbing in the late 19th and early 20th century. High-tank toilets, weird fittings and salvaged plumbing are our plumbers' daily fair, as is rebuilding fixtures that have not worked for decades. In fact, we just finished rebuilding and relining an oak cistern that is at least 100 years old. If our plumbers had only to deal with modern residential plumbing, they would probably be bored out of their mind.

    Not to worry about your home. It's probably not old enough for us to work in. And, we would would not have time to work in it. We are quite busy restoring heritage and historic homes around here.

    Regards,

    Jim Edgar
    Managing Partner
    StarCraft Custom Builders
    Last edited by JMEDGAR; 10-04-2013 at 08:22 AM.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    While you can purchase metric sized plumbing and other things (that may just be great products), in the USA, the current standard for a toilet IS 12". Your choice gets much more limited should you have something else for whatever reason. Older toilets, when the time comes to replace them, may have something other than the 12". WHen updating, you're required to bring things up to current codes, and large, non-standard rough-in toilets just aren't readily available (higher than 14", and even at 14", the choice is fairly small). While someone may fall in love with something not readily available in the USA, and it certainly might be able to be installed, it tends to fall into a very custom install, and also tends to be a lot of money if the mood of the designer changes, or the client should change their mind in mid-stream and is likely to be a major pain at the next remodel. Now, there certainly are people that can afford that, but for the vast majority of people, they'll have the highest quantity of choice (in the USA) if they choose a stock 12" rough-in. Depending on where you live, you can only install products that have been approved by the state (MA is one of these), so the odds of getting a toilet with a non-standard rough-in approved for installation adds another layer of pain to it. Again, there are people that are prepared to spend the time and money to do this, the vast majority don't. It should also be noted that because of the federal rules, on new construction you CANNOT legally install an old, high volume flush toilet, which means recycling older ones isn't a (legal) option there. You may be allowed to repair an old one, but if you have any concern for the ecology, you wouldn't. It's my opinion that this site is geared towards the vast majority of people, not the upper 1% where they can afford whatever they want.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Best Shower Fixture = Dornbracht

    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 03-18-2014 at 08:38 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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