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Thread: testing plumbing during shower remodel

  1. #1
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    Default testing plumbing during shower remodel

    Hello all,

    I am remodeling my shower room and need few advices. We are replacing the ugly tile and while walls are down, we would like to add more fixtures (e.g. like body massage jets) if that's not to much of a project.

    1) given that tiles are removed, at what stage is best to test the new plumbing to ensure copper pipes are properly soldered? I would like to make sure before putting the walls back and tiling them. Is this possible w/o causing water leaks?

    2) What are the requirement in terms of water flow to support 4 body massage jets?

    3) my shower head pipe is about 6'2" high. Is this the normal height? I felt there is just enough room for a 5'10" person to be under the shower head w/o having to bend the head down. Should I also raise this pipe? What would be a more conventional height?


    Many thanks
    Jerome
    Last edited by Terry; 02-28-2012 at 10:34 PM.

  2. #2

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    Please refer to the company whose valves & shower heads you are using, for the flow & pressure ratings you are asking about.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Put the new plumbing in before you do your tiling, but you should mock up the locations with the trim so that you get their location exactly where you want it (mostly depth, but height as well). You can put the showerhead anywhere you want, but if the thing is used by people of widely ranging heights, they may want it low enough so they can reach it to change the angle. For some, the use of a handheld mounted on a sliding bar works out. There's a limit on how high you can put the shower arm with it's normal offset angle, you still need enough room to screw it in. Personally, I like to have it quite high, as I'm tall. Same is true with the shower valve - if you're worried about resale, you might want it lower, but personally, I mounted mine after standing there, reaching out at a comfortable angle, and installing it there.

    this all becomes a mute point if there may be height challenged people using the shower, though (as in young children, or others).

    Basically, you can look up some tables on 'average' installs, but, who's average? Put it where you want, where it's comfortable to operate.
    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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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    1) given that tiles are removed, at what stage is best to test the new plumbing to ensure copper pipes are properly soldered? I would like to make sure before putting the walls back and tiling them. Is this possible w/o causing water leaks?

    2) What are the requirement in terms of water flow to support 4 body massage jets?

    You will need to determine the output of the combined shower heads, or jets first, and then determine if your water heating will keep up, and if it does, for how long. You may need to go with a larger tank, or a tankless.

    3) my shower head pipe is about 6'2" high. Is this the normal height? I felt there is just enough room for a 5'10" person to be under the shower head w/o having to bend the head down. Should I also raise this pipe? What would be a more conventional height?

    I've seen them at 70", 75" and 80" any anywhere they can think of doing them.
    70" normally puts the shower arm within the field of tile.
    75" and more puts the arm over the tile field. We're seeing some people put shower heads in the ceiling. That's as high as you can go.



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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    1. after you install the piping, you cap all the openings and turn the water on to test it.
    2. It depends on the heads
    3. You put the heads where they are convenient for YOU.
    4. you didn't ask, but if you have "ugly" tile, you probably also need a new code approved shower valv, which may also take care of item #2..
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Ask your plumber to isolate the new plumbing work and then test the new piping to 200 PSI. Your new work should hold this pressure easily for a good hour and then you should be good to go.

    make sure that the new fixtures have no warnings about not doing this and like mentioned find out the flow and volume of your new package.

    You might find that you need a three inch drain or 2 two inch drains if your flow rates are too large.

    JW


    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.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Ask your plumber to isolate the new plumbing work and then test the new piping to 200 PSI.

    NO standard requires a 200# test. 150 psi is the standard maximum working pressure for a plumbing system.The usual test is 100 psi, OR 20 psi above the available water pressure. But, plumbers test with the building's water pressure, unless there is no water supply available, then we use air, but NOT 200 psi. (In fact most air compressors shut off at 125 psi). If he asked me for a 200 psi test, I might laugh and then tell him NO.
    Last edited by hj; 02-29-2012 at 04:53 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; Ask your plumber to isolate the new plumbing work and then test the new piping to 200 PSI.

    NO standard requires a 200# test. 150 psi is the standard maximum working pressure for a plumbing system.The usual test is 100 psi, OR 20 psi above the available water pressure. But, plumbers test with the building's water pressure, unless there is no water supply available, then we use air, but NOT 200 psi. (In fact most air compressors shut off at 125 psi). If he asked me for a 200 psi test, I might laugh and then tell him NO.
    When we install a new pex system we have to test it to 180 psi. Hydrostatic,water and air. You could laugh but they would have the last one.

  9. #9
    In the Trades Plumber111's Avatar
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    We have to test new to 100 PSI. Now get this, remodel, just to the current operating pressure of the structure. Hook it up, turn it on, it's tested.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Plumber111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerome7 View Post
    Hello all,

    I am remodeling my shower room and need few advices. We are replacing the ugly tile and while walls are down, we would like to add more fixtures (e.g. like body massage jets) if that's not to much of a project.

    1) given that tiles are removed, at what stage is best to test the new plumbing to ensure copper pipes are properly soldered? I would like to make sure before putting the walls back and tiling them. Is this possible w/o causing water leaks?

    Already been answered. Isolate the area and pressurize to 100 PSI.

    2) What are the requirement in terms of water flow to support 4 body massage jets?

    That's dependent on what you are installing. You need PSI/Volume. Better evaluate both pretty good or that nice Kohler picture advertisement on the back of the magazine won't happen. You'll have 4 short curves of water and disappointment.


    3) my shower head pipe is about 6'2" high. Is this the normal height? I felt there is just enough room for a 5'10" person to be under the shower head w/o having to bend the head down. Should I also raise this pipe? What would be a more conventional height?

    Usually have a happy medium by installing 78" from the finished floor.

    Many thanks
    Jerome
    Good luck.
    Last edited by Plumber111; 03-01-2012 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Changed Shower Height

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; You could laugh but they would have the last one.

    Probably not, because I do not use a material that you have to test to 180 psi to ensure that it will not fail.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; You could laugh but they would have the last one.

    Probably not, because I do not use a material that you have to test to 180 psi to ensure that it will not fail.
    If you use pex in my area you would test it to 180psi. I recall somthing you said about running pex for an ice maker but always connecting to the ice maker with a stainless braided hose.

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    In the Trades Plumber111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing View Post
    68" from the finished floor for a showerhead? Must be some short people around your area.
    You're right. I typed wrong. I meant to say 78" from finished floor. There would be alot of accidental drownings at 68".

  14. #14
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    When I broke into plumbing, the owner was 5'-6"
    He wanted shower heads at 70"; which being 6'-1" seemed very short. I argued that it was way too low. He was the boss, and he had 150 plumbers in the Seattle area installing heads at 70".
    Over the years I've heard many complaints from homeowners about the shower heads that they have to duck under.

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