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Thread: Leaking shower head

  1. #1

    Default Leaking shower head

    During a recent bathroom remodeling project, my neighbor installed a new shower and tub fixture for me. Since it is used mainly for showers, he installed the valve about chest-height. Whenever the water is turned on, it will flow out of the shower head, even when the diverter at the tub spout is not engaged. After doing some research, and replacing several parts thought to be causing the problem, I'm finding that he installed the valve too close to the shower head. The distance from the tub spout to the valve is about 30", and from the valve to the shower head is 20".

    The shower wall backs up to a closet, so I cut out the drywall to expose the plumbing. I extended the pvc to create a longer run between the valve and the shower head, but that did not fix the problem.

    Is there anything that can be done short of tearing out the existing tile and plumbing and re-doing the job?

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    What brand is it? Have you checked to see if it was installed upside down?
    Did the instructions tell you you were to close to the shower head?

    When you say you extended the PVC do you mean you raised the shower head up?

  3. #3

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    It is a Price-Pfister. I found the installation guide on line and it gave some information on how far apart to space each fixture. What I did was install an extended loop of pvc in the wall in order to make the run from the valve to the shower head longer. I thought the extra distance may prevent the flow to the shower head, but it is the same problem.

    I'm not sure if he installed it upside down or not, but the info online said it shouldn't make a difference. I'll check, though.

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You may want to check your water pressure. If it is excessive it could force it's self up higher than it normaly would. Does it come out the tub spout as well as the shower head at the same time?
    Last edited by Cass; 12-20-2005 at 04:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valve

    Installing it upside down will make a large difference, but unless he used "real" PVC, (which he should not have), and not CPVC, then that is the reason for your problem. A general rule is to NEVER use plastic pipe between the valve and the diverter spout.

  6. #6

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    Yes. When running water in the tub from the tub spout, we get a pretty good stream of water coming from the shower head, unless you have it so low that it just dribbles out of the spout. We thought we could just live with it, but it is becoming really annoying. You can't even run water to clean the tub without it leaking all over you from the shower head. It never did this with the old fixtures, and the handles were located down near the tub spout.

  7. #7
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Here is something you may want to try. Remove the piping from the valve to the shower head and replace it with a peice of 3/4" with 1/2" stubs on either end ( valve and shower 90 ends) this MAY work by having more water to lift / push up. By having a larger dia. it may imitate the resistance of a longer distance.

  8. #8

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    I checked the plumbing. All pipe is 1/2" CPVC including the extra 40" loop that I added. The valve is installed with the word "shower" pointing up. I'll try changing to 3/4" from the valve to the shower head. Anything to keep from tearing the new tile out! (I really thought adding that extra length would make the difference, but I guess not.) Thanks for everyone's patience and help!

  9. #9
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You could use 1" if it would fit.

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