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Thread: Need advise for plumbing body spray

  1. #1
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    Default Need advise for plumbing body spray

    hello,

    I need to add some plumbing to support 3 body sprays. I am of course forming a balancing loop and have the 3 spray on that loop. I was wondering what is the better way to do the riser (coming out of the wall). I came up w/ the first option buy playing w/ the copper pieces I found at home depot. But most pictures I found online afterward is using the drop ear elbow + galvanized riser. on. If you could please let me know the opinion on the two options.

    Thank you

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  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I admit I know nada about a body spray connection, but I can tell you that you don't use a galvanized anything anywhere in your house water supply. It soon start to rust and discolor your water. If you need a threaded nipple, use brass.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If you install it according to your first picture the thread has to be in the EXACT location relative to the final wall finish. If it is not the head will either not fit to the wall properly, or it will be loose and leak. You can either use a tee with a center IPS thread or a drop ear elbow. Either way, after the tile is installed you can use the proper length BRASS nipple to attach the heads.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    Thanks HJ.

    Don't we need to determine the proper depth anyway (relative to the finish wall)? That has to be done for the valves. I thought it would be routine for body spray hook ups.

    I was looking for tee w/ threads on the middle orifice and I don't believe I saw one.

    Due to the spacing and the position of the studs, the first option is easier to fit in the wall.
    The balancing loop must be within 2 studs which are 14" apart. About 5" in the center is taken by the valve.
    The option 2 requires a narrower loop which might hit against the valve.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Nibco 712 is the center thread tee. With a nipple you can adjust to the wall surface AFTER the tile is installed. If you are installing the "balancing loop" between two studs, then you do NOT need it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    I don't understand why it would not be needed between the 2 studs. It sounds like the advantage of being adjustable to wall remains regardless where the plumbing would be installed.

    The picture shows what I am trying to do. The blue circle is the diverter valve and the green circles are the body sprays.

    Thanks for your help. I must get it right before I put on the walls.
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  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You do not need the "loop" for a system that "tight together". Copper tubing in an "H" pattern with a head at each end of the "legs" will work just fine.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    That is interesting. At first I was thinking of the H layout (which is intuitive). But then I startes Googling and pretty much every photo and diagram I have seen, there is a balancing loop whether they install 2, 3, or 4 body jets. Thus I thought that is the standard and preferred way of doing it.
    The H is definitely easier w/ less points to solder.

    What is the advantage of a loop and what are the applicable use of it? Doesn't the loop give more uniform water flow across all body sprays? Just curious.
    Thanks

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    IF the jets are widely separated, then the loop compensates for any unequal pressure drop. In essence it is the same as using a larger diameter pipe.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  10. #10
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    Sharing some pics of finished work.

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    It's been 10 days now w/ water pressure in the pipe and I have not seen any leak.
    A friend of mime (who has done a lot of soldering in his life but for electronics) warned me about cold soldering problem.
    He said even though there is no leak now, the solder can crack few years down the road and cause leaks. That can be caused by insufficient heat applied or excess of heat damaging the solder.

    I always thought the advantage of copper pipes and solder, once it is good it will last for a long time. I believe I applied enough heat and usually some excess. I always go overboard to make sure and apply plenty of solder. That's why the join looks messy w/ all the solder dripping along the pipe, but I don't need it to look good as long as it's safe.

    Should I be worried. I fell pretty good about my work until I spoke to him

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It looks like you used the copper stubs and male adapters, in spite of our warnings, so I hope you do not have to come back here after the tile is installed and ask you to make the heads fit to the wall properly. Because we will have to tell you the you CANNOT.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  12. #12
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    Hi HJ,

    Thanks for your advice and I took it very seriously. I was double double (4x) measuring everything before cutting and soldering. I make a template board w/ the thickness of the final wall (i.e. drywall, kerdi membrane, thinset and tile) to make sure the pipes and valves are set at the right depth. It was very time consuming but given there is only 16" between the 2 studs, doing a narrow loop was to tricky to make it fit. I couldn't find the Nibco 712 at local store neither.

    Cheers

  13. #13
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    I have a leaky valve!!!

    When I soldered the balancing loop, I removed the cartridge from the main supply valve. Afterward I put it back to its place but now when I shut off the water at the valve, there is still a bit of water going thru. I can see the water constantly dripping out of the shower head. This is not a leak to the plumbing but rather the valve not able to be tightly closed and still supplying a bit of water. It was working fine before that.

    Would you have any tip on how to get a tight seal?

    Thanks much

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    If your shower head is dripping, replace your cartridge.

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