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Thread: Shower 2.5 Gal Restrictions

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  1. #1

    Unhappy Shower 2.5 Gal Restrictions

    I just moved into a new house and the pressure is 78 lbs/sq-in, which is good. But the shower flow is awful. My plumber indicated that it is due the new 2.5 gal/min cartridge law.

    Is there a cartridge out there that I can get to increase the flow? I currently are using a single handle Moen with Cartridge #1222.

    Anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Some showerheads work much better than others. By law, you cannot buy a head that flow more. Now, on some of them, you can remove the restrictor (often just a disk on the inlet). Think about buying a new showerhead. Make sure that the inlet screen of the head is not clogged, first, though. At only 1-1/2 years, it shouldn't be all limed up, but could easily have junk from contruction clogging the screen, or maybe sand if you are on a well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

    Question Low Flow

    Thanks. I have replaced the head, but it appears to be the size of the cartridge. What I have been hoping for, is to get an older version cartridge that allows more water flow.

    I believe that the manufacturers have done two things:

    1) Put low flow restrictors in the shower heads, which I have removed
    2) Reduced the amount of flow thru the cartridge in the shower handle

    I wonder if I go to my old home and swap the handle and cartridge with the new house, if I can get it to flow more than the 2.5 gals.

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    It has nothing to do with the cartridge. However, some manufacturers do put a restrictor in the body to reduce flow to the shower. It is not to compy with the law, which does not limit the valve per se. It is to ensure that in a tub/shower combo all the water goes to the tub spout when desired. The restrictor ensures that water does not migrate up to the shower head in the 'tub' mode. The restrictor is not accessible without opening up the wall.

    In a shower only install, plumbers will sometimes install the valve body upside down to eliminate this problem.

    It seems to me (unscientific analysis here) that the flow in 2.5gpm head does drop off considerably if the house pressure is low. Check to see that you have at least 60PSI static, and that it doesn't drop below fifty when using the shower.
    Last edited by jimbo; 12-06-2004 at 04:00 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5

    Question Checked Pressure

    I did check the pressure. I have 76psi and it drops to 71psi when I start the shower.

    I also checked the water flow and it is deliverying 2.5gals in 70 seconds with no shower head attached. What is your thought on getting that increased? Can I do anything at the faucet or cartridge?

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You have good pressure, but 2.5gpm flow with no shower head is low. By any chance does the shower valve have screwdriver stop valves on the water inlets? ( Remove the round escutcheon flanvge to see). If so, ensure they are completely open.


    This is messy, but you could remove the shower valve cartridge and then have some one momentarily turn the water back on. This should be a gusher coming straight out at you!......at least it would confirm the location of the problem.

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