1/2" or 3/4" tub valve?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by stephenson, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. stephenson

    stephenson Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    We don't like the handles Kohler offers for tubs ... trying to stay with Kohler because wanted 3/4" so would fill as fast as possible ...begs the question ...how big a deal is it, really, between the two sizes in real world usage? We are on well with pressure tank and don't have pressure issues anywhere ...this combined with how often a tub is really used (we figure about 10 times a year) ....

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,186
    Location:
    New England
    My first choice would not be Kohler, but that's another story. Look at the detailed spec sheets - you may have to call Kohler. They will list gpm at a certain pressure for each valve. Figure out how big of a tub you want to fill, then decide if the minutes saved is worth the extra money the larger valve costs. Only you can decide on the cost/benefit breakpoint. It somewhat depends on how big the tub is. What's your tolerance for the time it takes to fill it up?

    Kohler makes some nice stuff (and some I think is lousy!), but because they do not have a standardized set of 'guts' they build off of, replacement parts tend to be hard to get and expensive. This is opposed to someone like Delta that has relatively few 'guts' and then just changes the trim...when it comes time to repair it (and all eventually need something replaced), it's cheap and readily available for the most part. Kohler is infected with NIH syndrome...plus, they always seem to think they can make it better (which in itself, isn't bad, when done sensibly), so their designs often end up weird, and when they don't actually work out well, changed often. Ask a supplier to look at their parts catalog...it looks more like a big city phone book - the main reason nobody stocks many Kohler repair parts.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you do not like Kohler's handles why are you staying with Kohler? LOTS of companies make 3/4" valves, but what size pipes do you have going to it?
  4. stephenson

    stephenson Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    To hj's question first ...wife. Between deciding Kohler for shower and now, she decided didn't like Kohler trim for tub. I don't mind paying a bit extra for Kohler sometimes, but only when I know what it is I'm getting for the extra money.

    Have 1" almost to bathroom then goes to 3/4" all the way to shower and tub.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    with Kohler about the only "thing you get for your money" is the Kohler name. 1" copper or PEX? If PEX, then you really only have 3/4" going to the bathroom.
  6. stephenson

    stephenson Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Even smaller diameter ... once inside the bathroom I went from copper to CPVC, so using 3/4 valves in shower to 3/4 and then to 1/2 for shower heads ... and, 3/4 to tub ... at this point can choose either 3/4 or 1/2, but 1/2 less expensive and could even go to single handle (per wife's wishes).
  7. stephenson

    stephenson Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Wife ended up deciding entire issue by picking what she wanted it to look like ...sigh ...Grohe four piece ... No issues in installation except everything was about 5 times as hard as it needed to be (oh up yeah, stupid expensive)...I ran 3/4 CPVC off the 3/4 copper, to CPVC shutoff valves (accessible from adjoining room) ... Then reduced to 1/2 for final connection to main valve, them used the Grohe stainless hoses for the rest of the install. All accessible from adjoining room.

    I would rather hard plumb than use the stainless lines, but it seems to work OK. Flow rate is sufficient ...but since it will only get used about 10 times in the next 3-5 years, I guess it won't matter much :)
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