A curious newbie and a valve

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by db65, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. db65

    db65 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Montréal, QC
    Hi!

    I don't know anything about plumbing -- or maybe I should say that I didn't know anything before, now that I've started lurking these helpful forums ;) --, but I got to learn, because I want to make the right choices and I assume that the plumber who'll install my new shower set won't research these things. So, I've been looking at American Standard thermostatic valves and I had some questions about them.

    1. Is it possible to use both port (shower and tub) on a valve like the R520 if I use a stop valve/volume control on that second line?
    [​IMG]
    I've searched the forum a bit and I found this answer:
    Is there anything else I should be aware of? Can both ports be used at the same time?

    2. American Standard thermostatic valves are limited at 112° F at the factory, which seems crazy to me. :/ Reading the product description, I thought that my plumber could circumvent that by adjusting the 100° F "baseline" to, let's say, 106° F, giving me a new 118° F maximum.
    [​IMG]
    Am I right? Could this cause a problem?

    3. I've been reading a lot of comments stating that you could/should install a thermostatic valve using the tub port regardless of the application.
    Why do the manufacturers show the other configuration in their diagrams, though? Maybe they want to sell their bigger models... If a valve is rated at 9 GPM, is it from the shower outlet? And if so, what can we expect from the tub outlet, then?

    OK, enough questions! :p Let me thank you for reading my ramblings, and maybe commenting on them. :D
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The upside down recommendation is NOT for thermostatic valves because it has no bearing on them, because they have full ports on both sides and use volume controls to regulate the flow. ANd it does not apply to all manufacturers, only those whose valves have 180 degree symettry. Also notice that I wrote "for shower only applications", not "regardless of the application". A thermostatic valve, without an on/off function, has a "open body" so both ports access the same amount of water.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  3. db65

    db65 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Montréal, QC
    Like I said, this is all new to me. Furthermore, English is not my first language, so I might have worded things in a weird manner, but I really thought this applied to thermostatic valves too! I'm so glad you're there to clarify and explain that, hj. Thank you. :)

    I assume I could then use both ports and put a volume control on the "tub" one. This way I wouldn't have to use a diverter and it would be a more flexible installation.

    What do you think about the temperature limit? If it can't be changed, I'll have to buy another brand.
  4. db65

    db65 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Montréal, QC
    Terry Love's Forums, here's my (way too long) rant. :p

    The shower faucet market is quite complicated for a neophyte like me. I can't really ask my plumber to help me. He's more of a "buy what you like and I'll make it work" type! And that's okay. He did say this, though: "Maybe you should buy a local (Québec) brand. This way, if it breaks, and these cartridges have a tendency to break, you won't wait too long before you get your replacement."

    Store clerks are way worse when it comes to brand selection, though! I come up in the specialized store looking for info and it's like I'm there shopping only for trims... "Which look do you prefer?" Lots of plastic designer brands are pushed... Plus you can't see half of the products for yourself in the store, so you got to research it on the Internet anyway. I really can't justify paying more for all those local and imported boutique brands that really look like they come from the same Chinese plant that is producing those 250$ thermostatic shower columns.

    I only want some 8 GPM bang for your buck! Maybe I'm overthinking all this... :confused:

    Anyway, I'm thinking about buying Delta after reading some comments on this forum, and I have some questions. I'd be really grateful if someone could take the time to answer them. The way I understand this, the Delta system can't have individual volume controls, because there's no integral check valves on the universal rough-in body. My hypothetical system would then be limited to any 2 open components by the diverter... :(

    1. If I'd like to be able to use 2 shower heads and some body jets at the same time on occasion, do I need to buy 2 Delta 17000 valves, then?

    2. Is it because a single valve won't ever have to supply 3 components at the same time that Delta seem to limit the GPM of their pressure balance and thermostatic valves (about 6 GPM at 45 psi on the tub port for both)? Most manufacturers' thermostatic valves seem to allow more flow...

    3. Since (according to the literature on Delta's commercial website) both cartridges allow for roughly the same flow and have a volume control, choosing one or the other would be mainly a preference/price thing, then?

    4. Speaking of which, how come, in most other brands, for the same inlet width (say 1/2") a thermostatic valve always gives more volume than a pressure balanced one (9 GPM vs 5 GPM)? Is it a limitation of the pressure balancing technologies? Is there no 1/2" pressure balanced valve that can deliver a "full" 8-9 GPM?

    5. Overall, is a more solid construction (i.e. more brass) that important for shower heads and accessories (sliding bars, trims, etc.)? Or should I base my decision mostly on looks and price.

    Maybe I'll have to buy American Standard or Moen if I decide that I want to be able to use 3 components at the same time. These brands have been there forever, so I guess replacement parts won't be rare. But since that "car wash scenario" won't happen often -- and I only have a 60 gallons tank so I could run it for 10 minutes at most --, I may as well forget about it...

    Must be all those years with a crappy shower experience that make me dream about that! ;)
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
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