Adjusting the flow rate of a rain head (Shower Rain Head)

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,819
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    We are almost done tiling a new wet-room project here in Vancouver and I called the client yesterday to tell him I drained the flood test and it was all good. This is a tiny 35 square foot bathroom and the tub was removed so I could grade the entire floor as a wet room.

    [​IMG]
    This Shower Rain Head is on a flow valve and can go from a drizzle to a monsoon

    On my first visit I mentioned to this client that many Rain Heads dispense far to much water and it's not so nice shower under a fixture going flat out every day. I suggested while he waits for me to come back to get the plumber back to install a flow valve (control valve) so he can adjust the flow rate of this fixture. The client did not but tried adjust the main shut off's for the suite instead.

    My client tells me this seams to work quite well but I worry that the packing in the shutoffs will degrade over time and perhaps a large leak in the wall is looming.

    What say you plumbers on this practice.

    We have restricted a washroom in the past using Globe Valves but these are designed for this purpose I believe. Can my client leave the shutoff's at 3/4" open?

    What are the risks in this practice?

    JW
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,819
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Hey guys. Any input would be great.

    I have been thinking that perhaps I can get a short 1/4" Chrome Ball Valve for the shower head. Mabe install in after the arm and before the head. This might do the job and allow me to keep the condo's shut off's wide open (slight turn backwards after fully opened).

    Will shutoff's break down quicker if left in a 60% open scenerio?

    JW
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,183
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I doubt there would be any detriment to not having the shutoffs wide open except perhaps a reduction in their ability to pressure balance. I don't see how the stem seals would be affected unless the stems were old and corroded.

    Decades ago, on various rentals I lived in, I would partially close the stop on the toilet supplies so that I wouldn't get scalded when the toilet was flushed.
  4. boardable

    boardable New Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    John, Are the valves ball or standard? Either way I really wouldn't see a problem. Only problem could be with the pressure balanced valve. Either way I would put a simple diverter inline. Quick, easy and piece of mind. The fact that the water is not allowed to swirl like it is supposed to would be a issue in the back of my head. Might not even be able to sleep well at night
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    What kind of valve are you using to control the volume and temperatue? That would be the place to start. His way, he has to close the valves to adjust the shower flow, then open them again when he is done. That will degrade the valves over time.
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,819
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    HI Guys - thanks for the input.

    The shower has a new shower valve that adjust the temperature only. The flow rate is flat out.

    This condo is an old building and actually one of the historic condo's in Vancouver. I'm sure the plumbing is about 40 years old and the shut offs are standard. They are not 1/4 turn ball valves but the kind with a knob you turn till closed or open.

    The home owner likes my idea of an inline 1/4 turn ball valve and I know one of the plumbing companies make them. I just got to find it.

    Tile is all in and will sit this week to fully cure out. Grouting next week!

    JW
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