Code relating to shower valves . . .

Discussion in 'Illinois Plumbing Code Questions' started by ktemkin, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. ktemkin

    ktemkin New Member

    I am a homeowner in Illinois renovating in a old house (1930s). The renovation is extensive-enough that it requires current code compliance.

    We are trying to maintain the historical authenticity of the house (because it was designed by a noted architect) and we are being told that, because of plumbing code, we are REQUIRED to install those ubiquitous, modern, single-handle shower mixers instead of the traditional, separate hot and cold valves.

    The regional Kohler showroom (owned and run by Kohler) said they are prohibited from selling individual hot and cold shower valves in the State of Illinois because of code issues.

    I am amazed by this.

    I see that there are independent temperature compensating valves (tempering valves) available, and independent pressure compensating valves (balancing valves) available.

    Can not an arrangement of these valves (located in an adjacent closet wall with a maintenance access panel) substitute for the safety functions of a single-handle shower mixers? After all, what is a single-handled shower mixer but a unified combination of these valves.

    I am willing to spend the extra money to engineer an appropriate substitute for the single-handle mixer, but I am being told that nothing will be acceptable.

    Is it true that there is no reasonable solution to this code issue?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Some places allow the balancing valves with a two handle. I would be asking your plumbing inspector first. He's the one you need to convince.

    There are some really great looking single handle valves now, and I'm sure your deigner, were he living today would be all over them.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Grohe, and Kohler used to but I cannot find it right now, makes a pressure balancing unit which installs in the hot and cold lines to a 2 valve tub/shower valve, which makes the valve code compliant.
  4. plmbrbob

    plmbrbob New Member

    Wauconda, Il.
    any ASSE1016 tempering valve ahead of the two handle in an accessible location to limit shower water to 115 degrees. not required for tub only
  5. johnfrwhipple

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

    North Vancouver, BC
    Keep looking

    So many single handle fixtures that work as temperature balancing, pressure balancing and also give the option of multiple shower heads.

    Lots to choose from. Dig deeper
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Pressure balancing and "temperature balancing" are two completely different situations. The first maintains the hot/cold balance as the pressure in the system changed keeping the temperature fairly constant. The second also maintains a fairly constant temperature, but does it by changing the amounts of hot and cold water passing through the valve.
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