good quality shower valves for low pressure system

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by bigwooo, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. bigwooo

    bigwooo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    BCS Mexico
    I'm in the process of building an off grid home in Mexico. My system relies on a 12 volt pump, pumping out of an underground storage tank to a pressure tank. My pressure switch will be set a 30-50 psi, meaning when the pressure drops to 30 psi, the pump will turn on and fill the pressure tank until it reaches 50psi. I cannot provide more than 50 psi with a 12v pump.

    My plumbing will be 1/2" PEX on a "home run" system.

    I'm looking for suggestions for high quality shower valves that don't cause an appreciable decrease in pressure. I've had experience with some "water saver" valves that don't work well at all in the pressures I've described. If possible, I would like to buy old fashoned basic hot and cold adjustable valves without pressure balancing, temp adjusting etc., if they are still available somewhere.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
  2. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    The water saver is in the shower head not the valve, most new valves are pressure balancing but I have seen some old style still available in some stores and they state on them not for use in new contruction.

    Mexico code could be different.
  3. bigwooo

    bigwooo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    BCS Mexico
    Ahhh... thank you, you're correct. I remember now, it was the shower head...not the valve that caused the pressure issues I had a while back; but...I don't have experience with the pressure balancing valves on lower pressure. I don't have a problem installing one if I can determine it will work OK.

    Most people around here buy the cheap old style valves available locally, but they don't last. I'd like to purchase something that's not going to have to be replaced in 6 months. Does anyone know if pressure balancing valves cause a significant drop in pressure? Any brand preferences. BTW, I had to laugh...Mexico has no codes :)
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,283
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you have 30 PSI, then any of the Delta, Moen, Grohe and Kohler will work for you.
    You can get parts for these, and the quality is good.
    That's at the low end, but it works.
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Many many people on well systems have 30-50 psi pressure switches and have no complaints.
    In Mexico I'd be more concerned that the plumber Installed a trap on the tub/shower than the valve.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,024
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A pressure balancing valve will only cause a DROP in pressure, if the hot or cold pressure drops and then the PB will balance the other one to the same pressure, which will be seen as a pressure drop. Without the PB valve, that same effect will cause a surge of hot to cold water in the shower.
  7. bigwooo

    bigwooo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    BCS Mexico
    Thank you for all the information. Right now I have a 20/40 pressure switch, but just ordered a 30/50 that I'll be picking up on a trip North. (20/40 is all that's available in Mexico). It looks like I have a good choice of valves for that pressure.

    Muchas Gracias.
  8. bigwooo

    bigwooo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    BCS Mexico
    You are soooooo correct. My guest house doesn't have any. Unfortunately I wasn't here to supervise. Now that I live here "things will be different".
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