Moentrol Pressure Problem

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by TSquare, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. TSquare

    TSquare New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Have a shower with 4 body sprays and a Moentrol valve/diverter. When I divert to the body sprays, the pressure is very strong. When I divert to the shower head the pressure is weak.

    Any ideas on how to troubleshoot this problem? Thanks.

    Terry
  2. HiBoost

    HiBoost New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Me too!

    I have this exact same problem. Just bought a new house and it has a moentrol setup in the master with a single head and 4 sprays. I am working backwards to determine that it must be a moentrol because it uses the "263ORB Kingsley trim for Moentrol" (can't post a link to the sites that I found selling this).

    Anyway, all the other showers in the house that just have a single head (no body sprays) flow between 2 and 2.5 gpm. The head on the moentrol setup flows 0.65 gpm! The body sprays are very forceful, but the head is pathetic, even when it is the only thing running.

    Is there something that can be adjusted/replaced inside the valve to fix this? The shower is covered in a pricey travertine so I'm really hoping the fix wouldn't require getting "behind the scenes".

    Thanks!
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,816
    Location:
    New England
    Unscrew the showerhead and measure the flow. My guess is it will be in the order of 5-6 gallons per minute and maybe more. If it is, the solution is replace the showerhead or soak it in vinegar overnight. If it is really rated at 0.65gpm, I can't see how that would give a satisfactory flow.

    If the body sprays and the head are running at the same time, your supply piping and valve may not be big enough. You'd have to add up the aggragate volume specs to see. A typical 1/2" valve is usually in the 5-7 gpm range at 60psi or so (you'd have to read the specs on your particular one to see what you should have).
  4. HiBoost

    HiBoost New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Shower head is brand new, it's a Moen Showhouse rain head rated at 2.5 gpm. The previous shower head was a Moen unit rated at 2.5 gpm as well (and it was brand new too). We also have a water softener so mineral deposits shouldn't be an issue. I called Moen this morning and they are sending me a new cartridge for the control that routes from the head to the sprays. They said this sounds like the issue and the fix should be simple. Fingers crossed!
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flow

    The body sprays have a concentrated flow, and may not have flow limiters. The shower head may have multiple orifices and a 2.5gpm flow restricter, either of which by themselves would give a reduced flow.
  6. HiBoost

    HiBoost New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Something is clearly wrong with the flow to the head. Before installing the rain head we had a smaller head that was the exact same as the other showers in the house. This same head flows 2gpm (measured, not rated) in another bathroom and 0.65gpm in the master. Before I even measured the flow it was obvious that something was very wrong. When you first turn on the water to the rain head, water doesn't even come out of half the holes for the first 30 seconds or so. Eventually they all "spray" ("drip" would probably be more accurate) but there is no force whatsoever.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,816
    Location:
    New England
    Rainhead showers typically have little force - it's not a spray, it's supposed to emulate a rainstorm.
  8. HiBoost

    HiBoost New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nebraska
    That's exactly what the builder's plumber told me, but that doesn't explain the complete lack of volume. If I was getting 2gpm or more but it just "felt soft" I wouldn't say anything. But clearly there is a lack of flow to the head, and again, the exact same thing was occuring with the previous head which was a standard approx 3" diameter head AND which is the same head which flows more than 2gpm on two other showers in the house. Finally, the fact that Moen said it sounds like the cartridge is bad and is sending me a new one for free tells me that it's probably not just the head.

    None of you guys are buying that there could be a problem with the cartridge? Not sure why everyone is so dead on thinking it's the head when two brand new heads of totally different styles have produced the same exact results.

    On a different topic, big thumbs up for Moen customer service - no hassle at all, no proof of purchase required, etc... just explained the problem and gave them my address and they are putting it in the mail free of charge.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,782
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Well two others have mentioned "removing" the shower head and measuring how much water comes out.


    Well.................
  10. tasco

    tasco New Member

    Messages:
    1
    by design

    most of the rain shower heads with multiple heads will depend on pressure and volume but are designed to trickle when roughed in standard 1/2" or 3/4".
    I roughed the showerhead supply/riser with 2" pipe after one owner complained and completed a volume loop for the jets in 1". it worked well with out the flow restrictors but as soon as they went back in the flow to the heads obviously went dead.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valve

    The fact that Moen is sending you a part just means that you convinced them you needed it. It has nothing to do with whether that is the real problem or not. If you had had to pay for the part, you would have done more diagnosing to make sure that is really the problem.
  12. HiBoost

    HiBoost New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Dammit I hate being wrong! :) Ok, you guys were right. Seems like the plumber got a little carried away with the teflon tape and the inside of the new shower heads was almost completely plugged up (little green plastic piece with a black o-ring in the center was clogged). After about a half an hour of playing "Operation" with the tweezers I got it all cleaned out and now it fills the bucket in 20 mins 20 seconds vs. 7 mins 40 seconds.

    So, thanks to everyone for continuing to beat me over the head as I refused to listen to what you were saying. It eventually sunk in!
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Thats okay!
    Now if we can just get our favorite Hillbilly Engineer to share the same enlightenment you have recieved...:D
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