pushbutton diverter valve

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by theslosk, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. theslosk

    theslosk New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I have recently puchased a Kohler push button diverter valve (#9530) along with a kohler transfer valve and wall mount and rain shower heads. I have read that it is possible to eliminate the tub spigot and run it to a wall mount shower valve while also using the diverter to run to an overhead "rain" showerhead. (2 different zones if you will.) I do not want the shower heads to run simultaneously. I don't think that 1/2 copper would support that amount of water anyway. Can this be done? If so, in what way would it be configured? I am reasonably mechanically inclined but also know my limitations.
    Also, the diverter valve (which is not installed yet) when pushed pops right back out. I am assuming that the water pressure is what keeps it open when showering with the rain showerhead and not the default wall mount head. It seems to me that there should be some type of "click" or cam that locks this into a different mode but was told that the water pressure is all I need to divert the water until it is pulled back out to transfer it to a different showerhead. Any feedback would be apprediated... Thanks!!!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    There are divertors that you turn that stay where you put them, but the pushbutton jobs rely on the venturi effect to hold it in place (i.e., moving water).

    What are the gpm ratings of the showerheads and the valve? 1/2" valves and pipes can generally supply around 5-6 gpm.
  3. theslosk

    theslosk New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I am not exactly sure but will find out when I get home and check the booklets that came with them. Thanks. But can I do what I plan to do?
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    diverter

    Running the tub outlet to a hand held, or any other thing other than a tub spout will create the same effect as if you pushed the diverter button except the water would also still be flowing to the "spout", in other words EVERYTHING would operate until such time as you actually pushed the diverter and cut off the flow to the spout's port. You cannot do it that way.
  5. theslosk

    theslosk New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I am not concerned that when I turn on the water that the flow comes out of the wall mounted shower head. (that would be my default line, the large port on the diverter-in place of a tub spigot) My concern is can it run only the wall showerhead and then only the rain showerhead.

    In other words, when I turn the shower on- the water will come out of the wall showerhead only. (default line) to get water to desired temperature, etc. When I push the diverter, It will come out of the rain showerhead only.

    Maybe I didn't word my first thread clearly enough- But the lady that I talked to at Kohler assured me that this is possible.
  6. Engineerly

    Engineerly New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Kohler K-9530 Diverter Valve

    Hi,

    I just installed this same valve today. Theslosk, my set up is the same as yours: the default is the main shower and the diverted flow goes to the hand-held shower when I press the button. However, even with the pressure on, the button does not stay down. I can't proceed with my tile shower project until I resolve this. There's no way it would be designed to be held down all the time so there must be a minimum water flow rate required. However that info is not in the documentation. :confused:

    Is yours installed now? Kohler has not answered me yet, but I will phone them tomorrow.

    Does anybody else have experience with this valve? And one last questions for the Pros. How would I measure my flow rate? I have 3/4 pipe reduced to 1/2 before all the outlets.

    Thanks,
    Ron
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    Showerheads, as opposed to the tub spout, are flow restricted...it may very well be that the divertor needs more volume to stay in place. The only way around that would be a dedictated hard plumbed separate divertor.
  8. Engineerly

    Engineerly New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Jim,
    I don't quite understand your response. Here is more info for anyone intrested. The diverter we are using is dedicated valve with a single push button that switches between two outputs. Here is the Kohler link. The input is from the main control/mixer at full pressure. There are no shower heads attached yet and I'm at the pressure test stage (which passed!). I took the caps off both temporary shower arms, cranked my pressure regulator up, held buckets under the openings and turned the "volume" up full. But still when I press the diverter button, it diverts the water perfectly, but pops right back out.

    I'm thinking maybe it needs the back pressure (not sure if I'm using that term correctly) when the shower heads are attached.

    Thanks,
    Ron
  9. Engineerly

    Engineerly New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Update

    I called Kohler and explained my problem. After making sure I had installed it right and that my pressure was above 35psi, they sent me a replacement "Diverter Cartridge Assy" - Kohler part number 74392.

    Unfortunately, the new one behaves exactly like my original. :( Both of them seem to almost catch: I can feel a bit of resistance just before it pops back out. I do not see anything preventing the downstroke (like a chunk of solder or imperfect casting), but I'll look again.

    So now that I have two ... I disassembled one and thought I could weaken the spring a tad. Any ideas on how to do that without cutting off a piece of it? Or what would you do?

    Thanks
    Ron
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Its pretty simple! This diverter is not designed for your application...
    Backpressure is what holds it engaged. You don't have the backpressure required.
  11. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I don't know exactly how you hooked it up, but the following from the Kohler install instructions may be pertinent:


    "When diverting between the showerhead and handshower:
    The small port is for the handshower.
    The port directly across from the small port is for the
    showerhead. Default flow is through this port.

    Do not install spouts with flow restrictors or handheld shower

    units on the large (5/8² OD) bath outlet."

    As I read your post, it sounds like you have connected the handheld to the larger ( default ) port, and they are saying this won't work that way.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  12. Engineerly

    Engineerly New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks guys for reading and helping. The Kohler technician was actually very helpful and we went over the diagram and directions on pages 4-6 of the Installation Guide .

    Jimbo, I've triple checked and I'm sure that it is installed exactly like the "Wall-Mount" picture on the top left of page 6 with the small outlet going to the hand shower and the default outlet to the main shower. The feed to the diverter comes from the tub outlet of the Mixer valve.

    Redwood, the Kohler guy said that it is dependent on incoming pressure alone and that it would make no difference if I had showerheads attached to the outlet side. I took his word for it and never attached the shower heads. But maybe he doesn't know for sure. Is that what you mean by backpressure? And you are probably right, it must be made for a commercial spa or something since I am unable to set my pressure high enough to make it work out of the box, although I looks and feels like a very well made piece of equipment.

    So the good news is that by cutting a couple of coils off the spring and setting the water pressure higher than normal but below pipe rattling level, it finally does work!! It obviously does not have the original stiffness, but the spring is still always under a bit of tension. I had to tweak the water pressure up because the diverter would still pop back out when the mixer was turned to full hot. I guess that's because the hot water heater must reduce the pressure a bit.

    Thanks again ... I hope this thread stays alive for the next guy who tries to put this new device on their old house.

    Ron
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
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