Shower arm shutoff nightmare

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by mrbeta, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. mrbeta

    mrbeta New Member

    I live in California. I built my own home. Because of chemical sensitivity issues I had to use a membrane system in my shower.

    I used a tub and shower valve in the shower. I plumbed the spout line to a hand held shower head and installed an in line shutoff valve ahead of the hose. For some reason this does not send water to the wall mounted shower head. Ok I must be dumber than a post. I put a 1/2 ball valve on the shower arm to test my theory, after all no reason to buy another shower arm shutoff valve if this does not do the trick. Closing the ball valve on the shower arm sent the water to the hand held. So I purchased another shower arm shutoff valve. When installed it sends water to the hand held but it does not shut all the water off to the wall mounted head. I figured it was defective so another drive and purchased another one. Same result. I had a friend in Oregon buy a shower arm shutoff valve for me thinking there was some misguided state rule that will not allow me to purchase a shut off that actually shuts off the water. Nope that valve does the same spew water crap. All I want is a shut off valve. Every package has said shut off valve, not sort of or mostly shut off. I want a shut off valve that works and does not look like crap on my shower arm. Do they even make one of these any more that does not cost an arm and a leg. My god I am not well off in fact I am far from well off. So do they actually make a shutoff valve that really shuts off the water on the shower arm? If so where do I get this magic piece of equipment. Heck I even bought chrome ones even though I have brass colored trim in the shower because I could not afford the far greater price the Brass colored commands. I have spent hours and hours on this. I have spent to much money and time and still I can not find a shower arm shut off valve that does what the package says it will do.

    H E L P!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,006
    Location:
    New England
    I'm not sure I follow exactly how you have this plumbed, but are you trying to use two outputs from the valve? If so, one is typically larger than the other and is designed to go to a spout. Because that spout is essentially full-flow, no water goes to the other port, since it is higher, and usually restricted (showerheads are flow restricted to 2.5gpm by codes). A hose to a handheld is not full flow, so there would be some restrictions, and you may get water into both. You'd likely need a shutoff, or diverter valve to individually direct water where you want it, or two shutoff valves.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    They mostly shut off. That's to prevent someone from keeping the shower valve open, and using that shutoff to regulate the shower. That is how crossover happens. In a Condo or Apartment, that crossover can put hot to the toilet and cold to the hot side.
    Going through fifty units to find the crossover used to be a bear.
    They changed those fittings to prevent that.
  4. mrbeta

    mrbeta New Member

    Hi Terry,

    Mostly is not good enough for a number of reasons. First this is a single family home so I am not worried about backflow. Besides I ran the cold into the mechanical room and then back to the baths and kitchen etc. Specifically to keep the pressure close. Secondly the leak is not slight on any of the three valves I have tried. It is substantial. Third that just wastes water and the heat you put into it and I don't waste anything.

    So do you know some one or do you have an old shower arm valve that actually shuts off? What about Canada do they have the same rules? Europe? I need a valve that shuts off completely. The house has anti scald valves too so there just is nothing to be worried about. Some where some one must have one of these and I am hoping the community here can help me. I installed Toto toilets in the house based on what I read here. A drake in the guest bath and a dual flush in the master bath. I may be very limited on funds but I did my best to build a good strong and low maintenance home.

    If some one has what I need please let me know your terms and I will do my best to comply. I really need this valve. If I had any idea that shutoffs were going to stop being what they are called I would have bought a couple more or designed the shower differently. But it is to late now. So I need some help sourcing what I need.

    thanks for reading.

    dh
  5. johnfrwhipple

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

    Messages:
    4,143
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I'm sure the shower arm shut offs we have used before full stop the water flow.

    Perhaps it's a fixture piece???
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  6. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    That won't shut all the way. You could use a straight ips stop, the type you would use under a sink.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; First this is a single family home so I am not worried about backflow.

    WHen they make them, they do NOT know how you are going to use them so they make the one that will fit every situation. Your problem is that you used the spout connection for a "shower", which is ALWAYS a No-No. Once you did that, you had to simulate the action of a multiport diverter with valves which were not made for that application. What you really need is a shower arm diverter with the handheld on one side and the wall head on the end. The odds are than no matter how conscientious you are, SOME DAY, you will get lazy and just turn off the valves to the heads and leave the faucet turned on, so it will be a the right temperature the next time you use it. THEN you will be asking us why your hot, and/or cold water temperatures are inconsistent.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  8. mrbeta

    mrbeta New Member

    Hi Jim,

    thanks for your thoughts.

    dh
  9. mrbeta

    mrbeta New Member

    Hello HJ,

    Thank you for the comment. I will never use the shower arm shut off as you describe because I have a two handle Delta shower set. One handle is for Temp and one for volume of water. Done deliberately because it is so hard to get a single handle anything to the temp I want. And no I won't be worried about the temp because I will just set the Tankless to the temp I want on the remote unit(within the limits is allows). You see I just set the tankless and then I do not temper the water I generally just use the hot set to what I want and if it is a taste to hot because you do not have infinite control on the Takagi then I temper as little as possible. It saves energy and water in the end.

    But again I do thank you for your helpful and kind remarks. And I appreciate the CAPITALS point out the important things too!

    dh
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    They tend to drip (on purpose)
    That's to prevent the crossover.
  11. Vitempest

    Vitempest New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    St Thomas, USVI
    It is also to warn you not to leave the flex hose pressurised and have an un timely hose failure.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  12. johnfrwhipple

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

    Messages:
    4,143
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    So I heard back from the Original Poster and heard that he found a solution via a **** Find. I'll find out what part he used but in the end he did get a shut off arm that actually "Shut Off" !!!

    Good to hear there is an option out there for this type of fix.
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