Shower head flows whether tub spout diverter on or off - please help

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by bz9000, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. bz9000

    bz9000 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    CT
    I just installed a new Delta shower fixture model 144913 (cut out an old unit at the H & C water lines), exactly as per the instructions. When I rotate the round control handle, the water comes on and flows out of the tub spout and is hot and cold when it should be, with plenty of force, and turns off when rotated CW as it should.
    The problem is that water is spraying out of the Shower Head lightly, and with more force when I pull up the tub spout diverter knob. When the tub spout diverter knob is pulled up, no water comes out the the tub spout (which is correct operation). Otherwise, everything works great and no leaks from the plumbing behind the wall.
    How do I STOP the spray of water from coming out the shower head with the tub spout flowing fully?? I know this is not the way this shower fixture normally works, but I am stumped as to what the problem might be. Any ideas or any help please?? Thanks.
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    It sounds like you have the faucet installed upside down. Look at the valve body it should be marked.

    John
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    What kind of pipe did you use? CPVC and pex are much smaller ID than copper and you can get problems like this. Did you follow the instructions exactly about the minimum/maximum distances between the valve and the spout/showerhead? Some valves have two outlets, but you can only use one of them and the other one must be blocked off. If you use both of them, when it is not designed for it, you can get this result.

    Basically, you have a restriction to the tub spout and the water is backing up into the showerhead. You need to resolve this.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I thinks Jadnashua nailed it....:eek:
  5. bz9000

    bz9000 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    CT
    Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas. Just for your info, I used 1/2" copper tubing for the water feed lines and the outputs to the tub spout (12" from valve unit to the 90 elbow to the tub spout, well within the 8"-18" requirement) and up to the shower head (about 40" to the 90 threaded elbow, which has the threaded shower arm threaded into). Also to note is that the water does flow STRONGLY out of the tub spout (I even took off the tub spout itself and let the water flow out of the 1/2" copper tube, and it STILL flows out of the shower head). Also to note - once I pull the tub spout diverter knob up, the tub spout stops flowing and the shower head sprays out with more force (a normal shower head spray).
    So, to try your excellent suggestions, first I am going to turn off the house water, pull the valve control module-body out and double-check to make sure I put the unit in the right way up. If it is OK (or if not), I will report my results back HERE.
    BTW, HOW can I check the tub spout copper tube/pipe for any obstructions, as it does seem to flow out with plenty of force (and with the shower head spraying, though not spraying as much as with the tub spout knob pulled up to divert all flow to the shower head)??
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    Copper should be fine. You may need to check and reduce the water pressure if it is excessively high. By most codes, if it exceeds 80psi, it needs a pressure reduction valve (prv) and an expansion tank. As noted earlier, some valves, even while they may have two outputs, are not supposed to have both used...if you need two outputs, they specify the use of a twin ell connection with the larger output going to the tub, and the smaller output going to the shower. And, if you can use both, and you used the larger one for the shower, you won't get it to stop. If your valve is one of those, and you plumbed both outputs, you'll never get it to stop without redoing it or adding a shutoff valve.
  7. bz9000

    bz9000 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    CT
    Well, I pulled the handle and cover plate off the shower/tub control and looked for the writing on the valve body - and sure enough, i saw the letters UP printed on the bottom of the valve. So I must have accidentally put in the valve body upside down!! I remember reading the instructions about making sure the UP was on the top when installing, and do remember being careful to read the letters and watch for it, but somehow I flipped the valve around the wrong when installing.
    So, I just cut out a section of drywall behind the shower, and I will cut the lines and flip the valve body around the correct way and re-connect everything. It is a real pain and messy, but of course it needs to be done, and is the price to pay when apparently not paying close enough attention - I feel so stupid, I really should know better.
    Well, this should fix my problem.
    Thanks everyone for your help, comments and suggestions!!
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,618
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Cut the top and bottom copper lines the EXACT distance above and below the water inlet pipes, and the water lines the same distance from the valve on either side. That way, when you rotate the valve, all you will need is some "slip repair" couplings to reconnect the lines.
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