Shower-only valve/faucet/trim

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Optiker, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Optiker

    Optiker New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    TriCities, WA
    I'm installing a new shower in a new bathroom. The two existing showers in the house have shower valves that are like the ones on many sinks - a lever that points downward/forward normally, swings left or right for temperature control, and lifts upwards for flow volume control. I don't see a brand name on either of the existing ones, but they are about 15 years old so possibly no longer made.

    For the new shower, I'd like the same kind of valve - ie, same left-right temp control and lever lifting for flow control. I've looked in local stores, including plumbing shops and the usual Home Depot/Lowe's and can't find anything like that for a shower. Everything I see is no flow control, with 0-270 degree rotation for cold/off to hot, or, knobs that rotate for temp control and pull out for flow control. Online, I do see some with separate rotating controls for temp and control, but I'm not sure how they work and they are very expensive. There may be some that are what I want, but it's not at all clear from the description if they operate that way. There may also be some that are so outrageously expensive - upwards of $400 - that they are out of the question.

    Do such fixtures still exist for showers, and if so, where do I look for them? What are the key words ion describing them so I know it's what I want. I'd prefer Moen, but their PosiTemp is the 0-270 temp control with no flow control, and their MoenTrol seems to only have the pull out knob for flow control, not the lifting lever. The pull out knob gives poor flow control compared to the lever - certainly unacceptable for those with physical limitations.

    Anybody able to help?

    Thanks!
    Optiker
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    A Moen "moentrol" type uses the pull-out ( not tip up) for on/off/volume, left/right for temp.

    The Delta 1700 series has the two knobs. These work very well and are no where near that $400 point.
  3. Optiker

    Optiker New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    TriCities, WA
    Thanks jimbo...will check it out.

    Optiker
  4. Optiker

    Optiker New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    TriCities, WA
    OK - I looked at the Delta 700 Series. They wold work, but I really prefer the tip up lever and don't understand why they are so common for sinks, were once common for showers, and now I can't find a single one! My elderly mother-in-law lived with us for a number of years, and that's what was on the shower she used, and was the only type she could have handled with her limited physical strength and agility. I'll keep looking, but would love for somebody to point me to what I really want.

    Thanks!
    Optiker
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,270
    Location:
    New England
    Not sure you'll find it...

    A quality valve is very easy to turn - it doesn't have to be a knob, it can be a lever. If you try to lift it, though, you may break something if you try hard enough...they only turn. On the Delta 1700 series, you can have two levers, one to control volume and the other to control temperature. On many, you can leave the temperature at your preferred setting, and only turn the volume on/off. Unless you get the thermostatically controlled version, that setting may change season to season as the incoming cold water temperature changes. If you don't need a volume control, then there's only one lever (or knob) to deal with...the further you turn it, the hotter it gets. In todays regulatory world, on a shower, it must contain anti-scald technology and that's easiest (and therefore the least expensive) version. Those typically only have one lever or knob. I put in both a Grohe and a Delta shower control for my mother...the Grohe is a loop handle that turns, the Delta has a knob for temp and a lever for volume (the one she uses most, the other is for guests who are generally younger).
  6. Optiker

    Optiker New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    TriCities, WA
    Thanks jadnashua...I understand all of that. It's just hard to believe that in the 15 years since my house was built that the single lever, turn for temp, lift for volume control has gone out of existence for showers, but is still so common for sinks. CAUTION - INFLAMMATORY SARCASM FOLLOWS!:) In that tie frame, maybe Al Gore was saving us from wasting water as he did with the low flush volume toilets!:) Sorry for the sarcasm. At least it's our meddling big brother saving us from ourselves.

    It IS looking like we won't find what we want and may be stuck with the two rotating levers or single no-volume-control lever.

    Thanks for your reply.
    Optiker
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I suspect the change in shower valves has to do with the mandate for scald guard ( pressure balanced). I believe that drove cartridge design towards the 'turn only' style.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,058
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The lever style valve is NOT compatible with the new regulations, which is why it has gone the way of the Dodo bird. The Delta 1700, NOT 700, series is my first choice for a tub or shower valve.
  9. Optiker

    Optiker New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    TriCities, WA
    jimbo and hj...thanks for the explanation of why I can't find a lever-type valve. Guess I'm stuck with what's available. I'm still not convinced that a pull and turn, or a two control valve are any more scald-proof than a lift-lever valve, unless there is something in the scald-control mechanism that is incompatible. Guess it doesn't matter if I understand the engineering or not, I'm stuck with what's available.

    Also, I see I made a typo a couple of posts back when I said I looked up the 700 series, but intended to type 1700 series as suggested by jimbo. I did look up the 1700. Senior-fingers typo! :)

    Thanks!
    Optiker
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Lever-style cartridges tend to be deeper than a simple turn-only type mechanism. Since they generally design the valve with the balancing spool inboard of the control, the deeper cartridges aren't practical. You might still find something, but in an off-brand.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,058
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    With the lever style YOU were the antiscald mechanism because you moved the lever to the safe point, BUT others could go beyond that temperature, OR the temperature could change suddenly, and usually hotter, when someone flushed a toilet or opened a cold water faucet. The new valves have a mechanism to PREVENT that sudden rush of hot water, and also have "maximum temperature limiting devices" to prevent the hot water from being turned on too far. NONE of which are possible using the mechanism in the "lever style valve" you were asking about.
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