Shower valve question.

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by pete c, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. pete c

    pete c New Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    CT
    A few years back, I roughed in the plumbing for a walk in shower. I am finally getting around to finishing this much overdue job.

    I finished the last bit of plumbing from the valve up to the shower head and turned it on.

    It trickled water.

    Hmmmm.

    So I pulled the cartridge out (glacier bay HD model 769-192) behind the cartridge, or maybe it is considered part of the cartridge, is a white plastic thing that the water passes through. I took it apart. Inside it is a steel cylinder inside a cylinder. The inner one was stuck, likely from sitting there for years with hard water in it. I suspect the purpose of this device is to get the water to mix a bit so you don't get straight hot water. Anyhow, I cleaned it all up, reassembled it. Now it rattles a bit when I shake it, telling me that it is moving freely.

    Put it all back together and turn it on. I now have decent enough flow, but when I go to full hot, it is luke warm. I did adjust the set screw on the outside for max hot. It appears to me that the scald guard gizmo is working a bit too well.

    Am I missing something here?

    I bought this thing off the clearance rack for next to nothing, so it's not like I'm into it for a lot of $$$, so, I am tempted to just yank it out and spend a few bucks on a quality brand valve from the local supply guys or maybe the web.

    Any help or recommendations on a good quality replacement would be appreciated. I don't need fancy, just functional and long lasting. The wall will be tile over kerdi, so I really don't want to have to open it back up in 5 years.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The internal device you describe is the balancing spool. It was stuck which can stop all water flow. Sounds like you freed that up.

    Does the valve body have screwdriver stops on the hot and cold sides? Maybe these are not full open.
  3. pete c

    pete c New Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    CT
    Jimbo, they are both open fully.

    Looking at the inside of the cartridge, there is the chrome disc with the slots that let the water past. The disc looks good. The spring loaded rubber O-rings look good. In the full on position, the cold water O-ring looks as though it should be blocked, So the only explanation I can come up with is that the water is mixing at the balancing spool.

    The is one other thing. With the temp limit screw set to allow maximum range of the valve (hottest setting) if I turn it to full on the flow slows considerably. I assume this means the disc is going past the hot opening slot.

    Would partially closing the cold water screw (the one adjusted by slotted screw driver) help?

    Could it be a pressure issue. I am on a well with a jet pump in the basement and this is the second floor, so, the pressure is a bit less than it would be on the first floor?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  4. pete c

    pete c New Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    CT
    after thinking about it a bit, I tried backing down the hot limit adjust so that the pressure did not drop off when full on. I now have nice hot water, so I think I'm all set.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The "thing" does NOT mix the hot and cold waters.
  6. mtcummins

    mtcummins In the Trades

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    I don't know if anyone here has much experience with GB shower diverters (I don't), but with all your work on a Kerdi/tile install, etc, I don't think I'd go cheap on the faucet. Even if it doesn't leak, it probably won't hold up in the finish, etc, and will make your nice new shower look cheap after a few years when the chrome (or whatever) is chipping, etc.

    Just my 2 cents...
  7. pete c

    pete c New Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    CT
    Yes, it probably does make sense to install a good quality valve now. Any recommendations?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    I like Grohe, but Delta's R10000 rough-in valve gives you lots of options since it will take any of their three different types of valves: pressure balance, pressure balance with volume control, or thermostatic. It depends on the type of cartridge and trim package you choose, but you can do that later.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; It depends on the type of cartridge and trim package you choose, but you can do that later.

    The Delta body with the 1700 trim is the only one I "recommend", but if you "do it later" make sure you install the "bypass plug" in the valve body to prevent hot/cold crossover.
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