testing plumbing during shower remodel

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jerome7, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. jerome7

    jerome7 Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    95020
    Hello all,

    I am remodeling my shower room and need few advices. We are replacing the ugly tile and while walls are down, we would like to add more fixtures (e.g. like body massage jets) if that's not to much of a project.

    1) given that tiles are removed, at what stage is best to test the new plumbing to ensure copper pipes are properly soldered? I would like to make sure before putting the walls back and tiling them. Is this possible w/o causing water leaks?

    2) What are the requirement in terms of water flow to support 4 body massage jets?

    3) my shower head pipe is about 6'2" high. Is this the normal height? I felt there is just enough room for a 5'10" person to be under the shower head w/o having to bend the head down. Should I also raise this pipe? What would be a more conventional height?


    Many thanks
    Jerome
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2012
  2. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,653
    Location:
    .
    Please refer to the company whose valves & shower heads you are using, for the flow & pressure ratings you are asking about.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,348
    Location:
    New England
    Put the new plumbing in before you do your tiling, but you should mock up the locations with the trim so that you get their location exactly where you want it (mostly depth, but height as well). You can put the showerhead anywhere you want, but if the thing is used by people of widely ranging heights, they may want it low enough so they can reach it to change the angle. For some, the use of a handheld mounted on a sliding bar works out. There's a limit on how high you can put the shower arm with it's normal offset angle, you still need enough room to screw it in. Personally, I like to have it quite high, as I'm tall. Same is true with the shower valve - if you're worried about resale, you might want it lower, but personally, I mounted mine after standing there, reaching out at a comfortable angle, and installing it there.

    this all becomes a mute point if there may be height challenged people using the shower, though (as in young children, or others).

    Basically, you can look up some tables on 'average' installs, but, who's average? Put it where you want, where it's comfortable to operate.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,443
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    1) given that tiles are removed, at what stage is best to test the new plumbing to ensure copper pipes are properly soldered? I would like to make sure before putting the walls back and tiling them. Is this possible w/o causing water leaks?

    2) What are the requirement in terms of water flow to support 4 body massage jets?

    You will need to determine the output of the combined shower heads, or jets first, and then determine if your water heating will keep up, and if it does, for how long. You may need to go with a larger tank, or a tankless.

    3) my shower head pipe is about 6'2" high. Is this the normal height? I felt there is just enough room for a 5'10" person to be under the shower head w/o having to bend the head down. Should I also raise this pipe? What would be a more conventional height?

    I've seen them at 70", 75" and 80" any anywhere they can think of doing them.
    70" normally puts the shower arm within the field of tile.
    75" and more puts the arm over the tile field. We're seeing some people put shower heads in the ceiling. That's as high as you can go.


  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,296
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    1. after you install the piping, you cap all the openings and turn the water on to test it.
    2. It depends on the heads
    3. You put the heads where they are convenient for YOU.
    4. you didn't ask, but if you have "ugly" tile, you probably also need a new code approved shower valv, which may also take care of item #2..
  6. johnfrwhipple

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

    Messages:
    4,857
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Ask your plumber to isolate the new plumbing work and then test the new piping to 200 PSI. Your new work should hold this pressure easily for a good hour and then you should be good to go.

    make sure that the new fixtures have no warnings about not doing this and like mentioned find out the flow and volume of your new package.

    You might find that you need a three inch drain or 2 two inch drains if your flow rates are too large.

    JW
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Ask your plumber to isolate the new plumbing work and then test the new piping to 200 PSI.

    NO standard requires a 200# test. 150 psi is the standard maximum working pressure for a plumbing system.The usual test is 100 psi, OR 20 psi above the available water pressure. But, plumbers test with the building's water pressure, unless there is no water supply available, then we use air, but NOT 200 psi. (In fact most air compressors shut off at 125 psi). If he asked me for a 200 psi test, I might laugh and then tell him NO.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  8. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    When we install a new pex system we have to test it to 180 psi. Hydrostatic,water and air. You could laugh but they would have the last one.
  9. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    We have to test new to 100 PSI. Now get this, remodel, just to the current operating pressure of the structure. Hook it up, turn it on, it's tested.
  10. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,296
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; You could laugh but they would have the last one.

    Probably not, because I do not use a material that you have to test to 180 psi to ensure that it will not fail.
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    If you use pex in my area you would test it to 180psi. I recall somthing you said about running pex for an ice maker but always connecting to the ice maker with a stainless braided hose.
  13. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    You're right. I typed wrong. I meant to say 78" from finished floor. There would be alot of accidental drownings at 68". :eek:
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,443
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    When I broke into plumbing, the owner was 5'-6"
    He wanted shower heads at 70"; which being 6'-1" seemed very short. I argued that it was way too low. He was the boss, and he had 150 plumbers in the Seattle area installing heads at 70".
    Over the years I've heard many complaints from homeowners about the shower heads that they have to duck under.
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