Thermobalance III with Kohler Handshower - vacuum breaker or check valve?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by strawberryblond, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. strawberryblond

    strawberryblond New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    We are doing a gut rehab of our condo's master bathroom, partly for aesthetics & functionality, and partly to correct water damage/loose tiles/etc. We are removing a "garden tub" and replacing it with a walk-in shower. The planned layout includes a fixed showerhead and a wall bar with a handshower.

    I love the look and function of the Thermobalance III assembly from Hansgrohe -
    Rough: part #06624000, http://www.hansgrohe-usa.com/us_en/120756_31353734315F32375F3530353231.htm
    Focus S trim: part #31737001, http://www.hansgrohe-usa.com/us_en/120753_31353733315F32375F3530343038.htm

    This setup will allow us to operate either the handshower, the showerhead, or both, as long as it is plumbed properly. We are having a licensed plumber do all of this work, but I am trying to get all fittings on site well before we start demo, let alone construction. I will be bouncing ideas off of him as well, but today is, obviously, a Sunday and a holiday.

    So, here's my quandary. I really don't want to shell out for the other Hansgrohe fittings. The bar/handshower combinations are fairly pricey. Instead, I propose we use these Kohler items, which will coordinate well enough for my tastes, and include a showerhead with many more toys than a comparably priced one from Hansgrohe:

    30" bar (chrome): K-8524-30-CP
    60" hose (chrome): K9514-CP
    multi-function handshower: K18495
    totalling about $250

    You'll notice this doesn't include a wall elbow/connection; that's where I'm stuck.

    The Kohler website makes it fairly clear that the hose should be connected to a vacuum breaker and then a wall supply elbow. However, if I had ordered a wallbar/handshower system from Hansgrohe, it would have come with one of these parts, instead:

    Wall Outlet, part #27454002, http://www.hansgrohe-usa.com/us_en/120774_31353734395F32375F3530343032.htm
    Wall Outlet with Check Valve, part #27458003, http://www.hansgrohe-usa.com/us_en/120774_31353734395F32375F3736333033.htm

    Now, even I can tell that there is a difference between a check valve and a vacuum breaker. What I am wondering is, could I use one of the Hansgrohe fittings? I like the look of them better, and the difference in actual retail is pretty low (in the grand scheme of a bathroom remodel). If this is a question that can only be answered based on local code, I understand. I will be discussing it with my plumber regardless; I just wanted to get a jump on things.

    Thanks so much for your help; this forum has helped this renovation get out of my head and on the road!

    Jen

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2010
  2. Wally3433

    Wally3433 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Illinois
  3. strawberryblond

    strawberryblond New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Those are some beautiful fittings, and I'm really envious that you have the guts to install your own steam shower! I considered a bronze finish, but I think it would be more appropriate in my hall bath (white subway tub surround, carrera hex floor). We went a bit overboard with tile expenses in this bath, so I'm watching other items carefully.

    We don't plan to add body sprays, so really I'm just looking at the rough/valve/trim, the handshower/bar, and a fixed shower head.

    If I stick with chrome finishes, I can use our current fixed double showerhead from Speakman (http://www.speakmancompany.com/products/detail/S-2222). We've had this for at least three years, and it is terrific. This head and the valve/trim will go on the long wall of our 6'x3.5' shower space, with the bar and handheld on one of the short walls.

    The chrome finish is the least expensive option from Hansgrohe, and I'm able to find the Thermobalance III rough in and Focus S trim online for a total of $266.

    So, I'm at $266 + $250 + ??? for the mystery fittings in my first post = hopefully less than $550 all in.
  4. Wally3433

    Wally3433 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Illinois
    Keep in mind that you have THREE outlets on the TB III and you have to use ALL of them per Hansgrohe instruction. You cannot "block" one of them. Maybe you had planned for this already.

    Not sure if you considered a "shower panel", which many times is just a big showerhead. This one is designed to be fitted into an existing bathroom and is just plumbed right from where your existing showerhead is.....this unit is 449...there's other HG stuff at costco.com as well...


    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Produc...essionID=e08ea39b-d394-4593-8dfe-5f53b199393e
  5. strawberryblond

    strawberryblond New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    We did, in fact, already plan for the third outlet. The install PDF for the Thermobalance trim has a diagram on page 5 showing how to properly configure the system.

    I'm not wild about those shower panel systems, but I do really appreciate you pointing me at Costco. I checked out all of their offerings as soon as you gave me that idea.
  6. Wally3433

    Wally3433 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Illinois
    Ok - all good then. Good luck with the install..
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