Tub Spout Height

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by bet3z, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. bet3z

    bet3z New Member

    Messages:
    21
    I am installing a Sterling/Kohler tub with integral tub surround similar to this one:

    you may want to link to the Sterling web site.

    For some reason, the instructions call for the tub spout elbow to be 25" off the floor minimum. Since the tub is 15" high, this puts the spout at 10" over the tub, which seems way too high. It has to be a bit higher than with the old tub because of the way the tub and walls fit together, but I see no reason why it has to be that high. Heck, if I put in in at that height, the valve will be too high to get at from behind via the access panel.

    Does anyone know why this height would be specified? Maybe because of the way the walls assemble or something? Is there a standard height for the spout? How about for the valve?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2010
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Plumbing code requires that the low part of the spout be 1" higher then the flood level to prevent siphoning.

    If I know there will be 4-1/4" tile, I put the spout at 4-1/4" from the top of the tub.
    If the tile is 6", then I put it 6" above.
    There isn't a real hard and fast rule to this.

    Except for the 1" air gap.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    There's the code issue about the floood rim, and then there's the valve's minimum requirements about the separation of the valve from the tub spout. Unless you have some strange addendum to the plumbing code where you live, all you have to comply with is the flood rim one. Not abiding by the valve's minimums just might mean it doesn't work well, though, so you want to address that as well.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,237
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The "minimum" is an engineer's concept and has nothing to do with reality or the functioning of the valve. I put the spout about 6" above the rim and the valve itself wherever it is best for the user to access it, whether that is 6" above the spout or 42" above the floor.
  5. bet3z

    bet3z New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Thanks everyone. I think they may have specified that height because of the wall surround assembly process (i.e., the way you pivot the walls into place). I've got a door frame in the way, so I can't assemble it the way they the instructions say anyhow, so I went with 6" above the tub rim, and put the valve as high as I could go and still get at it from the access panel.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,237
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you installed it correctly, you should NEVER need the access panel. I haven't installed a tub/shower valve with an access panel in over 40 years. ANd before that the only access panels were for the tub's drain, NEVER the valve.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    Pretty much all tub/shower valves can be repaired from the front. Generally, it is just a cartridge replacement, and on most, you don't even need to remove the trim, only the handle. So, access from behind is only required when replacing the whole thing, and then if it is part of a remodel, you may be replacing the tile or enclosure too, so access from behind isn't a big deal.
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