Whatever Happened To Integrated Tub/Shower Temp/Flow Controls?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by DavidSeon, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. DavidSeon

    DavidSeon New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Been looking at fixtures for a gutted bathroom remodel. Most of the modern tub/shower trim sets I like seem to be made for a single handle pressure-balancing valve, apparently without any flow control, although I do see a lot of separate flow control valves & trim.

    Are people just not using flow control on tub/showers any more? Are the flow restrictions so strict on the new stuff that they're useless? Or am I missing something.

    Thanks for any input.
    Dave
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Many brands and models are available with separate temp and volume controls. See Delta 1700 series for one.
  3. DavidSeon

    DavidSeon New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, I saw those and several others, but didn't really find anything I liked. The Delta T17494-CZ-I in particular had caught my attention, but it has several reviews complaining of cheap plastic construction.

    I was leaning toward some of the Kohler styles and quality, but as with some others, their combos don't include or indicate the use of volume control valves, although the valves and trim are available separately.

    So I guess my questions are:

    1. Is it acceptable or common practice to have a tub/shower install with just a pressure-balancing valve and no flow control?
    2. If so, does it give satisfactory performance or do people complain about not having flow control?
    3. If not, what do people do who use a pressure-balancing valve without flow control? Add a flow control valve and trim for the shower and another one for the tub spout?
    Thanks again for your reply.
    Dave
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
    New England
    For most practical purposes, when filling the tub, you want it to fill as fast as possible. For a shower, you want it as powerful as possible. So, flow control for many people isn't a priority, and thus, to keep the costs down, that has become the norm. Should you want a volume control, most manufacturers can supply you with the requisite valves.

    There are 'stand-alone' pressure balance valves that you can then add any volume control/divertor control to that is burried in the wall. Requires an access panel to be able to service it, though. Or, you can get either a pressure balanced valve with separate temp control, or a thermostatically controlled valve with both volume and temperature control. If you go with the Delta R10000 rough-in valve, the cartridge and trim come separately, and you can get any of those three types of control. I have a Grohe thermostatically controlled valve with temp and volume. I put a Delta valve with volume/temp control for my mother. It's all up to you, but for most people the generic single handled pressure balanced valve works just fine.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,534
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    a single control is cheaper to buy, which is why most of them are made that way. Delta 1700 series adn Moentrol valves both have separate temperature and volume controls.
  6. DavidSeon

    DavidSeon New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Jim & hj,

    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, my boss of 35 years is stuck on one of the Kohler trim sets with the push-button diverter so I guess I'm stuck with their single control valve.

    I think what I'm gonna do is do the install without flow control and then, before I close up the the wall we can see what we think. It shouldn't be too much trouble to add flow control at that point if we think we have to have it. Actually, I'm beginning to think with today's flow restrictions it will probably be a non-issue.

    Thanks again for your replies.
    Dave
  7. osx-addict

    osx-addict Software Engineer

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    We've got some Santec fixtures that were installed back in '07 and they work fine -- but they have no volume control on the cheaper line we opted for to save some $$.. The result is that the kids can chew through the hot water at a frantic pace.. Our shower, also using Santec hardware, has a volume control and works great and allows me to run high pressure or low.. Since I live in the Los Angeles area, water is not getting any cheaper and we may opt to replace the cheaper Santec shower hardware with a model that has volume control adjustments IF they can't be retrofitted.. (I've not looked into that yet).
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,948
    Location:
    New England
    What some people do is remove the restrictor from the showerheads, then wonder why they burn through so much hot water. But, also, turn the volume down, and many people do not like the results. A volume control is an option, but it also does add to the cost and is another thing to repair when the time comes. An alternative would be a search for a good showerhead that uses less water, then you'd not have to worry about it in the first place!

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