I had a contractor build me a shower with two sprays -- one on the
front wall, the standard location where the shower typically is. The
other is overhead, so we could have the total-immersion, perfect-storm
effect. The problem is, he didn't understand that we wanted both
showerheads to work simultaneously. He installed a diverter -- switch
it one way, the water comes out the overhead spray, switch it the
other way, the wall spray. Everything is finished and tiled, and I'm
So my question is, how to fix. Even though the diverter is graduated
(meaning that if set at the halfway point, water comes out of both
sprays at once), this is NOT a solution; you only get 50% pressure
out of each spray when you do this. Not good. I would like as close to
the max 2.5 g/psi coming out of both simultaneously. Assuming we're
going to have to rip out some tile/backerboard, what's the best way to
get to simultaneous strong flow in each showerhead? Do I need some
other kind of fixture? The fixture installed is a Delta Monitor, 1700
series. Thanks for your thoughts.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Considering the cost of ripping out just one tile,
let alone a bunch of 'em, I think I'd try some experimenting.
Remove the diverter control and drill/file/grind whatever so
that both ports are open all the time.
Go to Delta's site and download the file on the Monitor to see
what it's made like. (I'm not familiar enough with that series.)
The plumber may have had to do what he did because of plumbing codes. My
code says 2.5 GPM max for a shower. The local building inspector may have
interpreted that to mean all shower heads and not just one.
If your diverter is installed in the wall then you are looking at trouble.
You could take the diverter face plate off and see what kind of piping was
used (ie Pex, copper, CPVC, or other) and see if it can be routed around the
diverter with a slight modification. I would leave that to a pro since it is
almost impossible to do. It may involve popping off several tiles so the
plumber can get his torch in (not the case with plastic pipes). Pay the
money and call the plumber that installed it.
Your other option is exactly what Speed Jim said and that is to modify the
valve. Most diverters use a gate valve style arrangement. Depending on the
piping size you should be able to run two 2.5GPM showers without a
significant pressure drop unless you have 1/2 piping and your shower is
located several stories off the ground. I dont think that is your case.
I hope this helps,
I installed a new Delta pressure balanced shower control a few
years ago. When I first tried it, with the Delta shower head,
the spray was misserably low. So, I disected the shower head
and discovered a plastic limiter. After removal, it was better,
but still not good. I went back to the old shower head which
was better still, however, it was not as good as it was with the
old control. I called Delta and they said that Delta "only
limits the flow in the head", however the person admitted that
the flow on the new control was probably not as high as the old
unit (which happened to be Moen). In looking into the Delta
control, it looked like I could drill out the 2 holes that feed
water to the balance cartridge, however, I was not brave enough
to try it. A few years later and I eliminated the water
softener in the house(due to a change to "city water") and now
the pressure isn't bad. The point here is, all of these things
contributed to the problem. It almost seems like 2 controls
might be in order. But then, other things may come into play,
like pipe size and distance from the supply, and other things
that may restrict flow (like the water softener).
Are you sure your plumbing will support two shower nozzles at once?
My hot water run is 40 feet of 20 year old copper and I'm not sure I
could run two nozzles at once.
Can you replumb while you are at it?
It actualy does come out of both heads then its just you dont like the
low pressure. Wouldnt 2 separate valves be the same. I think , im not
sure here,, you really need to double the water piping supply, or
I understand that two 1/2" branches off the 1/2" supply will reduce
the pressure, but certainly not by the 50% reduction I get through
each sprayhead when the diverter is set at halfway. I should be able
to test this by turning on this shower -- the master bath -- and then
going out in the hallway bath and turning on that shower. I don't
think I'll see 50% reduction back in the master bath, and it's the
same thing, right? two open faucets, each branching off the main
The contracter, however, tells me that what I want isn't possible with
More than likely, he's blowing you off cuz fixing it will
be a headache.
1/2" supply should be _more_ than adequate, especially with
Remove wall shower head.
Screw on a 1/2" TEE.
Couple of EL's and some nipples and put 2 heads on the TEE.
Set diverter to supply just the wall outlet.
Now, if there is inadequate flow from the 2 heads in this
experiment, the Delta control may be too restrictive.
But if it *does* work satisfactorily, look at modifying
the diverter or, maybe, reworking some piping via the
adjoining room (cut hole in drywall).
email@example.com (John) wrote in message
As you have no doubt guessed, diverters are not really designed for this
kind of mixed output. I just looked at a Delta diverter, and the total
open output area at the 50/50 position looks substantially less than at
either 100% position.
I'm assuming you have a Delta pressure-balance valve (e.g., 1725) and a
separate diverter. The specs on the Delta are not as good as some other
makes. It looks like you need 60psi in order to get a 5gpm flow rate.
By contrast, the Grohsafe 35 253 achieves this at 30psi. But, 60psi
is hardly unusual, so there's a good chance your valve could deliver
enough water with the right setup.
The real "right setup" would be to have a pressure-balanced or thermostatic
mixing valve with no volume control, replace the diverter with a simple
tee, and then have separate volume controls for the two shower heads. This
would give you complete control and maximum flow to both heads.
Failing that, you could try gutting the diverter - not sure how yours is,
but mine (for a Roman tub filler, however) has a separate "diverter assembly"
which it looks like you could remove to convert the thing to a plain tee.
If you go this route, you might also try removing the flow restrictor on
the overhead shower only - since it's higher up, it will have less pressure
than the side one, so this might partially compensate.
If that doesn't work, you'll have to make more thorough-going plumbing
changes. Do this from the other side of the shower wall, assuming it's
just plain drywall or the like.
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