I want to install a new shower valve with multiple sprays.
Someone mentioned I should install a vacuum breaker while
redoing all the plumbing.
How is one to install a vacuum beaker and is it needed?
Unless the shower is to have a flexible hose
wand which could possibly be left lying in the
shower pan (waste water), there would be no
reason for a vacuum breaker.
The breaker prevents waste water from being
siphoned back into the water supply lines
(such as during a momentary loss of pressure).
They are useful for protecting things like
lawn sprinkler/irrigating systems and garden
hoses where the poisons used could be sucked
back into the water system.
New shower head on a hose devices may have a built-in vacuum breaker. Or
at least the last Delta Hand Shower Unit I bought a couple of years ago
says "Your shower is equipped with a Vacuum Breaker, permanently installed
in the end of the hose..."
If a separate vacuum breaker is installed, it should technically be
mounted higher than any outlet piping, and higher than any hose connected
to that could be lifted. That is why commercial utility sinks have the
vacuum breaker up near the ceiling, which results in annoying lag when
turning water on/off or adjusting temperature. But it minimizes siphoning
soap or cleaning solutions back into the water supply even if a hose is
stuck in a bucket up on a cart or ladder.
For anything that does not and cannot have a hose attached, an air gap is
the best vacuum breaker (spigot and showerhead above rim of tub).
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