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Old 12-06-2017, 10:50 AM   #1
ss3964spd
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Electronic Shower Valves (U Moen, Kohler DTV)

I posted this in a popular plumbing forum to no avail. I triedf the search function here - also to no avail.

The final layout of our new master bathroom shower may be such that there are only two framed walls; an outside wall and the interior wet wall. The outside wall is 2X6 framed but still not an ideal place to install plumbing. The wet wall also isn't ideal because one would get wet when turning on the water - there would be no way to reach the valves from the side.

On paper the solution seems to be a "digital" shower valve system. The only two that I can find are Moen's and Kohler's. Both are basically the same as far as the actual valve assembly goes (control board, solenoid valves, 120V to power it from a GFCI, and a low voltage cable to the remote mounted controller.

What I've not been able to find is any first hand experience with one; the pros and cons.

Anyone have any first hand experience living with one of these things? Would love some feedback!

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Old 12-06-2017, 01:36 PM   #2
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Hi Dan,

I can't help with the valve. I've never lived with one. I've tiled around them.

I might have another solution, though. Plumb your valve on one wall with the shower head on the other. The valve can be anyplace.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:07 PM   #3
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The one we installed worked great, at least as long as we were on the jobsite.

The HO never called to complain in a few years since.....
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:40 PM   #4
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I never installed the Moen, but the Kohlers are a bit noisy.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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Super loud , super expensive and with a decent plumber a standard valve can achieve same results without all the additional moving parts. Iíve installed both Koehler & moen


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Old 12-07-2017, 08:51 AM   #6
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John, The only wall a manual valve could go into in order to avoid being blasted by cold water is the outside wall. Installing it on the outside wall seems to be flirting with bad ju-ju. I rather like to avoid bad ju-ju.

I did guess that they might be loud-ish. The installation instructions mention to avoid installing in a wall shared by an often occupied room - like a bedroom.

The expense isn't the issue really for this re-do. Usability and ergonomics will generally rise above expense - within reason. Plumbing costs are about the same so going with either one of these represents about a 500.00 ish increase over using high quality manual valve and diverter.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:14 AM   #7
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You want to avoid bad Ju Ju, and you live in Yankee Land or very close to it?

I think you're sold on the electronic valve, and I won't try to talk you out of it, but you've got 2x6 exterior walls. I think with the insulation outside the plumbing and the interior heated there will be no problems. But that's coming from a guy who won't even travel up to Dallas in the winter.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:21 AM   #8
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Can you build a false wall in front of the exterior wall?
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:54 AM   #9
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Yankee land indeed John. Northern Virginia, just 20 minutes west-ish of our nations capital. It definitely gets cold enough to thinking about freezing pipes, especially should the power fail. Worth noting, though, that the old vanity was on that outside wall. The 1/2" supply pipes were brought up through the very front edge of the bottom plate, with no nail plates, and wrapped in foam pipe insulation - which had deteriorated over the almost 40 years they'd been there. Still, shower and diverter valves would be much deeper in the wall.

I admit I like cool stuff, and those remote controlled valves are very cool, but I don't want complex, failure prone components if I don't need them.

Dan, yeah, I could technically add a false wall against the outside wall but that would add a return to the original wall at the end of the shower, and I'd loose 3 1/2 to 4 inches of width on the 7' wall, decreasing the width of the shower by the same. Neither of which I want to do.

Thanks for all the input....
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