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Unread 06-12-2021, 08:26 AM   #1
pls
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Help with shower panel

I am from Maryland and we are visiting our son for the first time in Houston, TX. They have been in their new house for just over a year. They have a beautiful master bath but the shower is horrible and has been like this from the start. There is almost no water pressure. We did a test where we disconnected the shower panel from the water lines and then turned the water on and got 5 gal/minute from the water line. We then put the panel back up and got 42 oz/minute from the shower head. It does not matter if the overhead or hand shower or body sprays are used they all are bad. Any idea what could be restricting the water flow so much? As a side note are shut off valves not required in Houston? None of their showers have shut off valves at the shower, we have to turn off the main water valve.
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Unread 06-12-2021, 02:44 PM   #2
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Someone here might be able to help. Or you might try the Terry Love plumbing forum. I would probably try to contact the manufacturer and see what they have to say.
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Unread 06-12-2021, 11:43 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, Phil.

Have you tried looking for flow restrictor(s)?

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Unread 06-13-2021, 07:09 AM   #4
pls
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Thanks, we took the water line apart from the valve to the shower head and there was no restrictor there. We will look on the supply side of the valve today. We also need to see if we can fine a model number on it.

It is interesting to see the things they do to save time when tiling these new houses. All corners are just the exposed edge of the tile. There is no profiles on the niche or the ends of the knee wall just the cut edge of the tile.
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Unread 06-13-2021, 08:35 AM   #5
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Yes, time and money. Lots of tiles these days don't have a matching bullnose available and when it is available, the field tiles might be a couple bucks a sq ft and the 12 inch bullnose will cost 5-6 bucks each. So the cost adds up. Still, there are profiles available that aren't real expensive.
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Unread 06-13-2021, 12:07 PM   #6
pls
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We took the supply side of the valve apart and found this. Not sure why such a flow restrictor was in place. Took it out and they now have a shower they can use.
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Unread 06-13-2021, 12:36 PM   #7
Tool Guy - Kg
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I was hoping it was that simple. Some of these units have multiple restrictors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pls
...Not sure why such a flow restrictor was in place.
California?
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Unread 06-13-2021, 12:48 PM   #8
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It's cause they're right next to the ocean where there's no water.
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Unread 06-13-2021, 03:30 PM   #9
jadnashua
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Federal regulations limit the maximum flow out of individual heads. Washington state recently implemented a new regulation that limits the maximum flow of the aggregate shower head volume. They may have built that shower panel to conform to the worst case situation in the country so they didn't have to stock multiple variations of units.

And, no, code does not require shutoffs for individual fixtures. If that panel has a common wall with another interior room, you could put an access panel there and install some. Individual shutoffs built into tub/shower valves is not standard, while optional on many. Primarily, it helps during construction...by the time you might need them later for maintenance, many won't realize there are there, and to get to them, you have to remove the trim, while changing a cartridge typically does not, so it's possibly faster to just use the main shutoff as you might have to recaulk, depending on the trim used.
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