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yogi_bear_79 11-02-2011 07:44 AM

Shower Spider Valve Outlet: Elbows, Braided, ??
1 Attachment(s)
Good Morning,

I figured the title would draw someone in! Short version; New construction, wife wanted two shower heads. Gave her the options, and she chose two standard valves. Basically two independent systems. We are in the process of roughing them in, and can get everything setup the way we want (2 cold supply, 2 hot supply, 2 outlets). Except one of the outlets. The valves are stacked one above the other. We are using 1/2" PEX for all of our plumbing. The problem of the setup is with the outlet of the bottom valve. As roughed in, there is enough clearance to make a connection, however, the PEX isn't flexible enough.

1. These spider valves are standard Kohler tub/shower combos. In a normal shower only scenario, you cap the tub output. It would make things a little easier, if the bottom valve can use the tub outlet and cap the shower outlet. Is there a problem with that?

Ideas we have to solve the problem:

1. Loop the shower head PEX line through the adjacent cavity down and back up to the bottom outlet of the valve, probably make the line about 8' - 9 '.
2. Find a braided 5' 1/2" NPT line that is more flexible than PEX (i.e. washing machine hose) and use it to connect from the valve to the head.
3. Use all copper, or a combination of copper/PEX to make the connection, but this would require at least two elbows (maybe 1). The valve instructions mention no elbows in outlets.

#1 is the winning idea, IF we can get it in, and may also benefit from the use of an elbow at the outlet.

TheEplumber 11-02-2011 09:15 AM

199 Attachment(s)
I would use option 3
Do not conceal any type of hose inside a wall

yogi_bear_79 11-02-2011 09:25 AM

Thanks, so you see no reason to NOT use elbow in the outlet side?

The instructions state:
"Position the valve and install 1/2" piping and elbows to bath and shower outlets. Do not use multiple elbows on the spout outlet."

I think I can get away with one. I can use a NPT to PEX 90 degree elbow right at the outlet, and turn the drop ear horizontal at the shower head outlet. this should allow me the flexibilty to get everything tucked in the wall.

99% sure there is no problem using the bottom versus top outlet, can anyone confirm?

bob22 11-02-2011 04:02 PM

I thought I remember reading here about not using Pex between the shower valve and the spout and/or shower head but perhaps I'm dreaming again. No reason was given.

yogi_bear_79 11-03-2011 06:58 AM

Yes, heard that too. Talked with Kohler about it and they said it was not a problem. I also have had a shower in my garage set up for about two years now with PEX for the shower. No problems there either.

On the original subject. We talked to Kohler and using the bottom valve versus the top was ok. So we were able to use a line with no elbows and sweep it up to the head. total run is about 5-6'

Alan 11-03-2011 09:11 AM

If you have a tub shower, you can't use pex on the spout. Otherwise it doesn't matter.

What's the model number on the valve? I don't really see any reason to have fittings on the outlet. We have to do it all the time. What happens if you want to have a rain head shower on the first floor of a 2 story building. Likely there won't be enough clearance to run pex without fittings, so you use copper, or you put fittings in the pex.

Does it say specifically to not use ANY elbows at all? Or just not to use elbows if you're using pex?

yogi_bear_79 11-03-2011 10:44 AM

The instructions state:
"Position the valve and install 1/2" piping and elbows to bath and shower outlets. Do not use multiple elbows on the spout outlet."

Basically, it wants you to use elbows sparingly.

I use brass drop ears with my PEX installs. So I am n the same "sheet" as you. There will be chrome nipples extruding from the wall.

I got it all setup last night. Looks pretty good actually!

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