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Old 10-22-2016, 09:25 PM   #1
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Shower head drips when spout running


Firstly, pardon my terms (plumbing vocabulary) as I'll likely call some things by stupid names...I am an electrician, not a plumber.

I just finished renovating my upstairs bathroom. All works great, but when the bathtub spout is used to fill the tub, water comes out of the shower head.

Now, I understand there's a relationship between the internal resistance to the diverter spout versus the head pressure required to force water up through the vertical shower head pipe.

Understandably, my wife would like an answer to this.

I cannot open the plumbing wall behind the tub/shower's fixtures. We also spent a pile of money (Grohe) on these fixtures.....she doesn't want to remove the diverter spout for another one with more "free" flow, or less resistance. And she doesn't want me to install something ahead of the bathroom's supply plumbing to reduce the city pressure slightly (approx. 70psi).

All I can think of is getting one of these manually operable chrome ball valves that screw onto the shower arm (before shower head).

Any other idea's?

Last edited by Power-; 10-22-2016 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


Show picture. Is diverter on the spout or on the wall?

Suggest removing spout. It should either screw off or be remove by loosening set screw underneath. Turn on water and see if water comes out shower head. If not, inspect spout and diverter valve for blockage.

If diverter is on the wall, remove diverter valve. Turn on water and flush out valve well.
Also inspect diverter ports for blockage.

What most likely happened here is that an electrician did the pipe soldering. That electrician should know that if you use too much solder the melted solder can run down inside the joint. There is can fall down and hit a cold section of pipe. Hot solder won't stick to a cold pipe. It can form into small pellets or it can splatter and form a large round thin disk of solder. Either can be blocking or obstructing the port to the spout.

If water continues to come out shower head, remove shower head and screw on 1/2 PVC pipe cap. That will force all water out the spout or the open diverter port.

In other words flush the valve body well.

Last edited by hkstroud; 10-22-2016 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


What he said.

Probably some "sparky" tried plumbing, and allowed too much solder to flow inside the pipe.

Inspect it well for balls of solder lodged in the diverter mechanism.



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Old 10-22-2016, 10:50 PM   #4
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


What type of pipe did you use from valve to spout?
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


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What type of pipe did you use from valve to spout?
This is more than likely your issue if you didn't use copper. (Did you use pex)
Read the installation instructions closely. I know Moen says not to use pex to the tub spout..... The interior diameter is too restrictive
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:52 PM   #6
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


@ hksrtoud = yes, the diverter is on the spout. I will remove and inspect for blockage....good idea.

@de-nagorg = yes, it could be too much solder in the pipe, I agree. And yes, I am an electrician, but remember the intent of a DIY website....hence it's name.

@Ghostmaker = Its 1/2" copper from valve body to spout.

@TheEplumber = I did not use pex, I asked the plumber NOT to rough in the bathroom with pex, I'd rather he use copper.

I hired a plumber to do the rough-in. After the walls were tiled, I chose to do the install of the toilet, sink, and shower valve/spout/head. I think the plumber was suspecting I bought a "set-screw" style spout as he stubbed out a 1/2" copper line. However, the GROHE spout I have uses a 1/2" NPT threaded connection. I am understanding the plumber "goofed up here", and should have used a brass 1/2" sweat-to-1/2" NPT (c/w 2 mtg holes) 90deg elbow inside the wall, mounted to a wooden backboard of suitable durability. A temp 1/2" nipple (6" or so) could have been installed for the drywalls and tillers ease. Upon final install, the 6" nipple removed and a suitable length installed. (NOTE: Calling back the plumber is of no use....all he's gonna say is "Sorry" and that I've got to open the wall again for him).

I could not open the wall, so I gently trimmed out the tile and drywall enough to sweat-on a 1/2" copper straight-to-1/2" copper male NPT. The spout threads to it, and I had use a two part epoxy to actually seal the spout to the tile as the plumbing is not suitable for such mechanical load anymore. It might be dumb.....but it's all I could think of.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:53 PM   #7
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


I'm really sorry for totally hijacking this thread Power-. If a mod wants to pull my problems out of this one and make a new thread, I'm all for that.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:56 PM   #8
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


Whoops, forgot pics. Sorry, they're sideways....dang it.....
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Shower head drips when spout running-pic1.jpg   Shower head drips when spout running-pic2.jpg  
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


No problem WilBill7145....no worries.....I am ok with it........
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


Quote:
Originally Posted by Power- View Post
No problem WilBill7145....no worries.....I am ok with it........
Nice looking tub and tile job though! Wow!
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:24 PM   #11
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


Power
Please don't be offended, we have to pick on someone. Besides electricians are smarter than plumbers and make more money.

If I understand correctly you sweated on a male adapter to the copper pipe the plumber left you. The obstruction could be solder from that joint or it could be solder from one of the plumbers joints.
Also if I understand correctly you probably siliconed around the pipe and adapter to seal the wall and then screwed the spout on. If so, some of that silicone could have gotten inside the spout.
Want to hear about the last time I got solder inside some piping. Took me 6 months, a toilet valve and 3 cartridges in a tub valve to get it all out. My only excuse is the extremely tight working conditions of the pipe repair.

So pull the spout and look.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:27 PM   #12
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


Power.............just read your post 18, must of posted while I was writing my comment. So disregard all my pex info.

From your photo, does that aerator unscrew? May be a quick fix.
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:11 PM   #13
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Re: Shower head drips when spout running


@hkstround = That's fine....I am not the least offended. Its all good. I can try to get that spout off to check for silicone and/or too much solder inside the male adaptor. Perhaps, it was a poor choice, but I bought the male adaptor thinking it's the only thing that's going to work. If I do get the spout off, and I see a big "blob" of solder sitting around the inside of my male adaptor, I will get remediate that.

@Yodaman - I will see if the aerator unscrews.....the plumber put that on when he roughed in the bathroom originally.

Last edited by Power-; 10-23-2016 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Typo
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