Is It Viable To Use A Check Valve In A Shower Installation? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Is it viable to use a check valve in a shower installation?


I'm about to be running water lines in my shower remodel, and an odd possibility has occurred to me...The shower itself is about 78"x 42", and we're planning to have faucets with shower wands on the short walls at either end. Up to now, we've planned to have effectively two separate showers in one space, with supply lines on either end and individual diverters to choose between the showerhead and hand wands on each end.

As I was looking at a 3/6-way diverter, I began thinking something dangerous. "Can I send water to a single wand from either end?" Drawing a solution from my electronics background, I'd think I _could_ do this with check valves in the system.

Shower A........................... Wand B ......................Shower B
........\..................................... |................................./
6-way diverter-->Check Valve>-----<Check Valve<---3-way diverter
......../
Wand A

If I've done this right, I should be able to turn on Shower A from the Shower A supply lines and send water to Shower A, Wand A, or Wand B (and combinations). I should also be able to turn on Shower B from the Shower B supply lines and send water to Shower B and Wand B (but not Wand A)

The advantage is that my wife could be taking a shower on one end, decide she wants to shave her legs, and so with the flip of a switch send water (at the correct temperature) to the other end of the shower where a bench awaits. Or, if she happens to be showering on the bench end, can send water to the wand that's there without suffering any inconvenience.

So, the question is can I use check valves in this manner? Where would I get them? Do they come with connections for 1/2" PEX?

Thanks!

Last edited by gpsmith; 08-18-2011 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:34 AM   #2
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If each shower station has a controller, as in a pressure balanced device, how could you send water from shower "A" to shower"B" if "B"'s control is off?
You also couldn't send hot water to a controller that was set on warm or cold.
Is that the issue?
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:00 AM   #3
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Once again, I forget the limitations of ASCII sketches. Let me try it again with a better image of the proposed layout.

So, if I turn on the left cartridge, I get water at the pressure and temperature I want coming through the diverter. I can then select the line heading toward Shower Wand 'B'. The water passes through the left check valve, and out through Shower Wand 'B'. It doesn't go any farther toward the diverter at the right because of the right check valve (which is reversed relative to the flow).

Or, if I turn on the right cartridge, I get water at the pressure and temperature I want coming through the diverter at the right. I can then select the line heading toward Shower Wand 'B'. The water passes through the right check valve, and out through Shower Wand 'B'. It doesn't go any farther toward the diverter at the left because of the left check valve (which is reversed relative to the flow).

Now, I'm not sure what would happen if both cartridges on the left and right were open simultanously, but I would think that some water from both source would mix and make it out Wand 'B', maybe at an increased pressure...

Hopefully that makes it clearer.

Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:41 AM   #4
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Won't you have a blast of cold water in wand b when you first turn it on because of the water laying between the check valves.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by josall View Post
Won't you have a blast of cold water in wand b when you first turn it on because of the water laying between the check valves.
Maybe, but wouldn't it be about the same effect that you would normally get from the water laying in the wand hose?
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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probably, just depends on where you put the check valves.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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What I don't understand is why the "A" and "B" showers are connected in the first place?
Why have a 6 way diverter in a place where there aren't 6 path options?
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
What I don't understand is why the "A" and "B" showers are connected in the first place?
Why have a 6 way diverter in a place where there aren't 6 path options?
The original goal was to try and supply water to wand B from either/both ends of the shower. That way, you don't have to fiddle with pressure and temperature on both ends if only one person is using the shower. Specifically, I was picturing a case where my wife was taking a shower on the non-bench side of the shower, and decide to shave her legs. So, she'd wander over to the other side where the bench was. Now she's warm and acclimated to the water, but doesn't have any running over at the bench. So she turns on the water at the bench side to be able to use the wand to rinse her legs.

At this point, I die because the water coming out of the bench side wand is cold, or at a different pressure, or different temperature than what she had set originally on the other side.

Unhappy Wife leads directly to Unhappy Hubby

As for the rest, my understanding of the 6-way diverter is that they include combined operations. So, my 6-way diverter can send water to:
1. The shower head A (path option 1)
2. The shower head A and wand A
3. Wand A alone (path option 2)
4. Wand A and Wand B
5. Wand B alone (path option 3)
6. Wand B and the Shower Head A

At least that's the way it's been explained to me, but I've never actually installed one (yet ). If I'm wrong I'll gratefully be corrected...

Last edited by gpsmith; 08-19-2011 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpsmith View Post
...... So she turns on the water at the bench side to be able to use the wand to rinse her legs.

At this point, I die because the water coming out of the bench side wand is cold, or at a different pressure, or different temperature than what she had set originally on the other side.

Unhappy Wife leads directly to Unhappy Hubby

.......

She would only make that mistake once.....just arrange to be out of the country when it happens....
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