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Plumber used pex to hook up shower.

Nick25's picture

Hi,  I found out today the reason why my tubs diverter is not working is that the plumbers initial hook up was done in pex tubing.  I know the inner diam. is smaller than copper, the problem I'm am faced with is the wall on both sides is finished, I'd prefer not to open it up,  I'm hoping someone out  there has come up with a creative solution for this problem..... not involving drywall compound. Thanks Nick

I'm having a hard time (post #185021, reply #1 of 18)

I'm having a hard time understanding your problem. There shouldn't be anything wrong with PEX if it's done right; but maybe it's not done right.

Normally you don't need to tear down drywall to service the valve assembly, but you might have difficulty servicing the connections. Drywall work isn't that big a deal though, so don't fret too much about it.

Here's a few links that may help:

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4597756_tub...

http://www.ehow.com/how_2079053_fix-tub-...

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-impro...

check my solution in your (post #185021, reply #2 of 18)

check my solution in your original post

How would a gooseneck fix a (post #185021, reply #3 of 18)

How would a gooseneck fix a tub line that it for all practical purposed partially blocked?

 

If your plumber made this mistake, your plumber should fix it.  He installed this unit incorrectly, using the wrong materials.  It is up to the plumber to take care of it - including fixing the drywall.

 

BTW, I made the same mistake... PEX is newish and people are still adjusting to it... of course I wasn't billing someone while I made it! (I'm DIY)

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"PEX is newish and people are (post #185021, reply #8 of 18)

"PEX is newish and people are still adjusting to it"

Kinda like sliced bread?

In at least the last 15 years, I haven't worked on or built a house that didn't incorporate pex. The universe is a little bigger than CA, LOL

 

I do agree about the plumber fixing the problem, but seriously doubt it's caused by the pex.

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Chapel Hill, NC

 

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I have a hard time (post #185021, reply #4 of 18)

I have a hard time understanding how pex caused your tub diverter valve not to work, more info would help.

 

"If all else fails, read the directions"

1/2" PEX fittings have an (post #185021, reply #5 of 18)

1/2" PEX fittings have an internal diameter of 3/8".  This is provides just enough restriction in the open system between the tub spout and shower head that some water will back up and flow out the shower head when you go to fill the tub.

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>>>This is provides just (post #185021, reply #6 of 18)

>>>This is provides just enough restriction in the open system between the tub spout and shower head that some water will back up and flow out the shower head when you go to fill the tub.

 

I'm not following this line of logic. If the riser line between the spout and shower head has unduely high resistance , it would RESTRICT water from travelling up to the shower head, not encourage it.

You would think since the (post #185021, reply #7 of 18)

You would think since the entire set up was done in pex that the smaller diam. down low would be cancelled out by the one up top.

Nick25: You don't want to (post #185021, reply #9 of 18)

Nick25: You don't want to answer the question of what is the diverter doing, is there any water comming out of the spout?, is there any water comming out of the shower head?, do you get a trickle out of both? does the pex run a long distance?, without information it's just a guessing  game.

"If all else fails, read the directions"

Sorry, just to explain it in (post #185021, reply #12 of 18)

Sorry, just to explain it in one explanation in hopes of avoiding confustions this is what is happening.

When I turn on the water the spout has the vast majoriy of the water coming out through it. As I increase the pressure there isn't much difference in what comes out of the spout.  What does change is the ammount of water coming out of the head. By the time I'm at full pressure I get almost 50% power coming out of the shower head.

When the lever is up and the shower head is in full effect there is only a trickle coming out of the tub spout, and the shower head I would say is normal. Thanks

OK, everyone who has a (post #185021, reply #10 of 18)

OK, everyone who has a problem visualizing the "PEX fittings causing the tub spout water to flow through the showerhead"

Imagine a hallway the ends in a T intersection, to the left is an EXIT doorway about 10' down the hallway (Tub spout), to the right is an EXIT doorway about 20' away (Shower head).

Normally, people will take the close door (tub spout).  It's easier.  But is they get to that door and it's locked (stopper pulled to activate shower), they will turn around and head out the other EXIT (shower head).

Now, say you sized those doorways too small, say with 20" panels instead of 36".  People can still go though, but there is more jostling and you have to be just in the right position to squeeze through the opening.

Where it would normally "flow" a person a second, now it flows a slightly slower 1 person every 1.25 seconds.  Now every 4 seconds results in one person standing in the hallway an extra second longer.  Keep feeding in people, and they will stack up behind the easy doorway, all the way back to the farther doorway.  Once there, they will just go out the far doorway instead, as that is now the easy one to get out.

It doesn't matter how small the far door is, people will go though that one if they can't get through the other one, just like water will go through the vertical shower line if the bottom line to the tub is blocked.  So it's fine to have 1/2" PEX going to the shower head.

You need an unrestricted flow out through the tub spout.  Any restrictions cause the water to gently back up as it waits its turn to exit the tub spout.  Eventually the line reaches the shower head and one gallon of water will exit there for every 4 or 5 that comes out the tub spout.

You could probably demonstrate this by sticking your finger in the tub spout while you run water, partially blocking the flow before it exits the spout... you will eventually have a trickle come out of the shower head.

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That was the best explanation (post #185021, reply #13 of 18)

That was the best explanation of anything...ever. Thanks I would have never considered it that way.

>>>You could probably (post #185021, reply #15 of 18)

>>>You could probably demonstrate this by sticking your finger in the tub spout while you run water, partially blocking the flow before it exits the spout... you will eventually have a trickle come out of the shower head.

 

That all makes perfect sense. But I still don't see where PEX enters the picture.

OK, if you don't have any (post #185021, reply #16 of 18)

OK, if you don't have any they you have to do this at the hardware store:

Take a 1/2" PEX fitting, like a PEX to 1/2" MIP.  Look at the inside diameter of that fitting.  Now compare that to a copper pipe 1/2" sweat to 1/2" MIP.

The minimum inside diameter of the copper pipe fittings is determined by the inside of the pipe itself, not the fitting, because the slip over the outside.  PEX fittings on the other hand go inside the PEX pipe, so every fitting is smaller than the pipe.

On most things, you'd never notice any restriction on the PEX... but the tub/shower spout is the exception!

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>>>On most things, you'd (post #185021, reply #18 of 18)

>>>On most things, you'd never notice any restriction on the PEX... but the tub/shower spout is the exception!

 

Ahhh... I get it now... the PEX fitting causing the restriction was going to the spout, which pushed water up the riser. Makes sense.


I originally envisioned PEX being used as the riser itself, which didn't make any sense to me.

 

Thanks,

 

Scott.

xxPaulCPxx : The original (post #185021, reply #11 of 18)

xxPaulCPxx : The original poster on the forum now only says that his diverter dosen''t work, you must have information that's not in the post that's on  here. One of the responders said he had answered the ORIGINAL POST, I've never seen it; might have the information that I requested, bottom line is I can't  give an answer to the post without that information, could be a Breadtime glitch!

"If all else fails, read the directions"

This was the other thread he (post #185021, reply #14 of 18)

This was the other thread he had going:

http://forums.finehomebuilding.com/breaktime/construction-techniques/tub-diverter-leaks-bought-another-one-it-leaks-too

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Today was the day.  I was (post #185021, reply #17 of 18)

Today was the day.  I was able to switch out the pex for copper with no real complications, actually I did it with out wrecking any drywall.  So the end result,  things work perfectly now.  I still can't belive that 8 inches of pex was enough to make that much of a difference. Thanks to everyone for the advice.