pressure balancing faucets

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Old 02-12-03, 09:55 PM
DYI-Di
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pressure balancing faucets

We purchased a new pressure balancing bath and shower faucet for our upstairs bathroom. After installing it, we notice that we have very little pressure as compared to the bathroom sink and toilet. We have taken the unit apart to be sure there is no debris in it. The water pressure is great without the new faucet! This is an American Standard set. We had a pressure balanced Peerless set in it before and it worked fine for about 5 few years, but eventually the flow got weaker and weaker. Figured it was worn out, but this new one is no better than the old one had become! Has anyone had trouble with this type of faucet (pressure balanced) and any advice would be appreciated!
 
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Old 02-13-03, 07:29 PM
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How old is the house? and what kind of pipes do you have? Pressure-balanced valves can be restrictive, but it should not be that noticeable... It is odd that your peerless GRADUALLY lost volume and then replacing the new faucet didn't fix it, as that would usually indicate that you have trouble somewhere other than the faucet...
 
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Old 02-15-03, 03:21 PM
DYI-Di
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The pipes were newly installed by our plumber about seven years ago--5/8 inch copper. I have checked to see if these were plugging up, and they are not. They have great flow and pressure without the pressure balance unit. These pipes feed the sink and toilet with great flow and pressure as well. There is definitely no obstruction in our incoming water lines. The house was built around 1898 with plumbing installed around 1970. This is a new bathroom built seven years ago. I have followed the installation directions to a tee, and have made sure there is no debris in the new valve as well. I appreciate any ideas you may have, as I am ready to take this back and go with the plain-Jane model!
 
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Old 02-15-03, 05:53 PM
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Well, if you are certain that the pipes are fine, then the valve is definitely the culprit, but there could be a number of problems with it... First would be debris in the stem... Second, many pressure-balanced valves have 2 little individual shutoffs on the inlets... You can't see them with the trim plate in place... These two valves could either be partially off or they can have trash in them from the install... The instructions are usually very clear on the fact that you have to flush the lines out very well before you first run water through the faucet... Lastly, you could just have a defective valve... The pressure balancing mechanism can be stuck partially or completely closed... That usually causes a complete stoppage on that hot side... If the problem is that bad, it would certainly be okay to change the valve for a standard type as long as the water heater is not turned up unreasonably high...
 
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Old 02-16-03, 05:54 AM
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The only other consideration is whether you have shutoff valves dedicated to this faucet. If you do, and they are not ball valves, you could have trouble in them. It is not at all common, but you have to find something. You know your plumbing better than I do especially since it is not a brand new bathroom but I also want to mention that the flow that a bathtub faucet allows can make the pressure SEEM low. That spout flows a lot of water. And don't rule out a crappy shower head. 99% of shower heads (especially ones that come in the faucet package) are pretty crappy. (my opinion) Obviously, if the water is just dripping out, I am all wet. But don't rule out every possibility until you find something.
 
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Old 02-16-03, 09:13 PM
DYI-Di
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Sorry to say, none of them were the problem. Took the new tub/shower faucet back today and got one without pressure balancing feature. The newest one works fine. Our downstairs bathroom has this type so we're in the habit of not using water if someone is in the shower. Still scratching my head though....about the faucet (not because I need a shower!)
 
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