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PeterWard 04-07-2009 08:04 AM

Shower in a Tower Block
Hi, I live on the 14th floor of a 15-floor tower block and there is no shower. I spoke to one plumber who thought it very unlikely there would be enough water pressure that high up to be able to put a shower in. I really want a shower so ... any thoughts anyone?

Thanks in advance.

kok328 04-07-2009 08:36 AM

It all depends on how water is currently being delivered to your building and/or the 15th floor. If it's coming in from ground level, a booster pump comes to mind. If it is coming from the roof top, then simply piping in a shower comes to mind.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-07-2009 09:18 AM


Originally Posted by PeterWard (Post 29196)
I spoke to one plumber who thought it very unlikely there would be enough water pressure that high up to be able to put a shower in.

Architects that design tall buildings are paid to anticipate such problems and will have something in place to avoid such low water pressure problems. Such low water pressure in tall buildings would also mean it would take a much longer time to fill your bathtub or for your toilet tank to refill after a flush.

How's the water pressure at the bath tub spout and bathroom sink? Is it much the same as the water pressure in any faucet in any restaurant washroom or in the washroom at work?

If so, you can just replace your existing bathtub spout with one that accomodates a hand shower, like this one:

You just connect the hand shower to the threaded nipple on the spout, and mount the hand shower in a holder where a shower head would typically be.

Look on the bottom of your existing bathtub spout right near the wall and see if you can find a set screw holding the spout on. If you find such a set screw, then you have a "slip on" spout, and you remove it by loosening that set screw and pulling the spout off of a short piece of copper pipe sticking out of the wall. If there is no set screw, you remove the spout by unscrewing it.

If you have a slip-on spout, then phone Moen customer service and ask if they sell a diverter spout identical to the Moen 3931, but with a hand held shower attachment. Alternatively, ask if they have a "screw on" spout identical to the 3926 with a hand held shower attachment.

The Moen 3931 has three features that make it superior to every other slip on spout I know of:

1) It has a "cup seal" (aka: "cup washer") in the diverter gate that "inflates" with water when you pull up the diverter. As the cup washer inflates, it seals against the end of the copper supply pipe so that NO water leaks out of the spout while the shower is on. Not a drop! That ensures you get the highest water flow rate out of the shower head for the best shower performance. The 3926 is the same in this respect.

2) It has a "yoke" which clamps around the copper pipe rather than a set screw that just tightens up against the copper pipe. This yoke distributes the tightening force much more uniformly around the entire circumference of the copper pipe, thereby greatly lessening the liklihood of damaging the copper pipe with the set screw.

3) A "repair kit" for the Moen 3931 is available free of charge for the Moen 3931 in case the cup washer ever needs replacing. Just ask for Moen Part # 10644. (it also fits the 3926)
Product Detail: 10644

The above web page says the suggested list price on the repair kit is $11.65, but if you phone Moen and tell them the cup washer is torn, they'll send you a repair kit free.

If you see Moen diverter spouts for sale in your local hardware store, check to see that the name "Moen" is molded right into the plastic the spout is made of. If you don't see that name, then the spout is made offshore (in China) and doesn't have that patented "cup washer" in it, and won't work as well as one that does. That is, lots of water will spill out the tub spout when you're having a shower.

inspectorD 04-07-2009 12:33 PM

Since you live in Scotland, I have no idea what your plumbing situation is.
My guess is there is just not enough water getting there fast enough to take an adequate shower is what the plumber is getting at. Or if there is even enough water at times when anyone else in the building is also using water. You would be left with a trickle even with a booster pump. What you may need for a quick shower is a storage tank and pump in your unit. That all depends on what you are able to do in your building.
Asking someone local will help out much better than anything from here.

kok328 04-07-2009 03:17 PM

I would think you may be interested in those newer point-of-use water heaters. I would imagine that by the time the hot water gets to your floor, it's already cold.

Redwood 04-13-2009 06:24 PM

This poster has a question that really requires answers from a plumber that is local to him.

The plumbing systems in the UK are very different from what we have on this side of the big salt pond.

PeterWard 06-02-2009 06:13 AM

Thanks a million for your replies; I've had computer problem and so have only just received them. Nestor_Kelebay, thanks in particular for taking the trouble to pen such a comprehensive and helpful reply. Food for thought...

Redwood 06-02-2009 08:07 AM

The reality is though that our systems are so different from what is used in the UK that a North American plumber would be a fish out of water in the UK. Here our systems hot and cold are under equal pressure supplied by the water main or well pump system.

We do not have power showers, pumps on the hot supply to provide pressure and other things that you have on your side of the pond.

Your best solution is your local plumber.

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