Household showers are major consumers of hot water. This means that partially closing off, or limiting, the amount of water that can flow from a shower head will save money by reducing both water usage and the use of fuel to heat that water. Older shower valves to close off or limit water flow were installed in the walls as part of the internal plumbing. However, with a modern shower you can install an automatic limiting valve without opening the walls.
Things You'll Need
- Pipe wrench
- Cotton cloth
- Automatic limiting valve
- Thread seal tape
Locate the joint where your shower head or flexible shower hose attaches to the water delivery pipe that comes out of the wall. Twist the shower head or hose fitting counterclockwise to remove it.
Place a cotton cloth over the shower head or hose fitting if it won't come lose by hand. Tighten a pipe wrench around the cotton cloth, which will protect the pipe beneath it, by turning the adjustment screw until there is only a small gap between the wrench and the cotton-wrapped pipe.
Turn the pipe to move the shower head fitting counterclockwise to loosen and remove it.
Select a limiting washer to place inside your automatic limiting valve, if it offers variable settings. Refer to the installation guide that came with the limiting valve to determine the best washer for your situation.
Cut off a 6-inch strip of thread seal tape and wrap it around the threads on the limiting valve. Insert the valve into the open pipe in your shower and turn it clockwise by hand until it tightens.
Wrap the cotton cloth around the limiting valve and attach the pipe wrench. Turn the wrench to tighten the valve in place until you can press firmly without causing it to tighten further.
Cut another 6-inch strip of thread seal tape and wrap it around the threaded end of your shower head or hose fitting. Wrap it with the cotton cloth and use the wrench to tighten it in the limiting valve's opening.
Tips & Warnings
- Typical automatic cut-off shower limiting valves use 1/2-inch openings, which match standard shower heads and plumbing. However, if your shower is older or uses custom parts, check the diameter of the plumbing and shower head before purchasing a valve.
- Be sure that your shower stall is dry before beginning to work, to avoid slips and falls.
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