We recently had our home re-piped and the water pressure was awesome but our shower pressure was less than before! The reason is that our old shower valve was the kind installed before the new code required safe pressure balanced or thermostatic valves and put out approx. 7 gallons per minute (gpm). The good news with these new shower valves is that when someone flushes the toilet or turns on the tap, you don't get a cold or hot blast in the shower.
Sure that is good to wake you up but it's really much nicer to have a consistent temperature in your shower. The bad news is that the water pressure and volume are reduced substantially, to only 3.5-4 gpm. So in order for me to get my old showers water pressure back, I started my research. What I found fit our needsbest was California Faucets shower valve and shower heads. Wewill bereplacing our 1/2" pipes with 3/4" ones and installing a new shower valve,fixtures and other goodiesfrom California Faucets.
California Faucets does not sell directly to the public only through distributors however they have an amazing interactive website at http://www.calfaucets.com/virtual/ that offers a ‘Virtual Faucet Creator’ which is an amazing tool for choosing your faucet combinations. By going to this virtual website you will see that you can make an infinite amount of choices for your faucet needs. You will be able to change the color, the patina, the style in any combination; it's an amazingly helpful interactive experience that is fun and very easy-to-use. There is also a wonderful shower page that allows you to not only see the shower heads but how they look with the water turned on and off in the section called Turn-Ons which we used before we went to one of California Faucets distributors. You can see this great webpage here http://www.calfaucets.com/. I definitely suggest that you go to their website and imagine how your life will be able to be changed by installing new fixtures for both the beauty and functionality they're able to bring.
The next step in our adventure, to turn our plain shower into a happy place, was to go to one of the plumbing distributors that sold California Faucets. We chose to go to go George's plumbing supply company kitchen and bath showroom in Pasadena. George's is widely known as the most beautiful well-equipped midsize showroom in the Los Angeles area. Once Amanda and I saw what George’s offered, we knew why such a reputation had been established. As you walk into the 3,000 sq ft. facility to your right there is a plumbing supply that was the start of George's plumbing in 1946. There are few displays on the ground floor but as you walk upstairs you enter a wonderland of choices for any bath or kitchen.
We had an appointment to meet with Rick Brandley. Brandley is the current owner and nephew of the original George. Brandley is a very likable person who had more energy than most anyone I've ever met. He is friendly, knowledgeable, and very instructional. He has an extensive background in bath & kitchen installations for new construction and remodeling with the supervision of hundreds of installations, many for celebrities under his belt. We went to the California Faucets display section where Brandley made it easy to make our choices from a beautiful, functional selection. The way that things were set up it was as we were in our own shower and made it was very simple to choose what we wanted as well as learn how everything worked due to a clear plastic sheet that showed how the plumbing would look in our wall. We chose a massive adjustable showerhead that will give us a great amount of choices with the water delivery, from pinhead to flood with eight separate jet streams although there were choices of four and six as well. We chose a handheld shower with a sliding mount to allow us to have shower head in our hand or it can act as a second directed showerhead. The handheld shower has two choices of sprayers; we chose to have the more pressurized one. Our next choice, although not a necessity, will really make our shower special.
We choose six adjustable sprays which we will install staggered on the left and right side of our valve. There are three choices for these mini shower heads, two that are adjustable and one stationary. We chose the head that not only pulsates but gives lots of pressure. Each of our four water dispersal devices will have their own valve so we can easilycontrol how much water goes to each of our four water sources. Therefore it will be easy to stay green by turning off the water as we lather up and turning it back on to get an amazing rinse off.
These valves control the water coming from a valve that I call the brain; a wonderfully ingenious device that allows us each to choose the temperature of the water we wish to have. There is a numeric ring on the valve with temperature settings. You need only to choose the temperature you would like and that's what the temperature will be. If I like the water at 98 I would turn the dial to 98 and then when I open one or more of the four valves that is what the temperature will be, 98 degrees. When Amanda uses the shower she just turns the dial to her desired temperature which may be 102 and that's what the temperature will be no matter what happens in the rest of the house such as people flushing toilets or watering the lawn it won't matter her water temperature will be constant and with 12 of 14 gallons per minute of water flowing she'll be able to drown herself as much as she sees fit. Rick also suggested, since we have enough room for a bench, to put in a steam unit at the same time we are doing our other plumbing and we are definitely looking into that possibility. It's amazing to think that in our 1912 leading large were going to be able to spoil ourselves like the best of any new homes thanks to California Faucets.
I will continue this article with the actual installation and our reactions.
To learn more about George’s Plumbing phone Rick or one of his crew at 626-792-5547 or go to their website at http://georgesshowroom.com/