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If you are looking for a way to upgrade your shower experience, you might want to consider installing a dual shower head system. A dual shower head consists of two shower heads that can operate independently or together, giving you more flexibility and control over your water flow and temperature. In this blog post, we will explain what valve you need for 2 shower heads, how dual shower heads work, whether they use more water than a single shower head, what size shower you need for 2 shower heads, and how to install a combo shower head. We will also provide a dual shower head plumbing diagram to help you visualize the installation process.
Dual Shower Head Diagram
What valve do I need for 2 shower heads?
The valve is the part of the plumbing system that controls the water flow and temperature in your shower. There are different types of valves that can be used for 2 shower heads, depending on your preference and budget. Here are some common options:
- A diverter valve: This is a simple and inexpensive option that allows you to switch between two shower heads using a knob or lever. The downside is that you can only use one shower head at a time, and the water pressure and temperature may vary depending on which one you choose.
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- A pressure balance valve: This is a more advanced option that maintains a constant water pressure and temperature in both shower heads regardless of any changes in the water supply. The downside is that you still have to use a diverter valve to switch between the two shower heads, and you cannot adjust the water flow or temperature individually for each one.
- A thermostatic valve: This is the most sophisticated option that allows you to set and maintain a precise water temperature for both shower heads independently using separate handles or knobs. You can also adjust the water flow individually for each one using volume control valves. The downside is that this option is more expensive and requires more plumbing work.
Can I have 2 shower heads on one valve?
The answer depends on what type of valve you have and how much water pressure and volume your plumbing system can provide. If you have a diverter valve or a pressure balance valve, you can technically have 2 shower heads on one valve, but only one of them will work at a time. If you want to use both of them simultaneously, you will need to install an additional valve or upgrade to a thermostatic valve.
If you have enough water pressure and volume in your plumbing system, having 2 shower heads on one valve should not affect the performance of either one significantly. However, if your water supply is limited or inconsistent, having 2 shower heads on one valve may reduce the water pressure and volume in both of them.
How do dual shower heads work?
Dual shower heads work by splitting the water flow from one source into two separate streams that can be directed to different parts of your body or shared with another person. There are different types of dual
shower heads that vary in their design and functionality:
- A fixed-fixed dual shower head: This type consists of two fixed (or wall-mounted) shower heads that are installed side by side or opposite each other on the same wall or different walls. They can be angled differently to create different spray patterns and coverage areas.
- A fixed-handheld dual shower head: This type consists of one fixed (or wall-mounted) shower head and one handheld (or detachable) shower head that are connected by a hose. The handheld shower head can be used as an extension of the fixed one or separately as needed.
Do dual shower heads use more water?
One of the main concerns that people have about installing a dual shower head is whether it will use more water than a single shower head. The answer depends on several factors, such as the type of shower heads, the water pressure, and the duration of your shower.
Generally speaking, if you use both shower heads at the same time with full flow, you will use more water than if you use only one shower head. However, if you use both shower heads at a reduced flow or alternate between them, you might not use much more water than a single shower head.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the maximum flow rate for a standard shower head is 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). If you install two standard shower heads with 2.5 gpm each and use them simultaneously with full flow, you will use 5 gpm of water. However, if you install two low-flow shower heads with 1.5 gpm each and use them simultaneously with full flow, you will use 3 gpm of water.
To save water and energy when using a dual shower head system, you can follow these tips:
- Choose low-flow or WaterSense labeled shower heads that meet the EPA criteria for water efficiency and performance.
- Adjust the flow rate of each shower head to suit your preference and need. You can do this by using valves or diverters that control the water supply to each shower head.
- Use only one shower head at a time when possible or switch between them as needed.
- Limit your shower time to no more than 10 minutes per day.
What size shower do I need for 2 shower heads?
Another factor that you need to consider when installing a dual shower head system is the size of your shower enclosure. You want to make sure that there is enough space for both shower heads to spray without hitting each other or causing overspray outside the enclosure.
The ideal size for a dual-shower-head enclosure depends on several factors, such as:
- The shape and layout of your bathroom
- The type and position of your drain
- The height and angle of your ceiling
- The style and design of your fixtures
- Your personal preference and comfort
However, as a general rule of thumb, you should aim for an enclosure that is at least 36 inches by 48 inches (or 3 feet by 4 feet) for two standard-sized wall-mounted or handheld showers. If you want to install larger or ceiling-mounted showers, you might need an enclosure that is at least 48 inches by 60 inches (or 4 feet by 5 feet).
Of course, these are only approximate measurements and they may vary depending on your specific situation. To determine the exact size of your enclosure for two showers, you should measure:
- The distance from the center of one wall-mounted or handheld fixture to another
- The distance from one fixture’s spray pattern edge to another
- The distance from one fixture’s spray pattern edge to any nearby walls or doors
- The distance from any fixture’s spray pattern edge to any nearby fixtures such as faucets or soap dishes
These measurements will help you ensure that there is enough clearance between both showers and other elements in your bathroom.
How do you install a combo shower head?
A combo shower head is a type of dual shower head that combines a fixed and a handheld shower head in one unit. The fixed shower head is mounted on the wall or ceiling, while the handheld shower head is attached to a flexible hose that can be moved around. A combo shower head usually comes with a diverter valve that allows you to switch between the two shower heads or use both at the same time.
To install a combo shower head, you will need some basic tools and supplies, such as:
- A drill
- A wrench
- A screwdriver
- A tape measure
- A level
- A pipe cutter
- A pipe wrench
- Teflon tape
- Plumber’s putty
- Shower arm extension (optional)
- Shower arm flange (optional)
Here are the steps to follow:
- Turn off the water supply to your existing shower head and remove it by unscrewing it from the shower arm.
- If your existing shower arm is too short or too low for your desired height of the fixed shower head, you may need to replace it with an extension arm. To do this, unscrew the old arm from the wall using a pipe wrench and apply some Teflon tape on the threads of the new arm. Then screw it into the wall outlet until it is tight and secure.
- Attach the flange (if needed) and the diverter valve to the end of the new or existing shower arm. Make sure they are aligned properly and tighten them with a wrench.
- Wrap some Teflon tape around the threads of both outlets of the diverter valve and connect them to their respective hoses or pipes. One outlet will go to the fixed shower head and one will go to the handheld shower head.
- Mount the fixed shower head on its bracket or holder on top of the diverter valve and tighten it with your hand.
- Mount the handheld shower head on its bracket or holder on another wall or corner of your bathtub or stall using screws or adhesive pads (depending on your model). Make sure it is at an appropriate height and angle for your convenience.
- Turn on the water supply and test both shower heads for leaks and proper water flow. If there are any issues, make adjustments as needed until everything works well.
Installing a dual shower head system can enhance your bathing experience by giving you more options and flexibility in terms of water pressure, spray pattern, temperature, and direction. However, it may also require some plumbing work if you want to connect both showers heads to one water source.