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  1. #1
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    Default Shower (or Tub) Valve Handle Location

    Two recently installed stall showers with numerous issues. The one that I am interested here is that it was impossible to turn on the shower valve without getting wet.

    I seem to recall that the shower (or tub) valve handle had to be accessible without entering the shower/tub itself. Someone standing in the room could operate the valve without getting wet. As a result, if a glass enclosure is installed, it is necessary to construct/install it in such a way that allows the enclosure/door to be moved to allow access to the valve handle.


    One example of this is that I see hinged frameless glass enclosures on showers and tubs so the glass can be pivoted out of the way to allow access to the valve handle.


    I have been unable to find the code section. I looked in 408 of the plumbing code and tried to find something in the residential code, but no luck.


    To make things just a little more difficult, California enforces the UPC instead of the plumbing section of the IRC. Does anyone know where to find the requirement?

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  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    Orlando, FL
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    Default Re: Shower (or Tub) Valve Handle Location

    UPC 408.9


    408.9 Location of Valves and Heads. Control valves
    and showerheads shall be located on the sidewall of shower
    compartments or otherwise arranged so that the showerhead
    does not discharge directly at the entrance to the compartment
    so that the bather can adjust the valves prior to stepping into
    the shower spray.



  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Shower (or Tub) Valve Handle Location

    Nothing in the IRC about access to the shower valve without a fixed shower enclosure panrl restricting access to the valve.

    I do serm to recall that, years ago, someone on this board posted about a local or state code which addressed that issue.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shower (or Tub) Valve Handle Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    UPC 408.9


    408.9 Location of Valves and Heads. Control valves
    and showerheads shall be located on the sidewall of shower
    compartments or otherwise arranged so that the showerhead
    does not discharge directly at the entrance to the compartment
    so that the bather can adjust the valves prior to stepping into
    the shower spray.

    Thank you Dom. That's it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Nothing in the IRC about access to the shower valve without a fixed shower enclosure panrl restricting access to the valve. I do serm to recall that, years ago, someone on this board posted about a local or state code which addressed that issue.
    Jerry,

    Dom's post is what I was looking for. It doesn't specifically state that an enclosure cannot restrict access, but the part that states "... so the bather can adjust the valves prior to stepping into the shower spray" is being interpreted (at least locally) as meaning adequate access to the valve handles.

    Otherwise, my tootsies get wet when I try the shower valves.


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shower (or Tub) Valve Handle Location

    Several years ago I saw a shower laid out which addressed that issue ... and was not 'shower user friendly' at all.

    The intent is to be able to turn the water on and adjust it without scalding oneself with hot water (which has already been addressed by tempering valves, etc) ... but so one doesn't need to warm their arm while adjusting to temperature of the shower, the one I saw had the shower valve on the right end wall of the shower compartment, with entry on the right half of the enclosure, with the shower head on the left end wall of the shower.

    Okay, you are now in the shower facing the shower head ... and want to adjust the temperature ... the shower valve is 7 feet away on the other end wall (it was an oversized shower compartment).

    Too warm ... too cold ... nope too warm again ... now it's too cold ... WILL SOMEONE MOVE THIS DANG SHOWER VALVE SO IT CAN BE REACHED WHILE TAKING A SHOWER was my client's response (only I'm not allowed to type what he really said).

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shower (or Tub) Valve Handle Location

    Thanks for the morning laugh Jerry. That was funny.

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