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Kitchen Sink Spray Nozles


Konrad
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Originally posted by Konrad

There are inspectors who call out shower wands on a hose-end fitting falling into the tub, and cross contamination.

Isn't the nozzle at the kitchen sink just the same thing? [:-banghead]

Those have integral backflow preventers.

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If the manual is present I will look at it. It rarely is and I recommend for a review of the manual to ensure backflow protection or replacement. But it sounds like you are talking about the old fashioned spray with the thumb lever? Little chance with those but there are a lot of extendo kitchen faucets out there without backflow protection,

most manufactured before the code change required backflow protection.

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Originally posted by crusty

If the manual is present I will look at it. It rarely is and I recommend for a review of the manual to ensure backflow protection or replacement. But it sounds like you are talking about the old fashioned spray with the thumb lever? Little chance with those but there are a lot of extendo kitchen faucets out there without backflow protection,

most manufactured before the code change required backflow protection. With all types, some are, some aren't I believe.

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Originally posted by Konrad

Wow, you guys are fast.

Backflow valves inside those little spray heads, huh?

Ok, so what about the shower wands then, are they the same?

(I do confess I've never disassembled either of these items.)

If a shower wand has backflow protection, it'll be visible. Look for a vacuum breaker at or near the shower arm. Most don't have it.

Here're some pictures of the ones I occasionally see.

You can buy an aftermarket one for $15 at any plumbing supply house and install it in less than 5 minutes.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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  • 2 years later...

After reading this thread and based on Jim's pics I wrote up a house that had shower wands in both bathrooms. Realtor who has used me for years and the seller thought I was crazy. Incidently I dropped by our local hardware store which has more stuff cramed into it then HD and they didn't have any after market backflow preventers for shower wands. However I looked at the collection of shower wands for sale and several said that they had anti-siphon hoses.

Is this something do you think we should be calling out or this like the same issue with the unreturned handrail? I mean a lot has to happen for a cross connection to occur in this case. The wand has to be submerged in the tub with the water on. It seems to me that if I am going to call the lack of back flow protection on a hand held shower head I should call it on exterior faucets also.

Chris, Oregon

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Chris,

This is a little blurb I insert in all my report:

Recommend client consult with seller to determine location of all exterior shut-off valves. These hosebibs should be shut-off during winter months to prevent freeze-ups. I recommend installing anti-siphon attachments. Anti-siphon devices are inexpensive devices that are screwed onto end of faucets to help prevent drawing contaminated water into the drinking water supply.

Darren

www.aboutthehouseinspections.com

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Talking about the shower wands which are attached to the shower arm; I recently made a recommendation to replace/remove shower wand, due to hygiene. I joked with my client by comparing it to a toothbrush. You don't know where it's been, and probably don't want to know.

I think this is the cross contamination a home buyer would be more concerned about.

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Our state plumbing code requires anti-siphon devices on all exterior hose bibbs, but I can't remember ever having seen one. Go figure. Sometimes the expanse between what's required and what's typically done/accepted can be fairly wide.

I check water pressure at hose bibbs, and oftentimes find to be in excess of 100 psi, especially in new neighborhoods. After losing many battles with builders/plumbers/etc. over the years, now I merely recommend to the buyer that he/she have a pressure regulator installed at his/her own expense.

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

After reading this thread and based on Jim's pics I wrote up a house that had shower wands in both bathrooms. Realtor who has used me for years and the seller thought I was crazy.

Well, sure. That's how some people react to stuff they've never heard before.

Incidently I dropped by our local hardware store which has more stuff cramed into it then HD and they didn't have any after market backflow preventers for shower wands. However I looked at the collection of shower wands for sale and several said that they had anti-siphon hoses.

You can find the aftermarket ones at George Morlan, Plumbing Materials Supply, Familian, Kennedy or Mesher. A-Boy used to have them, if there are any A-Boy stores left.

Is this something do you think we should be calling out or this like the same issue with the unreturned handrail? I mean a lot has to happen for a cross connection to occur in this case. The wand has to be submerged in the tub with the water on.

That's not really that far-fetched, and the thought of bathwater in my supply pipes is pretty gross. It's also very simple to fix. An aftermarket vacuum breaker is $15. A new spray set is about $30. Either takes about 10 minutes to install. If your customer doesn't think it's important, he doesn't have to do it. What's the big deal?

It seems to me that if I am going to call the lack of back flow protection on a hand held shower head I should call it on exterior faucets also.

Chris, Oregon

Probably. What to report or not report is a decision every inspector has to make for himself.

I've got a hose bib on my house that doesn't have any backflow protection on it. If I take a hose with a spray handle on the end and connect it to that bib, the water from my kitchen sink starts to taste like hose after only a few minutes. While I've never bothered to fix it, it's the sort of thing I'd either fix or tell a buyer about if I were to sell the house.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by rjw

Assuming a cross connection actually exists, what has to happen for the bathwater to get into the potable water supply?

That is, how likely is it?

I suspect that all you've got to do is put the wand into the tub of water, turn the shower on and turn it off again.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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"If I could not be a Prince, I would be a Plumber".

.........Edward, Prince of Wales, on his deathbed after drinking water contaminated by cross connection.

There's also the cholera epidemics of Chicago in 1854 & 1885 to scare the bejeezus out of you.

That said, simply leaving a shower wand in the tub for a few minutes is unlikely to cause problems. Think about it. You're laying in the bath water, rubbing it in your ears, getting it in your nose, probably absorbing some through mucous membranes, and unless one is extremely uptight, yes, probably getting some in your mouth. You go through all that, and then worry about the wand? OK. We're home inspectors; we're hopeless geeks.

Heck, how about a little sex in the tub? Worrying about cross contamination isn't going to stop extracurricular activity, is it?

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