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On the City and it’s Inspectors…

July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013-

How often do you use a shower backwards? that is standing with your back to the shower head? Sure, you might stand that way part of the time that you shower, but at some point, you had to have been facing the shower to turn it on, right?

And when you use a shower (or a faucet for that matter) it generally follows the pattern of HOT is on the left, while COLD is on the right, correct? You sort of come to expect that.

Well not in our city. Things are a little backwards here.

Our first floor shower with opposite shower heads.

Our first floor shower with opposite shower heads.

Our first floor bath features TWO shower heads with TWO separate valves which face each other on opposite walls. In our final plumbing inspection today, the city inspector only gave us a conditional approval because one of our shower valves was not mirroring the other. The inspector made the case that even if they are on opposite walls, if you turn the shower handle to the left to get HOT on one side, you must also be able to turn to the left to get HOT on the opposite side (not right as one might plumb it  because they were just following, oh I don’t know, COMMON SENSE! not to mention the instructions from the manufacturer). Now depending on what side we shower on, we have to turn the handle in different directions to get HOT.

The exposed valve, prior to being but in UPSIDE DOWN per the city.

The exposed valve, prior to being put in UPSIDE DOWN per the city.

I’ve moved the valve per their request – it’s actually quite simple and just requires a few tools. It necessitates taking the handle and trim off on the valve facing, removing a pin that holds the cartridge in place, then pulling out the cartridge and turning in upside down. Again, it’s very easy. But it’s more the principle. From our many years involved with this remodel project, we’ve paid the city thousands in permit fees and done all our required inspections. But the inspectors have never found anything that is truly a safety issue or any real fault in our construction – instead, it’s things like the shower valve, or on our plumbing rough in, it’s the screws used to hold the toilet flange to the floor (the inspector thought the brass screws would rust out. Whatever). Is it just that they have to find something to help them feel better, or assert their authority? And how can one inspector truly be proficient enough to inspect everything on a remodel, from plumbing to electrical, and structure to HVAC and know the precise detail for each?

So, on our next inspection, a few months from now, they will followup to make sure we’ve reversed the valve on the right so it mirrors the shower on the left…crazy, crazy, crazy…

From → Bathroom, permit, plumbing

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