Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: KES Shower Head Shut-off Valve (K1140B3)

Got a new shower head and saw the 2.5 gpm flow rate. At close to 10 liters per minute, that meant close to 100 liters every ten minutes and I rarely take showers less than ten minutes long. This kind of bugged me and nudged me towards looking for lower flow shower heads or devices. A shut-off valve was one of the cheaper and simpler options.
KES Shower Head Shut-off Valve Package
x1 - KES Shower Head Shut-off Valve (K1140B3):  CA$ ~14.00 (US$ ~10.00)

Overview: KES Shower Head Shut-off Valve (K1140B3)

I installed my KES shut-off valve between my plastic shower head's mount/arm and the hose -- it was a Waterpik, plastic model with hose type. This should have been the IPS thread version of the KES valve. However, I could not find any documentation on what thread type the plastic shower head used.

What the official instructions were, I do not recall, but I just unscrewed the hose and screwed the valve then reattached the hose. Everything was done by hand without the use of tools. The included washer was used. Actually, there were two extra steps I took: hose the valve down and run some water through it after screwing it to the arm before reattaching the hose. No issues were encountered with the installation and there were no leaks after installation even with the shut-off valve closed. The handle for the valve faced forward when screwed in fully by hand.
KES Shut-off Valve (K1140B3)
Design / Construction
Nothing major to report with no leaks or breaks after a few weeks of use. This was the KES shut-off valve (K1140B3) with the brass handle. It looked like the gate inside the value was made with a white, fairly thin material. However, the handle and main cylinder appeared to be metal to me.

Expandability / Customizability
Try it with a different shower head?
Inside the KES Shut-off Valve
How was it?
I've used it for less than a month so far and have found it to be pretty useful. The shower head felt very powerful with a flow rate significantly higher than necessary for me without the valve -- had over a week to use the new shower head without the valve. After installing the KES device, I was able to lower the flow rate to however much I wanted. If there was a decrease in pressure or flow with the shut-off valve in the fully opened position, I couldn't tell. Considering the size of the opening inside the device (see video), it would surprise me if its installation didn't impact the maximum pressure and flow rate.

Again, nothing has broken yet after a few weeks of use. I've been fairly gentle with it and only close/open it a few times per shower. Operating the valve has been simple and the sliding handle has been pretty smooth. I have used another shut-off valve with a rotating valve and can't say I prefer one or the other.

There has been an issue with fully closing the KES valve: the water temperature fluctuates significantly for a few seconds after reopening the valve. I don't remember if it gets really cold, but I do remember that it momentarily gets very hot. This has been "fixed" by not turning the water off completely anymore if I don't plan on leaving it off for longer periods of time.

I found the KES shower head shut-off valve (K1140B3) fairly easy to install, it hasn't broken yet, and the device has worked the way I expected it to. The price was pretty good at about CA$ 15 too.

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