Bristan 3 knob shower control

26 Jan 2009
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United Kingdom
I’ve had a Bristan shower installed with recessed control unit with 3 knobs. I thought that the top one would switch between the two shower heads I have; the middle would be heat (which it is); and the bottom would be flow rate. The way it’s been plumbed in the top knob switches between the heads but also turns them on and the bottom control does nothing. I checked with Bristan if this was right and they said yes. Seems very odd though as the top control is really stiff and the bottom control doesn’t do anything.
Can anyone confirm a) if it’s been correctly installed; and b) if it has been correctly installed whether there’s any way to change it so top one controls which head and bottom controls flow?


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That control has three outlets, left, right and bottom. According to the book of words the top is the flwo & diverter (left top outlet/right top outlet outlet on/off). The bottom outlet is controlled by the bottom control so if that outlet isn't connected then the bottom control won't do anything, which seems to be the the case in your install. There must be a configuration for that shower where it can also be used with another outlet, say for body jets.
Usually used for twin outlet shower and bath filler.

Who specified the product?
I purchased it just a bit annoyed that the plumber didn’t mention it if it was wrong. Could have got another one had I known. Surely there must be a way to plumb it in so it does what I want? Any ideas???
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It's not wrong! Plumber would have determined that you chose it for aesthetics and he made it work.

I don't know the extent of the job you've had done but in my experience, sorting through (sometimes hundreds of) boxes from bathroom suppliers is a pita.

Most of them in plain cardboard boxes with no data on the outside that's of any use, let alone a label noting which of the 5 bathrooms it's destined for.

I've had debates with customers before, pointing out that various things sold to them by the bathroom sales bods are not quite right for the application, only to be told "oh, it took us ages to find one we liked, can't you just fit it?"
Nope, it doesn't work like that internally. The bottom knob can only control the bottom outlet, it can't be changed to make it turn the whole unit on and off. It's doing what it's meant to do.

I always caveat the work when the customer supplies the hardware, I can't be held responsible if it isn't to spec or it's faulty, damaged.
As an example...

Last full house replumb I did.
3 bathrooms all with same 3 outlet concealed valves, supplying fixed overhead, hand wand and bath filler.
The valves had 2 knobs, one for temp, the other to control all 3 outlets and "off".

No indication on first fix valve body kit to show which position of the valve, controlled which outlet.

Opening up the finishing set box revealed little icons etched into the cover plate for "off", "rain shower", "handset" and "bath".

So piping up had to be right.
No info in the instructions.
Several phone calls and emails later, I was eventually sent a diagram showing the correlation between the icons and plumbing connections to the valve.
Followed this.
Several weeks later when able to test, they were all back to front and didn't control the outlet as indicated by the icon etched onto the plate.

Glad I have that diagram from the manufacturer.

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