Turns out the time and money I spent re-configuring the plumbing for brass fittings needed to gain the 1/2 inch I needed to connect the body sprays was unnecessary because Signature Hardware sells one with a 1″ thread length; the extra 1/2″ the originals lacked.  After seeing how weak the water flow was I decided to look for others on Build.com, who now sells their product.  I was looking at every brand that had a design I felt would match the rest of the system, hoping it wouldn’t be one of theirs.  More important than style I was searching for a female thread longer than what I had.  Needless to say I was shocked and pissed to find it in their product line.  Their customer service rep and plumbing expert Tylor both told me they had nothing.  Instead of ordering 4 from Build.com I bought one direct from Signature Hardware and picked it up from their Crescent Springs warehouse.  I wanted to be sure it would work before buying three more.

What the online picture and specs did not show was, what I now know is called a limiter, not aerator.  The original unit didn’t have one and was weak, so I assumed this would be worse.  I went back to the showroom.  Their clerk told me when they started selling in CA they had to modify their product to meet the state’s regulations and even he didn’t like what they did to the water flow from their units.  He told me I could remove the part with a special tool, which I do not own.  I asked him if he could remove it for me and he did.  His statement, however resonated with me when I thought back to the master sink faucets that had the low flow and it made me wonder if that was the problem with this shower unit.

I got the part home, released the blocking, removed the brass fittings, push the elbow up to the wall as for as it could go (the easy peasy I thought I had before), reconnected the blocking (all by myself as two people weren’t needed) and connected the new spray.  No leaks and the force was better than the original, not as good as the Grohe unit I had at my old house, but I could have lived with it.  My expectation was for Signature Hardware to discount the additional 3 units due to the pure aggravation and unnecessary expense they subjected me to, but that is not going to be the case.  In light of all the defective products I’ve had to deal with their only saving grace was their customer service and now I don’t have that.

That is one level of my disappointment, but the other is the functionality of the entire system.  The diverter at my old house allowed you to run the two body sprays, the shower head, or both.  The force from the body sprays was so strong I had to install a piece of glass to keep the water in the tub.  When I ran all three units together (two body sprays and shower head) the strength diminished some, but I still enjoyed a true water massage.

That is FAR from true with the Signature Hardware diverter.  The top knob allows the rain shower head, wall shower, or hand held to operate while the body sprays operate solely off the bottom knob.  The wall or rain shower head with the body sprays is what I was looking forward to in this massive shower I created.

20191016_074545.jpgSince I got the leaks stopped and I could live with the force of spray from the unit I bought, I decided to try running the system with the sprays and shower head.  The water force reduced dramatically from all units.  Complete devastation, a turn of events I never expected.  The body sprays are completely useless.  This honestly trumps the disappointment I have from Roland Hardwood on my kitchen floors. I hung the blue table cloth to allow the water to show better.

Shower Sprays Only
Body Sprays only. The force of the new one, bottom closer to entrance, is strong enough that the water stream hits the glass wall. All the original travel out about 2′ and gravity, due to lack of force, takes the flow barely to the bench.
Sprays with Hand Held On
With the hand held on the body sprays diminished some.
Body Sprays with Wall Shower Head
With the wall shower head the body sprays drop to a trickle. If I stand on the bench side of the wall shower stream, which diminished too, the three original body sprays wouldn’t touch me.
Body Sprays with Rain Shower Head
Same holds true for the rain shower head, but the water flow from that is decreased worst than from the wall shower head. You can barely see the flow of its water.

I’ve been sending pictures to their support email since Oct. 4 as when I call my request to speak to a manager goes unfulfilled.  The day I picked up the body spray, a woman named Kim finally called me back as I was walking out of their showroom.  I don’t think that was a coincidence.  She said she had reviewed the emails and all the notes from my calls, but seemed focused only on chastising for not following their installation instructions (I admitted that when I called them for help, not of my doing) and that I had purchased the products in March of 2018, so no longer eligible for return (never asked to return them).  I went off on her and she hung up on me.

This morning I sent pictures similar to above to their support and then called their corporate office Ferguson.  I got a sweet young lady that let me vent and share emails and photos and she pledged to get me help.  The help came in a call and email from Megan L, Customer Relations Manager, at Signature Hardware who acknowledged knowing of my call to their corporate office.

They are severing business relationship with me because of my abusive and unprofessional communications with their employees.  I am to have no contact with their customer service department or showroom staff.  I am only allowed to deal directly with her on warranty issues as they will stand by their products.  She implied that the problems I’ve had with their products was due in part to my not using professional installation, something that is written in their manuals.  She brushed off all the defective parts as not typical of the quality of their products while stressing each time I had issues they addressed with warranty replacements or free merchandise.  While I may not be happy with how the unit functions, the unit functions properly, regardless of any experience I had with other products. I should expect diminished capacity with all sprays operating.

Once Ryan’s All Glass finishes installing the glass for the shower I will hire a plumber to connect their tub and tub filler and disconnect the body sprays altogether.  When I have the time or money I’ll either try to remove the five pieces of tile impacted by the sprays myself or pay someone to do it as I will never be able to enjoy that shower if I have to look at them every time I use it.

In almost two years of working on this house, only two contractors have brought me to tears of frustration; Roland Hardwoods and now Signature Hardware.  They have no worries about me contacting their customer service or entering their showroom.  Without question the biggest regret of this project was giving them my business.

UPDATE:  Signature Hardware has filtered my review of their products from their website.  The issues I spelled out were shared by other negative reviews that were accepted.

 

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