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Community and Q&A

Hand sprayer on bathtub deck

Trevor_Lambert | Posted in Mechanicals on

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this, and am at a loss. I’m installing a faucet with a hand sprayer on a roman style tub. The flexible hose for the sprayer connects to the mixing valve below the tub deck. This leaves a pretty gaping hole for water to get in when the hand sprayer is not sitting in said hole. I can’t seal this hole from the underside, because of the hose connection under there. I have to count on water getting through that hole at least sometimes (I have a three-year-old, for one thing). Is there some way to allow this to dry out? Seems like a big design flaw, but it also seems pretty standard for these faucets.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    We need either (a) a photo or (b) the brand name and model number of the hand sprayer and Roman tub.

    I can't quite visualize it.

    I know it's not like the photo below. So give us more info.


  2. Trevor_Lambert | | #2


    That's actually pretty close. All the ones I have looked at seem to have more or less the same set up.

    I think any system where the hose resides below the tile or tub surface is going to have the same issue.



  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    I found a discussion of this same issue on a different Web forum. Not much useful advice, I'm afraid -- but verification of the fact that you aren't the first homeowner to worry about this problem. Here is the link: "Roman Tub hand held sprayer leak potential."

    Here is a link to another similar discussion on still another Web forum: "Deck mount handheld sprayer in shower/tub alcove?"

  4. Jon_R | | #4

    Conceivably you could put something underneath to catch the water and direct it to the drain. Or move the hose outlet to the wall.

  5. Trevor_Lambert | | #5

    Hanging from the wall is not a good option at this point , as I've already roughed in the tub so I'd have to cover that hole. Even if that wasn't so, I'm having a hard time picturing how it would go into the wall. I think it would require a weird looking bulkhead of some kind. Anything I try to catch water with would somehow need to seal around the hose, and if I could do that I'd do it right where the hose goes through the deck. Tub is already installed, so access is a problem as well.

    I think I will have to install two vents on the sides of the tub surround, possibly with a small fan behind one of them.

  6. Expert Member


    Coincidentally, I just changed out a tub that has been in place for about 20 years that had a hand-sprayer mounted to the deck, and for the last five or so years had a wall-mounted shower too. There was no indication that moisture had made its way under the tub. I guess that's probably because when the sprayer is in place the hole is quite well sealed, and when it isn't most of the water going in that direction is likely to end up on the floor, creating a noticeable and bigger problem.

    I would suggest an access panel to get at the braided lines and connections - although, now I think about it, that wasn't necessary over the life of that tub.

  7. Trevor_Lambert | | #7

    I do intend to have an access panel, though it was going to consist of a tile or two sealed with coloured caulk instead of grout, and not embedded in mortar. So destructively accessible with a utility knife in the event of needing to replace or repair the faucet, but certainly not something I was planning on opening for periodic inspection.

    The location of the hand sprayer in my case is against a wall, so any water directed at it isn't going to end up on the floor. My worst fear is that my daughter will use the sprayer to shoot water directly into the hole. It's totally within her nature.

  8. Expert Member


    Ha! I hadn't thought of that. Any chance you can leave a larger hole in the subfloor than usual, or is the ceiling finished?

  9. Trevor_Lambert | | #9


    It will be a finished ceiling below. If it wasn't, I would probably cut a hole below the faucet and have a catch basin below. The hole for the drain is on the opposite side of the tub.

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