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I am planning the remodel of a master bathroom that currently has a bathtub and separate but small shower stall. I plan to enlarge the shower and do away with the bathtub altogether, leaving me with an extra set of 1/2" supply lines. Should I just cap the extra set of lines, or would merging the two sets of 1/2" lines into a length of 3/4" or 1" pipe provide any advantage in terms of increased water flow/pressure to the new shower? Assuming that the inputs on most shower valves are 1/2", I would probably have to use a reducer to mate the relatively short length of larger supply line back up with the valve.

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If you are going forward with the remodel to the extent that you describe the walls will probably be open so you can see where the existing water lines are routed. Due the proximity the existing tub and small shower it is likely that they are plumbed from a common feed line anyway.

I would recommend that you remove the no longer needed branches in the line.

You did not specify but there is a possibility that you may need to reroute the water lines to accommodate the new shower location anyway so this is an opportunity to make a clean installation that minimizes the amount of piping runs.

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    I concur, fewer pipes means fewer chances of a future leak, and you absolutely do not want old capped off dead-legs in the wall. – Jimmy Fix-it Mar 12 '17 at 3:46
  • Thank you @ Michael for your input -- I have abandoned the idea of merging the lines and rethought the project. The existing tub drain will be moved up into the wall to handle one of the two sinks, which is being relocated to a new 32" vanity on that side of the room (I will use the tub's water lines for that sink). I will relocate the existing drain and supply lines for the shower as necessary. The supply lines that had served the relocated sink, will be capped off at their current location inside a 55" vanity, which will now have just one sink . – Frank C Mar 12 '17 at 23:34
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Probably better just to cap the ones you do not need. Or if you can without totally demolishing your floors and walls.. trace it back and redo from wherever it currently splits.

Trying to combine them probably wont buy you much pressure wise especially if you have to add extra bends or T-Pieces to fudge it together.

Further, you could end up with a system that oscillates quite nicely at certain flow rates because of differential pressure from each pipe. It could make quite a noise behind the wall.

Further, for the hot pipe in particular, you would be creating a loop which, as it heats up, will need to expand. That expansion could break a join.

Keep it simple...

  • You do not want old capped off dead-legs in the wall, if it can be avoided. – Jimmy Fix-it Mar 12 '17 at 3:47
  • I agree @JimmyFix-it, If he can redo to remove it's better. But that may involve ripping up floors or walls. A picture would have been nice. – Trevor_G Mar 12 '17 at 3:48
  • Thank you @Trevor for your input -- I have abandoned the idea of merging the lines and rethought the project. The existing tub drain will be moved up into the wall to handle one of the two sinks, which is being relocated to a new 32" vanity on that side of the room (I will use the tub's water lines for that sink). I will relocate the existing drain and supply lines for the shower as necessary. The supply lines that had served the relocated sink, will be capped off at their current location inside a 55" vanity, which will now have just one sink . – Frank C Mar 12 '17 at 23:35

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