Replacing the Tub/Shower faucet....HELP!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Henry Gale, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    My single handle tub/shower faucet in the upstairs bath needs replacing. I have a vague understanding of water supply and faucet replacement when it comes to bathroom and kitchen sinks. For one thing they have shutoff valves, as do commodes. However I feel way out of my depth on this project. The water supply to the house will have to be turned off, then there is the problem of access.
    This fixture is coming through a fake marble surround, probably about a 6" diameter hole.
    Can everything be done from "this" side of the wall? If necessary I can actually get to the back of this setup, I climbed into the space behind the tub and saw copper pipe leading to it. Someone had slapped a 2x6 over this area but I could pull it off if I have to.
    Any experienced plumbers on the HTF that can give me some guidance?
    I'll almost certainly hire someone for this, espcially if sweating copper is involved. Mostly I wanted to know if it can all be done inside the room.

    Thanks,

    Jim


    Also asking for recommendations for a replacement: Moem, Delta, American Standard etc.
     
  2. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    What's wrong that it needs replacing? I'm asking because I had a single handle faucet in the tub/shower that stopped working. A plumber wanted $700 to replace it (he said he'd probably have to replace the pipes). Turns out the problem was with the hockey puck size valve assembly that controls everything. It was really the only thing that was back there behind the handle, there was literally nothing else to replace. I replaced it myself at a cost of $20.
     
  3. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    My well water is a tad mineral heavy. The faucet itself has pretty much dissolved away. The other day I had the diverter in the tub position and when I pushed it back to shower, I got the equivalent of a very small squirt gun coming from the shower head.
    This faucet is at least 17 years old and I think I'd like a new shiny one.
    With my water it may shine for almost a month. [​IMG]
     
  4. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    It can get a tad pricy to replace the unit's trim, that being the chrome bits. Most spouts mate to the rough-in (the bits in the wall) using a nipple with fine threads on one end and your standard 1/2" IP thread on the other.
    With hard water your showerhead has likely gotten plugged up by deposits. You can either replace it or try soaking it in a product along the lines of CLR. These are cleaning solutions made to attack these deposits.
    Your diverter (the part you push/pull to send water to the showerhead or tub spout) can be replaced, or even rebuilt depending on the brand and availability of parts for it.
    The same goes for the guts of the valve itself.
    Try to find some sort of logo or writing somewhere that will tell you the brand of the unit, like the underside of the spout or on the main handle.
    If that fails try to disassemble it a bit and describe to us what the bits look like.
    17 years is not all that long a time. I have seen and rebuilt plenty of 'em of twice that vintage. Parts for the more common brands are readily available.
    Try this route first.
     
  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    The 2x6 is probably the anchor point for the fixture you're needing to replace. In other words, that's what the fixture (or at least the pipes leading to the fixture) is attached to. If this is the case, then pulling it off from the back may not be possible.

    From the business side of things, you should be able to remove enough trim to expose enough of an opening to extract the old fixture, though I couldn't tell you without looking at it whether pipe sweating would be involved.
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    when I took the trim ring off my fixture (new house) the stupid thing was soldered in, no chance I'm good enough to solder behind there without burning my house down, even with a flame proof mat, there just isn't enough room [​IMG]
     
  7. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Philip, you are all over here with home issues! I wish I could give you the numbers of the guys I trust to do my contracting, plumbing and electrical work.

    The job you're talking about here, nearly exactly, just cost me about $200 (plus the cost of the new fixture, which was about $100, I think) to do with my plumber.

    You sound like a DIY kind of guy, but I swear, once you find good, honest, trustworthy contractors -- and it's taken me 6 years to do it -- you get much more security from letting a pro do it, especially plumbing and soldering and sweating pipes.

    Get three estimates from people your neighbors recommend, and write the check! [​IMG]

    MC
     

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