Gap around shower mixing valve

I'm in process of re-grouting my bathroom and have pulled off the old trim from the shower head and the pressure-balanced valve. I'd like to fill in the gap between the valve and the tile and the shower head pipe and the tile before I re-install them but I don't know what with.
IOW it's almost the same situation as on Ask This Old House last weekend but in that case they just filled the edge of the trim plate with plumber's putty and didn't fill the gap. I don't like the plumber's putty idea because it doesn't last; I prefer the weatherstripping as done by the original mfg and intend to replace mine with some generic self-adhesive stuff. But it still doesn't answer the question of what to do around the valve body.
I thought maybe foam--I have a can of Hilti's product--but I don't know if this will stand up--i.e., is it impermeable to water?--and how to stop it adhering to the valve body. Maybe Vaseline on the valve body? Will foam adhere to this? Or maybe cover the valve body with a plastic bag prior to injecting the foam? Anyone anything better to suggest?
TIA
-- Patrick Riley
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Patrick Riley wrote:

I'm not a big fan of sealing the valve bodies to the wall.
I think the first line of defense should be sealing the escutcheon ring adequately to the wall tile.
If you don't like Trethewie's (sp?) putty fix, use the foam tape. Also, consider applying a thin bead of clear silicone to the *top* edge of the escutcheon. It can be quite unobtrusive and is near bullet-proof in diverting runoff. Double check that the escutcheon seals perfectly where the valve control protrudes thru it.
Jim
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I concur with Jim, there's really no need to seal around the valve body. Just study the situation and seal the trim ring to the tile by whatever means you like. I just did the three in my house (The ubiquitous Symmons Temptrol valves). I just replaced the foam "weather stripping" around the back of the trim ring and made sure the new stuff stood proud by about 1/8 inch. I put a little clear silicone caulk on the foam where it would contsct the tile, for good measure.
If you happen to have Temptrols, you should be aware that when the "shaft" seal O-ring on the diverter valve gets hard or worn, the resultant leak occurs BEHIND the tile wall. I had quite a mess to fix up because of just such a leak about a month ago. After I replaced the diverter valve seal O-ring I made up a little sheet brass "chute" stuck on with silicone caulk which will direct any similar future leaks to the user side of the tile wall, where it can run out the notch at the bottom of the trim ring and down the tile surface into the tub.
While I was at it I sealed the spaces around the chromed shower arm and the tub spout pipe with Bondo. Not so much to prevent leaks through the wall at those points as to stabilize the plumbing which the original installer had left sort of "springy". The movement annoyed me because handling the shower head caused the trim plate to move out on the pipe and not stay tight up against the tile, and having the tub nozzle move around when cleaning it just didn't feel right to me.
Happy New Year,
Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone to
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Just a comment about Symons-their installation instructions make it a point to say that the foam seal that goes behind the trim ring is not meant to be the "complete" sealing mechanism. They recommend filling up the space around the valve body. I did what's been suggested thus far--put a small bead of silicone caulking around the trim ring. Came out looking OK and will do it's intended function.

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