I just bought a house built in 1986. The owners had recently remodeled
both bathrooms (they tiled the walls in the shower areas -- it looks
great). The problem comes in that they did not replace the old shower
valve, which is brass, has one handle to control the temperature and turn
it on/off, and one handle to control the flow rate. The shower leaks
terribly for many minutes after you turn it off then settles down to one
drip every two minutes or so. I've taken out the cartridge and am going
to a plumbing supply house (not Home Depot) to see if they have a
replacement cartridge. I don't have high hopes.
Any pointers on removal of the brass valve and replacement with a newer
model (one that I can get parts for)? Any help is appreciated.
Good luck on getting parts.
To replace the control, you need access to the wall space
(opposite of the shower). Assuming it's an interior wall,
cut out a big square of drywall in order to work in there
comfortably with a torch.
I seriously doubt you would want to tear out the new tiles
to work from that side. Do, however, look into whether
the new control escutcheon will cover the old holes.
Jim, you are speedy! Well, you're thinking the same way I am --
replacement is the only option. Unfortunately, I do not think that I can
get to the rear of it, so I might have to work from the front! Doh! I'll
check tonight. The first thing I was going to do was buy a new assembly
and make sure it'll physically fit. What will likely happen is that I'll
ignore it for a while (I'm installing two new bathroom fans -- the ones in
there are so loud as being unuseable -- and an attic fan and a soft water
system). I'm a single guy with two bathrooms, so I can use the other
shower for a while until I decide to tackle a job of this magnitude.
It just irks me that if you're going to completely remodel a bathroom that
you'd leave in a valve that's almost 20 years old. It doesn't make sense
and it's something I would never do. I either do it right or I don't do
Last fall on "Ask This Old House" they replaced a shower
valve by cutting out the tile around the old (two
handle) valve and replacing it with a one handle valve
that had a very large escutcheon plate that would cover
the hole they cut in it.
By the way, you might want to buy a more expensive
single handle control, so that you can control both
temperature and flow. I had my bath room remodeled
several years ago and just have a temperature control
now. Right after the remodel my water bill went up
noticeably, because it goes to full flow, even though I
don't need it.
Thanks, Bill. I think you're right -- I'll have to carefully cut away the
tile (a friend has a rotozip with a tile cutting blade) and replace the
valve. I'm more bummed that they just redid this bathroom before I moved
in. I'd have paid them to replace the control when the walls were down to
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