shower valve replacement - plumbing job I've never done

My shower needs replacement. The drip can't be stopped, new washers and se at do nothing, and the stem slips. I've tried the specialty places and the y don't even recognize the brand, it seems to be the original 1962 installa tion. My plan was a new stem and seat but we couldn't find one that would fit.
So probably time to just replace. But that's a job I haven't done.
It is a two handle shower, which I like. I see you can still get those, I thought it was going to have to be a one handle conversion. Is there anyth ing wrong with going back with a two handle? One that will last and be eas y to replace parts on, I really would like this to be the last time I do th e job.
I am going to have to cut the wall on the other side to get access, and tha t won't be easy - it's plaster and metal lath, not drywall.
But not having seen the inside of one of these, I'm wondering how hard it w ill be to get everything connected back up. I'm guessing it is galvanized pipe but I won't know until I get it open.
Or am I going the wrong direction?
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wrote:

just a couple side-points : : plaster and wall-board from that era sometimes contains asbestos : I've seen a shower valve casting partly "eaten away" inside - by ~ 35 - 40 years of well water - preventing new internal parts from making a seal - perhaps yours is badly corroded inside ? : I would suspect copper rather than galvanized in 1962 : plan your job & buy stuff after you've opened up the wall for a look. You're going in the right direction, when it's the only direction. :-) John T.
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On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 9:22:55 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Whether it's likely copper or galvanized can be determined by what's in the rest of the bathroom, house, etc where it's visible. He better hope it's copper. If it's gavlvanized he may be opening up a whole, bigger can of worms and even if not, even redoing that one part over to copper can be a major PIA. All depends on where the fittings are and if you can find an accessible spot to transition. If it comes to that PEX might be a better choice.
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On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 8:55:03 AM UTC-5, TimR wrote:

seat do nothing, and the stem slips. I've tried the specialty places and t hey don't even recognize the brand, it seems to be the original 1962 instal lation. My plan was a new stem and seat but we couldn't find one that woul d fit.

I thought it was going to have to be a one handle conversion. Is there any thing wrong with going back with a two handle? One that will last and be e asy to replace parts on, I really would like this to be the last time I do the job.
If you want to stick with 2 handles, look for one that has anti-scald. You may not find them at a home center (I haven't checked) but they are available. I think Danze carries that style, but I don't have time to check right now.
Do you have a second shower? My guess is that this isn't going to be a one-day job. It will probably involve multiple trips to the store, like many plumbing jobs done by DIY'ers, so a second shower would really be nice .
(I wasn't planning on remodeling the basement bathroom that I use, but when SWMBO wanted me to do the main bathroom, I knew I had to bring the basement bathroom up to snuff because it was going to be used for quite a while.)

hat won't be easy - it's plaster and metal lath, not drywall.

will be to get everything connected back up. I'm guessing it is galvanize d pipe but I won't know until I get it open.

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wrote:

That depends on if going in from the shower wall is an option. Since you probably want to replace the drains too, opening the other side is the best option. The piping should be the same everywhere, unless it's been repiped. Just measure the new piping carefully and you shouldn't have a problem. Or get plumber bids after opening the wall. Make sure you frame an access hatch when closing the wall.
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wrote:

It is probably preferable for you to replace with the same two handle configuration, that way you can avoid tile repair. However, the distance between the handle centers is important, so, get out your tape measure. Typical distances between handle centers are 8" and 10".
Also, is this strictly a shower or is it a shower / tub combo?
I have had excellent experience with valves that utilize ceramic discs instead of old style washers.

Great fun, be sure you cut a generous enough opening to allow for safe and easy sweating of your connections. Make sure you have a fireproof welding blanket to protect the inside of your walls and, of course, have a fire extinguisher handy.
If you aren't comfortable with sweating pipes, you can easily use sharkbite connectors and pex pipe to plumb the valve. This video will give you an idea of using that approach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYfn9DPAlVg


Do you have other galvanized water supply pipes in your house? Considering the vintage, I would think the supply pipes are copper.
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On Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:13:38 +0000, Stormin' Norman
Oops, skip the question above, I have never seen a two handle shower / tub combo, not sure how that would work. Too early, not enough coffee, excuse, excuse, excuse...... :-)
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Really ? ... quite common in the old days. John T.
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On Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:40:39 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Well, I was certainly around in the "old days", refresh my memory, oh wait, did they use the stopper on the tub spout to divert the water to the shower? That seems somewhat familiar.
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Thanks for the comments so far.
Any preference on brand, assuming I go back with two faucet?
I would like to avoid tile repair. But I do have spare tiles, the previous owner was a pack rat.
Yes, I have an additional shower in the basement, and yes I predict some do wntime. Of course there is no shutoff for the shower, but then none of the angle stops in the house actually hold anyway, so all my work is done shut off at the curb.
I had planned an opening big enough and an access panel. It will be behind a large vanity mirror so it won't show.
Yes, all DIY plumbing jobs take a minimum of 3 trips: one to buy the parts you think you need, a second one to buy the parts you really need, a third to replace the parts you broke or dropped down the hold. And that's just the minimum. I did have success on my last toilet repair in the minimum vi sits: one to replace the flapper valve, a second because I noticed the tan k bolts were leaking, a third because after I replaced all the tank washers the supply line leaked.
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after being unable to buy decent parts for my 3 handle tub shower valve, hot, cold, and shower i finally gave up and bought a single handle delta with temperature control. that was ac awesome upgrade. i highly recommend it/
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On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 12:02:04 PM UTC-5, bob haller wrote:

hot, cold, and shower i finally gave up and bought a single handle delta wi th temperature control. that was ac awesome upgrade. i highly recommend it/
when doing a bathroom upgrade i han a garden hose to a shower head and tied it in place right above the basement floor drain. after the first shower i added a shower curtain around it, it was freezing cold without the curtain . it worked great for the week or so till the job was complete.
our house had just one bathroom at the time
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wrote:

Tim, I would look for one of the big name brands, Moen, American Standard, Pfister, kholer, etc. With a two handle design, I would look for a unit that uses ceramic discs instead of regular washers.
A great place to get your supplies is Amazon, they have excellent prices and you get to do the shopping in your PJ's
As for how long it will take, if you use the Sharkbite fittings and Pex tubing, once the wall is open you should be able to replace the existing unit within and hour and be back up and running. Of course that doesn't include wall repair.
Look on Amazon for the fittings, Pex tools and clamps. You can get a decent clamp tool there for less than $25.
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Followup question:
I have to cut through plaster and metal lath. I guess it's expanded perf metal, from the tiny bit I can see through the faucet openings.
I would cut a hole from stud to stud, but it's a lot harder to find studs in plaster walls, at least for me. I hope the shower is centered between studs.
The web has recommendations for a Rotozip and a utility knife for cutting plaster down to lath. I have both, never tried the zip on plaster though. Or a dremel and a lot of cutoff blades. Anybody have a good way to do this job?
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wrote:

I would use a reciprocating saw with a short, bimetal, metal cutting blade.
Yes the existing valve is mounted between studs.
Just be careful when cutting with the recip saw, don't cut into your pipes. First use a good hole saw on a drill so you can look in the wall and see what you are dealing with.
Check out this video:
http://bit.ly/2gqAvrI
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Won't this shake the wall, perhaps causing additional damage?

[snip]
--
charles

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On Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:16:10 +0000, Stormin' Norman

Here is a highly rated, ceramic disc, two handle Kohler valve at a very reasonable price: $69 http://amzn.to/2gqr5MJ
You need to buy the valve trim separately: http://amzn.to/2gqApAa
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In typed:

I agree. It's not worth messing with the tile. Just replace the existing fixture with the same type/style -- meaning 2-handle faucet like you have now.

After you open up the wall behind the shower, buy shutoff valves (I would suggest ball valves with a waste port such as: http://www.dongyavalve.com/products/waste%20valve122.html ). That way, you can install them first and then continue the job later if needed without having to turn off water in the whole house.
And, while you have the water off at the street, install a new, non-leaking, ball valve with a waste port inside where the main water line comes in. That will eliminate the need to shut off water at the street for any repairs or leaks inside your home.
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On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 5:30:30 PM UTC-5, TomR wrote:

Good idea but I don't think there's room. There's a sink and vanity on the back side of the shower and I have to work above it. I may be able to screw a plug into the supply depending on whether it's threaded or soldered.

Yeah, I had that idea too, haven't found the main water line though. Finished basement, and it's boxed in somewhere.
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On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 9:10:52 PM UTC-5, TimR wrote:

Can you cut the pipes and put a SharkBite cap on them while you do most of the tear-out and install?
BTDT
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