shower valve replacement - plumbing job I've never done

On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 10:10:37 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Probably so. When I replaced my kitchen sink faucet, I couldn't finish the job that night so I capped the lines and turned the water back on. I still have those caps but they are threaded and who knows what I'll find inside the wall.
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On Friday, December 2, 2016 at 8:27:08 AM UTC-5, TimR wrote:

Threaded to Solid SharkBite adapters:
http://www.sharkbite.com/product/threaded-adapters/
SharkBite Caps:
http://www.sharkbite.com/product/end-caps/
When you are ready to un-cap, use the appropriate SharkBite connector from the threaded adapter to your copper or Pex to the new fixture.
Or use a SharkBite Shutoff on the threaded adapter:
http://www.sharkbite.com/product-category/by-system/push-fit/stop-fixture-supply-fitting/
Obviously, you need to open the wall to see what you have, but you don't have to cut anything right away. Open the wall, plan the job, buy the parts. As a grizzled old plumber once said to me:
"Buy everything you think you might possibly need. It can all be returned."
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In typed:

Interesting. I guess you'll just have to see what you have after you open up the wall above the vanity and behind the large vanity mirror. Another option may be to also go ahead and remove the vanity/sink combo below to access that part of the wall. That is often fairly easy to do, and I assume that would give you access to the tub drain fittngs. If you were able to do that, you may also be able to create an access panel behind the vanity/sink combo for future use.
If you do open the wall up from the back (behind the large vanity mirror), and you find that the shower faucet handle mechanism is down too low to work on it, then you may have 2 options.
One option would be to remove the vanity/sink combo to gain more access from that side.
But, another option may be to change the plan a little and replace the fixture from the front through the tile shower wall. I know you wanted to avoid that, if possible, but it may be an option to consider. You could take out enough whole tiles to access the shower faucet that you have now, and replace them afterward with the extras that you said you have. But, you would have to figure out how to create the two holes for the 2-handle replacement faucet (or maybe save the old tiles for that part).
Or, as the person did in this video (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?vMwVRaLabSg
), maybe you could do it all from the front and replace the existing 2-handle faucet with a single handle faucet.

Do you have access to the hot water tank? Sometimes, the incoming cold water supply is a 3/4 line that goes directly to the hot water tank first, and then splits off to 1/2 inch for cold water for the house right before the hot water tank, and hot water for the house coming out of the hot water tank. This isn't common unless the hot water tank happens to be near where the cold water line comes into the house. But, if you have that setup, you may be able to put a whole house shutoff valve in the 3/4-inch line going to the hot water tank (before where the cold water splits off away from the hot water tank). Just a thought.
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In typed:

I was thinking about that while taking a shower last night in my old style (with old pink tile) tub and shower which has a 3-handle shower faucet system.
What I noticed is that my 3-handle shower faucet system is down pretty low and is only slightly above the tub faucet. Just a quick guess is that maybe my 3-handle shower faucet is only about 24 inches above the floor level in the bathroom (I didn't think to measure the height last night).
If you have something similar, and you have a vanity sink and cabinet on the wall behind the shower faucet, maybe your shower faucet is already below the top of the vanity sink. If so, you won't be able to access the shower faucet assembly from the other side without gaining access behind the vanity sink.
You probably already did this, but be sure to check how high up your 2-handle shower fixture is above the floor level. Then measure that far up on to wall on the other side to see how you would gain access to it from the wall on the other side. I have a hunch that either the vanity sink/cabinet will have to be removed, or you will have to do the job from the tile sided of the shower.
If you don't mind, could you post back how high up off the bathroom floor level your 2-handle shower faucet is?
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On Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 11:35:36 AM UTC-5, TomR wrote:

You hit on my worst fear.
The vanity is 32 inches off the floor but it has a 4 inch ledge that the mirror sits on, so effectively 36 inches.
The shower faucet centerline is at 45 inches.
So I have tight but doable space to work in.
I will be back with more results after I get the wall open, but that's going to be a couple of weeks while my family gets their junk (cosmetics, earrgins, all the assorted crap that accumulates) out of the way and I can get to work.
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In typed:

Interesting. That sounds like it will probably work with you just opening the wall behind the mirror that is above the vanity sink.
But, if you need a little more room, you may be able to get that fairly easily by leaving the vanity base cabinet in place and just removing the sink off the top of the base cabinet. Of course, that will only work if the 4-inch ledge is part of the sink fixture. If the 4-inch ledge is part of the cabinet structure, obviously that won't work.
It sounds like you have this mostly figured out and everything will probably go smoothly.
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On Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 12:13:40 PM UTC-5, TomR wrote:

g



the


bly

I repaired that vanity sink some years ago.
I replaced the faucet assembly. But, it didn't come loose from the sink li ke the DIY articles say. It was anchored in securely with some kind of plu mbing putty that had turned harder and stronger than JBWeld. I ended up di sconnecting the sink, taking it outside, and beating on it with a rubber ha mmer for half an hour, eventually it loosened up and I put on the new fauce t. Then I reassembled it in the vanity, and it didn't want to hang on thos e little clips, it took me half a day just to get the sink back into the ho le before I could reconnect the water and the drain. So you can see I am n ot anxious to touch this vanity if there's any way to avoid it.
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I'm coming late, but I've read most of the thread.
Have you tried grinding the seat for the shutoff valve before using a new washer? Back in the day, I had some success with this, but sometimes it wasn't enough and a valve had to be replaced.

Even so, the tile work will be another task to do and you'll probably have to deal with a mud bed rather than a cement board.

Good idea.

--
charles

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On Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:01:12 -0700, Charles Bishop

Something I did not think of, but you have a good point. Also a lot of them older faucets had removable seats. You need a special inexpensive tool to remove them. They need to be unscrewed. Take them to a plumbing or hardware store to buy replacements.
Also, even if the OP cant identify the faucet brand, a decent plumbing store or shop should be able to provide the parts. Unless the OP really wants a new faucet, I'd spend time at plumbing shops and get new parts to fix the old faucet. A lot less work, and expense. After all, the body of a faucet is nothing more than a casting made of brass (plastic these days). If the seats can be removed/replaced, then it's just a matter of new washers, or maybe even new stems, but as long as parts can be gotten, (most can), just replace the parts and save a huge job and expense. With new seats, washers, packing and stems, that faucet will likely last another 40 years. And if the handles look bad, they can be replaced too.
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... ooops on me - I was thinking 3-handle. John T.
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In typed:

Me too -- at least about the part about how that would work.
I wonder if they only work for use as EITHER just a shower OR just a tub. I am not sure how it would be able to switch back and forth from tub use to shower use etc.
At first, I thought that maybe the tub faucet could have one of those switches on in to turn the faucet either on or off -- and maybe with the tub faucet off the water would divert up to the shower head. That seems a little iffy to me, but maybe that's how it works?
Here's a link to an exploded view of a two handle "Tub and Shower Valve", but it looks like, depending on where the plug is inserted, it can only be either a tub valve or a shower valve -- but not both:
https://s1.img-b.com/build.com/mediabase/specifications/pfister/30818/pfister_07_31xa_specsheet_1588.pdf
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On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 11:14:20 AM UTC-5, TomR wrote:

They use a diverter valve in the spout for the tub, that's one way. After the water is running into the tub, you pull it and it switches to the shower.

Bingo.
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In typed:

Thanks, I guess that's it. I guess with an open tub faucet there would be enough back pressure for the water to also back up to the height of the shower head and leak out there at the same time.
And, I did just find this image that shows it set up for tub and shower use with the diverter valve on the spout for the tub:
http://www.contractorssolutions.com/images/Two-handle_faucets.jpg
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On 12/01/2016 09:27 AM, Stormin' Norman wrote:

The combination in my parents' house had three handles. The one in the middle diverted water from tub to shower. I have seen others with 2 handles and a knob sticking out of the spout, marked "pull for shower" (IIRC it would go back to tub so you had to pull for EVERY shower).
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In typed:

To TimR from TomR (no relation),
I am getting ready to do almost the same thing fairly soon. You said that you have a "two handle" shower faucet, but mine is a "3 handle" shower faucet -- hot, cold, and a diverter handle in the middle.
I tried to find some YouTube videos, but I couldn't find any that show this type of replacement. They all seem to show how to replace and old 2 or 3 handle shower faucet with a single handle shower faucet. I'll post the links to two YouTube videos below just to give you some ideas, but they are not exact videos for what you and I are talking about doing.
In the end, after watching some of the YouTube videos, I may end up converting my 3 handle shower faucet to a single handle shower faucet.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you will need to open up the back wall and see what you have now -- probably copper not iron pipe. And, after you open the wall, you may want to look at Home Depot or Lowes or wherever for "access panels". They are inexpensive and you can use them to add an easy access panel where you made the hole in the wall rather sealing up the hole permanently.
My 3 handle shower faucet has 1/2-inch copper pipe and fittings. I will need to cut each of the copper pipes (4 cuts -- hot, cold, line up to the shower head, and line down to the tub faucet). Then, I will be able to just pull out the old 3 handle shower faucet fixture.
When I go to solder the new fixture in place, I will probably need some 1/2-inch "slip" couplings (also known as couplings with "no stop"). It means a copper coupling that slides over the pipe but does not have a "stop" in the middle on the inside. That way, when there is no room to move the copper pipes on each side of the fitting (coupling), you can just slide the coupling all the way on to one pipe, put the pipes together, then slide the coupling back so that half of it covers one pipe and the other half covers the other pipe -- then solder.
Here are the YouTube videos that I mentioned above:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?vMwVRaLabSg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g02dQWGh78

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TimR posted for all of us...

One can buy a single handle faucet the has a wide escutcheon plate to hide the holes. I'm sure there other ideas out there DAGS.
As a matter of personal preference I prefer Moen.
--
Tekkie

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