View Full Version : Replacing shower valves
05-10-2010, 01:29 PM
I have two older showers in my house where I would like to replace the shower valves with something more contemporary/higher quality but would like to know if there are any limitations concerning the existing setup.
The first shower has a valve I don't see too much of anymore. It is single handle, where you pull the handle straight out to start water flow, then turn (rotate) the handle right or left for temp. control.
The second shower has this valve: http://www.HD.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xhs/R-100576162/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
If I wanted to replace either one of these valves with a single handle lever such as this Grohe: http://www.grohecatalog.com/product/35014/
I just prefer a single lever where you lift up to flow water then move back and forth for temp. control. I just think they're easier to adjust. A preference thing. Given the scenario(s), would it be possible to replace the existing valves with a single lever such as the Grohe or similar? Thanks for any input.
05-10-2010, 02:58 PM
Certainly this is possible. How much trouble will depend on access and the type of material the shower walls are made of. If you can access the valve from behind, say from an access panel or a hole you make in the wall that you can patch later, then it is easier. If you have to do it from the front, then you will likely need a remodel plate. This is because you will need to make the hole bigger than the 'normal' trim plate. The new trim fits on the remodel trim, which covers the hole. Note, many of the pressure balanced valves like the one you linked to do not have separate volume and temperature...even though it has a lever, it does not lift, it only rotates (at least it works that way on the one I installed). It's deceiving. Depending on the trim chosen, you could have various lever styles or knobs on that same valve. Most pressure balanced valves work that way. Many of the thermostatically controlled valves require two controls - one to set the temperature (which you can normally leave where you want it), and the second to adjust the volume. Grohe also makes that type. I've been happy with my Grohe valves. If you don't have local access to parts, you may want to consider something from say Delta. I can get anything around here, and liked the solid construction of the Grohe stuff, so (eventually) when it needs a cartridge or something, I feel confident I can get it quickly.
Your link takes me to a site where I can buy an HDTV if I want one, but shows nothing about the valve you have. Almost ALL valves now use a rotary motion, rather than the Up/down/left/right of the original Deltas. One difference between them is that most do NOT adjust volume only temperature, so you get full flow immediately and then turn it to the desired temperature. A few, such as the Delta 1700 series have both temperature and volume controls. You set the temperature, and then forget it until you wish to revise it. The main handle then turns the flow on and off, plus increases the volume the further you rotate the handle. A picture of your "first" valve would be handy, especially one of the part inside the wall without the trim plate. It is probably a Moen, and depending on which one, it might be able to be revised to a "new" style without replacing it.
05-11-2010, 10:55 AM
Sorry, the first link is supposed to be home depot. Just replace the "HD".
05-12-2010, 09:13 AM
OK, hopefully I can clarify things. The first shower has a Moen Dialcet. The knob is cruddy and needs to be replaced and there is some leakage coming from the stem behind the knob after I turn the water off. Sounds like I can call Moen for free replacement parts.
The second shower is a Delta 4-directional knob (up-on, down-off, right-cold, left-hot). There is a crack in the knob and that probably needs replacing.
I've been thinking of just repairing what I have instead of switching out valves, due to cost considerations.
JUst treat the Delta with EXTREME care, or you find yourself with a "2 piece valve", no water, and an emergency valve replacement.