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Thread: can of worms

  1. #1

    Default can of worms

    Over the weekend I attempted to replace the hot valve stem in one of my bathrooms and broke the large bronze piece that holds the threaded rod. I had to use a Dremel to cut out the threads that were left in the valve assembly to replace the stem. The only option I had was to remove the tile around the hole to gain sufficient access to the valve assembly. When I started to remove the tile I used a Dremel accessory and took care not to damage the material behind the tile or the surrounding tiles. However, as I was pulling the cut pieces out I basically blew out the plaster and chicken wire wall behind it. I now have a perfect 4"x4" hole with clean edges around the stem. The wall the tile is attached to is made of fairly decayed plaster and chicken wire and I know that my options are limited. What is the best method for fixing this at the least possible expense and time? I can gain access to the back side through a closet which would require me to cut through the drywall, but repairing a hole in the drywall would probably be a lot easier than fixing the hole in the shower. I could use any helpful advice anyone could give me. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
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    Talking cut your losses

    just go through the back wall and make an access
    panel from the floor up to about 8 inches above the
    valve body...

    I dont know what else to tell you but to buy yourself
    a new delta faucet ,,,,

    teh delta line also comes with a large escuption
    plate that costs about 40 bucks and can cover up
    any tile damage to a limited degree....

    then install a single ahndle delta faucet in the center
    of this escuption plate which is about 6in tall bay 12 wide

    so it can cover lots of trouble and save the tile too.

  3. #3

    Default $$$$ and time

    I fixed the valve so that everything is working fine. The hole is the only problem now. I can probably fix the hole with a little ingenuity and some glue. I didn't mention this but the 4"x4" hole is on the left of the valve assembly and 8" from the cold valve on the right. If I try to fix it the way you suggest, it sounds like i'm going to have to replace/rebuild at least 4 tiles instead of 1, plus the hole in the drywall behind the shower wall and buy a new valve setup. I know that I should probably just completely rebuild the wall from the tub up, but I don't have the time or the money to do that right now. I'm counting on someone else here having the same type of problem so I can benefit from their experience.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member thezster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Fort Collins, Colorado


    As necessity is the mother of invention..... I would cut out a nice size access panel in the closet.... based on what you find.... create a new chicken wire or alternative "patch" from the back side to support your patching compound. Get back on the front side with some new "handy dandy" patching compound and neatly/carefully patch the hold to the point that you can reinstall your removed tile.... regrout and polish.......

    As I haven't actually run into this problem.. I can't recommend a patch material... but I'm sure there is one out there....

    On the other hand...... the rest of that wall is going to crumble sooner or later..... removing and replacing "will" happen.....

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    The only suggestion I can add is try asking this over on www.johnbridge.com . Do you have any tile left over? Trying to match things is nearly impossible on old tile unless there were some left over from when it was installed. Good luck!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member plumguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Maybe you could try some liquid nail and a couple of small thin strips of wood(6-8"long). Put some glue on the ends and stick them thru the opening and then hold them against the inside wall. After they dry maybe you can fill in with some plaster to develop a surface for the tile to be glued.

  7. #7


    Thanks for all the great help. The internet is invaluable and I'm glad this resource allows people like me the opportunity to get answers from helpful people like you folks. I'm taking in all the advice and I'll try to post later when I finish. Thanks again.

  8. #8

    Default Almost finished

    I am almost finished now but I still have a steady leak from the hot water valve that I can't fix. I have replaced the valve stem and tightened everything as tightly as I feel safe. The flow would probably fill a 1 cup measuring cup in a minute or so. In the back of the valve body I noticed that there was a smaller diameter reducer, I don't know what else to call it, that was retained somehow but could spin. I'm pretty sure it's a Price Pfister
    valve body and the stem I bought was Price Pfister, but the stem I replaced was slightly different than the older stem. The new stem has a 3/4" rubber disc that is apparently meant to cover this "floating" reducer piece. The old stem had a 1/2" rubber disc that sat inside a recessed surface with a small raised lip on the outside of the end of the stem. Different designs but the same desired result right? If a new stem installed correctly doesn't fix the leak, what else could it be?

  9. #9

    Default Bump

    *bump *


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