(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Sealing tub spout against tub surround?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ryanwj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    16

    Default Sealing tub spout against tub surround?

    I have a Moen tub and shower faucet in a new basement bathroom I just finished and the last detail I am concered with is the seal where the tub spout meets the tile surround.

    I was surprised to find the tub spout screwed onto the nipple and the length of the nipple determines the standoff of the spout from the surround - I needed an odd size nipple that I had to order from Mcmaster Carr, but I finally got the spout to seal the NPT threads before it hit the surround. Now I don't know what to do where the spout meets the surround. Any advice? Plumbers putty in the opening between the tile and the nipple maybe? Surely caulk is not the pro solution here.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,687

    Default cauld

    Why not caulk? Plumber's putty will harden and discolor, and possibly stain the surround.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    That gap is too big to caulk attractively. Get a matching BN tub spout "spacer" . Most hardware or plumbing stores will have something like that.

  4. #4
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    294

    Default

    That is supposed to sit flush against the wall. It's not supposed to stick out like that.

    Your nipple is too big. Remove it and install a shorter nipple. I believe they come in half inch increments.

    Any thing you use too fill that gap will be ugly.

    Are you sure you tightened it all the way?
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member ryanwj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    16

    Default Nipple size

    Gabe,

    You are correct, nipples come in 1/2" increments and if I use a 1/2" shorter one, the tub spout will bottom out on the surround wall before the NPT fitting is tight. The one in the pic is nice and tight - too tight to get another whole turn. I don't believe a well engineered system would expect the installer to achieve a seal with the NPT threads while simultaneously seating against the tub surround. The spouts I've used previously have used an O-ring that slides along the OD of the nipple and a setscrew. This allows one to achieve a watertight seal while enabling proper positioning of the spout relative to the surround. I can get the shop at work to make a 1/4" shorter nipple, but I'm disappointed that one would have to go to such lengths. If this spacing was so critical I would have expected Moen to call out a setback for the rough-in elbow that receives the tub spout nipple or something. I guess I'll get the shop to thread me a 1/4" shorter version and see how close I can get it. I remain disappointed in this brand.

  6. #6
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    294

    Default

    The O-ring is great. That was kohler right?

    Quick question, when you look inside your spout is there just female threads stationed at the very end?, or is there white plastic with female threads inside, but also threads on the white plastic as well that allow you to move the female threads up and down? This design allow for plenty of play.


    If the former, try and tightening the nipple first against the drop ear elbow as much as you can, and then tighten the spout as much as can till it hits the wall, if it doesn't tighten all the way(with all your might) ,but it's snug, I think you will still might be good. Check for leaks and use teflon tape.

    It shouldn't be that much hassle to get the length you need. Plumbing supply stores will thread the pipe for you.

    By the way, can you post a pic of the entire shower body, I want to see how far the handle sticks out. It was in another thread. I keep hearing complaints about Moen. I won't ever touch them again.
    Last edited by GabeS; 01-24-2009 at 07:18 PM.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member ryanwj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I'll mess around with the idea of getting the nipple the correct length but it seems poorly engineered.

    In the meantime, even if I get the spout to seal and simultaneously touch the surround wall, is the metal tub spout sitting against the surround wall considered acceptable as this would obviously not be a watertight seal. My concern with this entire installation is that I don't want water to get behind the spout when someone is showering and find its way into the wall cavity. I have plumbers putty around the nipple where it exits the tile - is this considered sufficient or should I opt for silicone or something there?

  8. #8
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South of Boston, MA
    Posts
    885

    Default

    I sealed the pipe that comes out for the spout 1st
    Then put the spout on
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    I used a copper male adapter into the spout then measured the space I needed to the elbow on the pipe leading from the valve and cut a piece of copper pipe that with another male adapter made the space small enough that the threads on the spout easily brought the spout tight against the surround. I didn't even need to caulk it.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,448

    Default

    Some spouts and other shower components are VERY critical about the proper length. Try installing some Kohler stuff...1/16" accuracy is required if you want things to fit nicely I've been told.

    I read about one screw on spout that had a two step adjustment...the threaded portion had a little movement on it so you could compensate for variations like you are seeing. Is there any part internally to that spout that looks like it could be adjusted? If not, then a custom nipple, or a piece of copper (or brass) pipe with soldered on male adapters may be the only answer.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    I used Delta components. The threads on the male adapter that screw into the spout give a reasonable amount of adjustment so measurement does not have to be the the Nth degree. I can speak for other brands.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •