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Thread: Existing tub/shower valve help.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Existing tub/shower valve help.

    I'm trying to help my niece, in another state, replace her tub/shower surround economically. The drywall was tiled at some point before she bought the condo and just realized it was caving in. This was unexpected and there's no money in her budget for a good remodel. Once everything is ready, I will fly there to help her do the work.

    It would be a good time to change out her valves before the wall panel kit goes up, but I'm concerned about cutting and soldering the supply line with it being close to the pipe from upstairs. Probably no trick for a professional, but I'm not.

    Are solderless connectors reliable enough to use in this situation or should we just change out o-rings and washers and close it back up? Another option, I guess, would be to change out the valve stems, but I won't know if that is possible until I get there and try to figure out the manufacturer.

    I would appreciate your opinions.

    Here is the only picture I have.
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    Craig

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Code requirements call for all shower valves to be meet anti-scald abilities...now is the time to replace that (and an inspector would require it).

    You can buy a heat shield, but often just a large can with the ends cut out and then slit so you can fold it out will be sufficient to protect things. They also sell an aerosol foam that helps protect things while soldering. Just keep a spray bottle with some water in it and maybe a fire extinquisher available.

    The harder thing may be draining the lines enough so you can actually solder things. You may have to shut the water off to the building if you don't have individual units, and then draining the lines is problematic if you can't open valves above you. Also, and this may be a big one, in many places, you cannot legally do any plumbing work in a multi-family unit unless you have a license. Singel family dwelling is another matter, but you're dealing with multiple families health here...the fines and consequences can be huge.

    One code-approved, solderless fitting is a Sharkbite. HD sells them, and you should be able to find them elsewhere as well. If you follow the installation instructions and don't mess up the o-rings, they work well and should last. I wouldn't use them for everything, but you could solder the bits to a new valve, then use a coupler to mate the assembly to the old pipe stubs...but then, I'd probably just solder things. The licensed plumber issue on multi-familiy dwelling may or may not apply where she lives.

    For help in tiling the alcove when done, check out www.johnbridge.com.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Thanks for the reply, Jim. Several good things to consider. Some I thought about. Some I hadn't.

    I've asked my niece if there is a water cutoff in her unit, but don't know the answer, yet. Does the licensed plumber apply when the shutoff is for the whole building or even if there is a shutoff in her unit?

    IF she has a shutoff inside her unit, I would like to at least remove the valve stems for servicing. You think that would violate the "license" requirement if it doesn't involve the whole building?

    We don't plan on breaking any laws or getting any fines. We won't be tiling at this time for lack of funding.
    Craig

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Depends on the interpretation of the local code enforcement people...repairing the faucets may require a licensed plumber to perform the work in a multi-family environment. If you don't have an individual unit shutoff, just doing it could be a major challenge. You have to find out where the main shutoff is, and if you have access to it (not a bad idea knowing anyways in case of a flood!). Then, you have to consider how long the water would be off, since you may be affecting multiple families.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    I realize that and wouldn't have even consider it unless there were an individual unit shutoff. I've emailed my niece to let her know about the possibility of a license requirement. Glad I don't live in a condo!

    Thanks, again,
    Craig

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A condo is just a form of ownership...the home could be a flat, a townhouse, or a stand-alone house.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default condo

    Many "condos" are basically just an apartment that you buy instead of renting. In this area, in fact, many of them are just converted appartment units.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Many "condos" are basically just an apartment that you buy instead of renting. In this area, in fact, many of them are just converted appartment units.
    At least where I live, while an apartment building can be converted to a condominium association if all of the legal processes are followed, you still are an owner...it is a form of ownership of real estate. Now, a converted apartment building of flats verses say a row of townhouses, or even single family homes all can be condominiums. The rights and responsibilities of the owners are determined by the binding legal contract filed with the state of the association's by-laws and rules of the state. Each state determines the minimum standards that define a condo, and the association has rules that govern what can be done to the facility, especially if it impacts the common areas.

    In my situation, I own the insides of my condo for my exclusive use, but the group owns the exterior walls, parking lots, grass, driveway, etc.

    An apartment complex converted to condos might have little consideration for individual, independent operation of units, being designed for management by the original owner prior to conversion to condos, not individual unit owners .
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default

    I would replace with a new single handle balanced valve.
    Parts for that old thing in the picture will be problems.

    I would solder it up, using a plumber.
    If the unit doesn't have an individual shutoff, then most condo's require 24 hour notice for the neigbors.

    It's not a big job being open and all. You won't find a better time to do the work.

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