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Thread: tub and shower shutoff key

  1. #1

    Angry tub and shower shutoff key

    I would like to know if there is such a thing as a shutoff key or wrench i work for an apartment complex and we have tile showers and every time we have to change the stems in the manifold we have to shut down the whole complex to do so and more times than not we end up ripping tiles from the shower wall in order to access the shutoff valves to get visegrip or pliers inside to turn them off
    Last edited by chasetigger; 03-29-2009 at 06:54 AM. Reason: left a few words out

  2. #2
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ Sitting on an upside down 5 gallon bucket next to the GO 68HD


    What are you going to do when you have to change a stop for the kitchen sink or toilet┐ Same scenario, right┐ Sounds like a main valve for each unit would be the ticket.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    If the shower valves have isolation stops on them, and the tile installers did not leave access , then you have a lousy tile installer. I realize that is ancient history now, and there is no easy answer.

    A shower valve which has integral stops has trim which will cover the access to the stop. If you have this situation, you simply have to worry away some tile with a chisel or rotozip for access. The stops usually are screwdriver operated. If this is stripped, or not working, then you have to shut down and repair the stop.

  4. #4

    Unhappy we have access to problem valves

    the problem is the complex i work for is appr.40 years and most of the valves have been replaced and have the same size star as the stems but are not excessable to the stem handle and do not have the screwdriver slot so i was hoping someone could help me locate a t-handle wrench of some sort

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default stems

    A picture would help because your description does not correspond to the way those valves should have been installed.

  6. #6

    Default i reaally need to know if they have a wrench or key

    what i really need to know if there is some kind of t-handle wrench or key there is little i can do to question yhe way the tub and tile was put together

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    If a tub/shower valve was purchased with shutoffs, they usually are just a screwdriver slot...no special 'key' required. Since they are often an extra cost, and, from the pros on here just may not work 20-30 years down the road when service may be needed, and, might be covered over by remodeling so they are no longer accessable or the service doesn't require removing the trim (which is usually required to see and access them), most of the time aren't very useful in the first place (except maybe during initial installation).

    If someone installed a non-standard in-line shutoffs, all bets are off, it could require anything to access.
    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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