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Thread: Replacing a three handle tub/shower valve

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    Questions from readers Guest's Avatar
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    posts, emails and comments from readers reposted by Terry
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    Default Replacing a three handle tub/shower valve

    The house is 55 years old. Currently, there is a 3 knob Price Pfister tub/shower installed. I would like to upgrade to a 1 lever Delta (Victorian) tub/shower using a Delta MultiChoice Universal Rough-In Valve with Stops. The original galvanized pipes are in excellent condition. I understand from Home Depot that since the walls are down, now is a good time to change out all 3 of the pipes. I also understand from my contractor, that the new pipes will have to be shorter than the original pipes in order to install the new 1 lever (Rough-In Valve) the appropriate distance from the faucet (where the water comes out).

    Charlotte

    Last edited by Terry; 11-29-2009 at 02:25 PM.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valve

    You can install the new valve ANYWHERE you wish to. It has no relationship to where the spout exits the wall. The only thing that affects how high, or low, you install the valve is where is it most convenient for you to operate it, and often that means EXACTLY where the old one was.

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    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    You can install the new valve ANYWHERE you wish to. It has no relationship to where the spout exits the wall.
    Within limits. You really do want to keep the valve above the tub spout, , although it is technically possible to run it through 270 degrees of els.

    Older setups often seem biased toward convenient height for a tub user. If, like my family, your use is heavily as a shower, you may want to raise the height some. You should have a sense of how convenient the height is for the way you actually use it.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default location

    quote; You really do want to keep the valve above the tub spout
    I have never seen an installation with the valve BELOW the tub spout, but as far as relative positions, the spout can go anywhere it is convenient, and it has no relationship to where you locate the valve, although an excessively long distance between them can create some problems depending on the rest of the installation.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-02-2009 at 10:25 AM.

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    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    ... the spout can go anywhere it is convenient, and it has no relationship to where you locate the valve...
    Given the level of expertise indicated by the question that was asked, and the fact that the tub outlet is on the bottom of every valve I've seen, "convenien[ce]" of installation weighs heavily in favor of keeping the relationship one in which the tub spout is below the valve. I did acknowledge it could be routed 'round the barn up to a tub spout.

    To say flatly "no relationship" is misleading to the average non-plumber, when they have to be connected.

    Reminder: Smiley faces indicate that the writing is intended with a degree of humor.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default spout

    You are rationalizing. But since the original posting implied that the plumber was saying that the valve had to be LOWERED to accomodate the spout, that made the answer that it was irrelevent germaine to the situation. The valve goes wherever it is convenient to use it, REGARDLESS of how high or low the spout is, even though it may be directly below the valve. Given that situation, the spout can also be relocated to any spot where it is suitable for the tub, even if the valve is positioned elsewhere for convenience. But the latter situation was neither suggested by the original question, nor advised by my answer.

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    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    First, please go back and read and take to heart my note about grinning smiley faces.

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    You are rationalizing.
    I think you're using a word that you don't know the meaning of.


    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    But since the original posting implied that the plumber was saying that the valve had to be LOWERED to accomodate the spout,
    Where did she indicate the supply came from below? You made an assumption, and are demonstrating the well documented risks of doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    The valve goes wherever it is convenient to use it, REGARDLESS of how high or low the spout is, even though it may be directly below the valve.
    Real world: Like most other construction details, placement of valves/spouts is a compromise between user convenience and installer convenience (and the buyer's willingness to pay for the installer's inconvenience), with some technical limits thrown in.

    There's a risk to sweeping generalizations like "anywhere", "always" or "never".

    There's also a risk (to health) of taking everything as seriously as a heart attack, ignoring clear signs of levity to do so!

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valve

    If the problem is interference between the trim ring and spout because the original valve and spout are too close together, then moving the valve is going to necessitate more tile work than putting the valve in the original location and lowering the spout. Obviously we are working blind and just guessing WHY he said the lines had to be modified.

  9. #9

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    My question is related to this. I have a three handle tub/shower fixture that I want to replace with a pressure balanced shower with a diverter. The three handles sit about 7 inches above the tub and above the tub faucet. If I have a pressure balanced shower control installed at a convenient point for when standing in the tub, what do I use to cover the three holes that will be left from the old system and do I risk tiles being cracked when drilling the new hole?

    Also, if I have to remove the tub faucet to replace it with one with a diverter, is there likely to be significant damage to the tiles?

    I understand that I can install a new three handle fixture (because there was already one there). This is a rental house so maybe that's my best option (and cheaper), but temperature control is really the issue.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    This Old House did a show on exactly this, and you may be able to watch it on their site. You can get a remodel plate that will cover the bigger hole. Only gotcha is it is fairly big...you may need to verify you'll still have room to mount the tub spout.

    Typically, you can remove the spout without damaging the tile. They come in two general types: screw-on, and slide-on. If there is a set screw on the bottom, loosen it and pull it off. If it is solid, then it is screwed on...stick a screw driver handle in the spout and unscrew. You'll need to cut any caulk first, or it will be hard or impossible to take off.

    Last edited by Terry; 09-19-2009 at 11:47 AM.
    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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