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Thread: Working on older shower

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jgold47's Avatar
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    Default Working on older shower

    Forgive my sort of goofy explanation of what I am trying to do.


    1. house was built in the 20's. Has been updated several times, but unsure of the age of the plumbing in the main bathroom.

    2. Tub/Shower has a) two valves H/C for just the shower b) 2 valves and a waste valve for just the tub. these are on the 'wall'. the waste valve no longer affects the drain (just bangs inside the wall).

    3. Tub has a small spout, mounted where you normally would see an overflow valve.

    here is my quandry. I want to open the wall to install a thermostatic valve (the exisiting ones are starting to leak, the hot water one you have to turn open, then pull out to turn on). That seems simple enough. however, if I wanted to retrofit the rest of the tub, with a more modern drain/stopper assemby, as well as a more modern spigot and remove all of the existing separate 'tub' plumbing, what am I likely to run into in trying this and how hard is it likly going to be to get at the drain assemby from inside the wall? I cant get at this from the back, nor from the floor, but I can open the wall all the way up to the top of the tub.

    Thoughts?

    PS - forgive my ignorance, but if I wanted to install a second valve on the opposite wall and have a dual head shower, generally speaking using 1/2 supply lines, would i have enough juice to make this work?

  2. #2
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    It's hard to say what you will get into without knowing what you have, can you post a picture?

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Current code requires the tub spout outlet to be above the flood plane, not in the tub where a hiccup could backflow dirty tub water back into the potable water system. My guess is that if you have access to the wet wall, you should be able to retrofit the valve, drain, overflow, and tub spout.

    1/2" lines can flow probably 6gpm or more. A showerhead is limited to 2.5gpm. So, two of them should work. You wouldn't need another entire valve, you could plumb this with a diverter and use the one valve. Use a multiport one to direct the water to the tub filler, one head, the other, or both. The more ports, the more the valve costs.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member TomFrost's Avatar
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    Waiting a photo... Maybe you are interesting in electric and mixer showers? - I shall try help to you.
    Last edited by TomFrost; 12-01-2010 at 03:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default

    The majority of the tubs with a spout inside it had the opening too low for it to be used as an overflow, plus, often the opening was too small even if it were in the proper location. In any case, you cannot "convert" it to a standard drain unless you can get to the drain fittings at the bottom of the tub. It would be impossible to do from the wall above the tub.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Often, there's a hole in the floor around the drain that may be large enough to work in or could be made larger without compromising structure. If not, then you'd need access from below to play with the drain connections.
    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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