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Thread: faucet replacement

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Olga's Avatar
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    Default faucet replacement

    Hi, everyone:
    I am in the process of remodeling the master bathroom and have already demolished the bathtub/shower alcove walls. I am going to get a plumber to replace the old fixtures with new ones, and I have settled for Moen as the original fixtures were Moen's and they have worked for 20+ years without a hitch. However, after reading this forum, I am a little concerned as a lot of people write about not getting either hot or cold water, having leaks, etc., as well as of the fixtures protruding too far from the wall. My original fixtures are still attached (I could not remove them, so I removed the tile/walls from under them) and I liked the way they were (meaning distance from the wall). So, would it be a good idea to ask the plumber to measure them and install the new fixtures based on these measurements? The new tile will be only about 1/32" thicker than the old one, so this could be added. Also, what can be checked before I start installing cementboard and tile? I am going to tile myself and would hate to find out about the fixture problems after the tiling is complete and have to destroy my work (there is only a small access hatch which is not fit for most adult humans to climb through). Could everything be assembled and checked and then disassembled again? Or am I one of "those customers"? I am a perfectionist, though.
    Thanks a lot in advance. Olga
    Last edited by Olga; 05-16-2012 at 03:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You can't just measure the old one and expect the new one to be installed exactly the same. They've made changes in the past 20+ years and the trim and internals are different! Take the new valve, screw the trim on, decide where you want it and the handle to be - show it to the plumber, show him exactly what will be on the wall (for thickness), and explain to him that that is what you want when it is done.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I just installed the trim and handles on five Moen faucets that another plumber installed. HE tried to get "cute" and put the handles close to the trim plates. He got lucky with 4 of them, but I had to use a 1" extension on the fifth one because he was 1/4" too deep. So the handle is now 1" from the plate, where it would have been without the extension, if he had installed the valves using the manufacturers guide plate. I would NEVER try to install them that precisely, unless the customer realized that if ANYTHNG changed and it was too deep it would cost her an additonal $50.00 or so, porbably more because I would have to go get the extension and my time is not free. Next year they will be replacing five more, and since I will NOT tell them to be more careful, the same thing or worse may happen. They were only 1/4" away from needing extensions on all of the valves.
    Last edited by hj; 05-16-2012 at 06:46 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Olga's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for your answers. The old handle was about 1" off the plate and that is how I liked it. Minor deviations from that to one side or the other would be OK. I just don't want something too far off either way. Also, could I ask the plumber to assemble everything and turn on water (to check if everything works properly) and then remove the trim so I could proceed with the wall installation? Or would it be asking too much? I would not want to find out that something is wrong with the rough-in valve when the tile is already in place. How much I can ask the plumber to check without being too demanding?
    Thank you. Olga

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Once he's installed the valve, he should check for leaks. Normally, all you have to do is either turn the stem with some pliers, or probably better, place the handle on the shaft and use it to turn the water on/off. That would also check the pipe going to the tub and/or the showerhead, but once the house water is back on, most of the things that can leak will be under pressure and show themselves without turning things on.

    On nearly all valves, they come with a guide. the guide will show the plumber the min/max of where it can be and the trim still work. If he knows the depth of your finished wall, as long as the valve is installed somewhere between the min/max on the guide, technically, it is good. If you have a preference towards which end, you need to tell him. Some people hate having the handle out away from the trim, you, seem to prefer having it away from the trim. It is all a personal preference, within the limits of the trim set by the manufacturer. There is NO fix other than reinstalling the valve if it is set too far out. If it is too deep, most companies do make extension kits, but they are a fixed length. Say it was only 1/8" too deep - the extensions often are around 1", so that would move the handle out probably more than you want, but that's all there is. So, it is important to get it where you want it, within the limits of an install. Keep in mind that if for some reason, say you changed your mind on the type of tile you wanted, if you were at one end of the tolerance, that could make it a major pain to fix. It's good to shoot for the middle, then you have some tolerance either way.
    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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