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Thread: Tub spout removal?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member paperprofit's Avatar
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    Default Tub spout removal?

    Need to remove my tub spout (for new surround). Tried turning it counterclockwise to unthread it but it didn't budge. Do I need to use a strap wrench, perhaps, or could there be a locking screw hidden that needs to be loosened first? Faucet assembly is Delta or Moen. Thanks, guys!

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are essentially two ways to hold the tub spout: threaded, or push on. If it is push on, then there will be a setscrew accessable from somewhere on the bottom. It might be recessed, and seeing it can be a pain. A mirror might help along with a bright light.

    Keep in mind that if they used silicon to seal it to the surround, that acts like a VERY strong glue, and you have to break that seal first regardless of how it is attached.
    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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    Delta will usually be screw on, but Moen is usually set screw, but they could be either one. WIthout being there we cannot tell you which you have.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member paperprofit's Avatar
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    Thanks again, guys! I found 'Moen' stamped on the valve escutcheon and I was able to force it the spout to turn with a strap wrench (since I saw no set screw). BUT, the spout STILL won't come off. (I'm turning it counter-clockwise as I stand inside the tub). Did I miss a set screw somewhere? Thank you so much for any suggestions! Anxiously waiting! (I'll post a photo I took, if you think it would be helpful, as soon as I find the cable for my Blackberry.)
    Last edited by paperprofit; 07-09-2012 at 12:45 PM.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    A set screw would be visible under the spout in a small slot. It uses an allen wrench.

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    DIY Junior Member paperprofit's Avatar
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    Terry, No luck. There is no set screw. I'm quite certain. I checked throughly. Should I just yank hard?n Thanks!

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If it's threaded, you would un-thread it.
    If you yank on it. be prepared to open up the wall if needed.

    Once you're in the wall, it starts getting pricey.

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    DIY Junior Member paperprofit's Avatar
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    Hi Terry, It looks like it threaded to me. Do you see the hex fitting in the photo taken from inside the wall below? The spout turns (strangely, both clockwise or counter-clockwise), however, it won't come off (or unthread if it is indeed threaded as I think it is).
    Name:  Moen spout.jpg
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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You may have broken the solder joint on the pipe coming coming out. At this point, to avoid further problems, I would hacksay through the whole thing about 3 inches out from the wall, and repair as necessary from there

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    DIY Junior Member paperprofit's Avatar
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    Hadn't thought of that! Thanks, Jimbo.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That looks like a threaded Moen #3811 diverter spout. Turn the spout and see if the copper tubing rotates with it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member paperprofit's Avatar
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    HJ, I did just that. And, yes, I think it's threaded because you can see a hex copper (or brass) fitting in the photo (above) very near the outlet of the spout (near the diverter assembly). I had one of my sons turn the spout while I watched from the hallway (from the same location as the photo above) and, no, the copper didn't rotate. What DID rotate is the spout (obviously) but also the white plastic fitting (fluted, I think--look closely at the photo) that you can just barely make out (part of the diverter assembly, I think), at the farthest point from the camera, right near the outlet of the spout. If you look closely at the photo you can see what looks like 4-5 tiny radial cracks (maybe 1/8" long) in the fluted (white plastic) fitting, spaced anywhere from 1/4" to 3/8" from one another. When the spout is turned, the fluted (white plastic) fitting slips over a mating fluted surface (presumably brass). In other words, I probably stripped the plastic flutes off when I turned the spout with the strap wrench (or they slipped because of the radial cracking which, again, I may have caused when I turned the spout with the strap wrench).

    You may be correct about the Moen model number 3811. It sounds about right. (I had to get parts for the mixing valve about a year ago which is the only reason it sounds familiar.) I can confirm it is a Moen, it has a shower diverter and it's probably 33 years old (original to the house).

    I removed the bottom two courses (4" + 4" = 8" total height) of ceramic tile and drywall around the entire perimeter of the tub due to moisture wicking up from the failed silicone butt joint where the (cast iron) tub flange and the tile met. In other words, I have complete access to the spout and service piping from the hallway access panel side (inside the wall) and from the bathroom side (standing in the tub). The mixing valve I only have complete access to from the hallway access panel side since the drywall and tile are still sound and intact at the height of the mixing valve and weren't removed.

    My plan is to replace the 8" of missing drywall and tile that I removed (x 1/2" + 1/4") with 3/4" of cement board, sand/abrade the remaining ceramic tile for better adhesion and then apply the mfg.'s recommended mastic (water-based Liquid Nails FRP 'professional' adhesive) with a 1/4" notched trowel before finally installing an $80 Home Cheapo 5-piece plastic tub surround. I have a son returning from Afghanistan in Aug. so I want to make the shower presentable, at least. (I start my new job in 2 weeks but I've been unemployed for 1 1/2 years so money is tight. When I can afford to pay for a more professional looking surround--and possibly a new shower/tub fixture assembly--I most definitely will!)

    Anyhow, still wondering if I should attempt to pull the spout straight out (and off) or should I sweat the solder joint at the first copper elbow. I can't think of anything else to remove it other than cutting the 1/2" copper pipe right after the elbow, just before the pipe starts the 4"-5" run inside the spout.
    Last edited by paperprofit; 07-10-2012 at 03:33 PM.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you have access to the copper pipe, cut it.
    Then you can throw away the old tub spout and install a new one. You will need to install new pipe, the parts aren't much, and soldering 1/2" copper is pretty simple.

    It may be less money to replace a row or two of tile, then sticking a new surround over what you have.

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Heat the end of the spout. The plastic insert will melt and you can pull the spout off of it, then clean the adapter and screw a new spout on, if you can find one with the same dimension so you do not have to cut or extend the copper.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-10-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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