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Thread: Cost to install new valve - galvanized steel to copper?

  1. #16
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    The seat wrenches are cheap...cut off the end so that it doesn't bottom. Galvanized pipe when it's on its last legs can have the effective diameter of a soda straw, which could account for the volume decrease you are noticing. If that's the case, the only way to resolve the issue is to replace it back to where it is still good, and ideally, just replace it, but that may not be an option (it will be required eventually).
    Yeah, they are cheap, but I have to find a good tool to cut it off and not too much at a time or it'd be worthless.

    I just found a photo I took of the valves from when I replaced the stems. I do not think changed the diverter only the stems. If this is so then my complaint about the shower pressure may be wrong. I also noticed tonight that the diverter handle is dripping some water so I have to replace it now too. If I use a plumber for the rest I'll probably let him do this too.

    If the threading of these pipes is similar to what was done in the bathroom I worked in before the next threade fitting was not on the same level. That may mean opening the ceiling AND a portion of the wall in the laundry area or lavitory if the plumbing doesn't have a bend that goes somewhere else and therefore a threaded connection.

    The sheetrock is a non-issue compared to the pipe though. Sheetrock is cheap and float/tape guys are available too. Heck I may just cut a hole in the back of the closet and have a look-see where the pipes are threaded. I can always patch it back up later.

    I still haven't got in contact with the plumber I am playing phone tag. Maybe tomorrow when I'll be here all day. This guy has done other work here and may have a solution I'm missing/don't know about. And he does good work so I don't have to be worried about that.

    I don't want to call anyone else for now either since the wall isn't taken down and there's nothing to see. I don't really know anyone else to call anyway.

    I'm in a bit of a circular problem. I don't really want to tear into the wall without know what
    I'm getting into, but I won't know what I'm getting into until I take down the wall.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  2. #17
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    UPDATE...

    I finally got a call into the plumber. He ended up quoting about $480 plus parts which is going to include changing the shower valve and the tub drain and lever. Cleaning those appliques off the tub saved a bunch...

    Figure $650-700 or so +/- since a valve seem to be about $100+ and I really would like a temp/pressure compensating type
    if possible. He can cut the galvanized pipe himself btw so that's labor reduced. I don't know if that price is good or bad, but I think his experience with the plumbing on the property is king so even if it's more than I should be paying it's probably worth it. His cell phone must have gone dead on him. As we were talking it cut off and the number dumps me to his voicemail. I'll try tomorrow again and see if we can hash out when he can come out and how long. I still have to put out notice before we do any work since it involves cutting off the water.

    I hope we could do it Monday but that might be too close. I have a UPS package coming and I have to be around so that would be ideal. I really don't want to take down the wall(s) until I know the work can be done so I don't end up with only one shower for very long.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  3. #18
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    If I were to get a thermostatic or pressure balanced shower valve what is the best brand in the $200 range?
    Anyone have a preference? I like Moen's warranty but I'm not sure I can afford it's cost.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  4. #19
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    ALL available, code compliant shower valves will be anti-scald, and the least expensive ones will be pressure-balanced. The biggest driving factor in cost is the trim, which can drive the costs up considerable (with often, the same guts).

    Asking this sort of a question is sort of like whether you prefer Ford or Chevy...I tend to like Delta and Grohe - Delta is likely more readily repaired, but Grohe parts are available fairly easily, but probably not in as many places without ordering. If you look at the Delta R10000 rough-in valve, you can then decide on any of three different 'guts' to install in it (the guts and trim come as a package, the rough-in valve is a separate item, too, but often packaged together for those sold in say HD or Lowes). If you go that route with Delta, you can get a single handle PB, a PB with volume and temp control, or a thermostatic 'guts' and trim - they all will fit inside the same R10000 rough-in valve. So, you could change your mind a few years down the road, and update the visible and working guts without touching the plumbing. This makes it quite flexible.

    After experiencing a Ghrohe thermostatically controlled valve in a hotel in London (the pressure was bouncing all over the place and the temp stayed constant), I chose one for my home remodel and have been happy with its operation. Especially in a shared environment, you'll appreciate the PB functionality, but especially a good thermostatically controlled valve.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #20
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    ALL available, code compliant shower valves will be anti-scald, and the least expensive ones will be pressure-balanced. The biggest driving factor in cost is the trim, which can drive the costs up considerable (with often, the same guts).

    Asking this sort of a question is sort of like whether you prefer Ford or Chevy...I tend to like Delta and Grohe - Delta is likely more readily repaired, but Grohe parts are available fairly easily, but probably not in as many places without ordering. If you look at the Delta R10000 rough-in valve, you can then decide on any of three different 'guts' to install in it (the guts and trim come as a package, the rough-in valve is a separate item, too, but often packaged together for those sold in say HD or Lowes). If you go that route with Delta, you can get a single handle PB, a PB with volume and temp control, or a thermostatic 'guts' and trim - they all will fit inside the same R10000 rough-in valve. So, you could change your mind a few years down the road, and update the visible and working guts without touching the plumbing. This makes it quite flexible.

    After experiencing a Ghrohe thermostatically controlled valve in a hotel in London (the pressure was bouncing all over the place and the temp stayed constant), I chose one for my home remodel and have been happy with its operation. Especially in a shared environment, you'll appreciate the PB functionality, but especially a good thermostatically controlled valve.
    That's good enough. I see the Delta is not terribly expensive ($60) for the valve and maybe my plumber will have a good supplier for the trim out which I see is as low as $150 retail. That's acceptable given what we have now.

    That single handle design may even be easier to tile around too. Schluter even has a special part for it in their Kerdi line.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  6. #21
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    ALL available, code compliant shower valves will be anti-scald, and the least expensive ones will be pressure-balanced. The biggest driving factor in cost is the trim, which can drive the costs up considerable (with often, the same guts).

    Asking this sort of a question is sort of like whether you prefer Ford or Chevy...I tend to like Delta and Grohe - Delta is likely more readily repaired, but Grohe parts are available fairly easily, but probably not in as many places without ordering. If you look at the Delta R10000 rough-in valve, you can then decide on any of three different 'guts' to install in it (the guts and trim come as a package, the rough-in valve is a separate item, too, but often packaged together for those sold in say HD or Lowes). If you go that route with Delta, you can get a single handle PB, a PB with volume and temp control, or a thermostatic 'guts' and trim - they all will fit inside the same R10000 rough-in valve. So, you could change your mind a few years down the road, and update the visible and working guts without touching the plumbing. This makes it quite flexible.

    After experiencing a Ghrohe thermostatically controlled valve in a hotel in London (the pressure was bouncing all over the place and the temp stayed constant), I chose one for my home remodel and have been happy with its operation. Especially in a shared environment, you'll appreciate the PB functionality, but especially a good thermostatically controlled valve.
    I demolished the shower surround myself this morning. The plumber was here this afternoon and he's coming back on Thursday morning to do the rest of the work with the water shut off. I ended up with a single control Moen valve. It's not thermostatic but is pressure balanced and I can live with that.

    He's going to install ball-valve shut offs and frame an access panel for them within the closet behind the shower. And install a new tub drain and overflow cover. The cold water pipe is threaded right below the floor beam but he can reach it from above since there is a large gap for the tub drain. The hot water pipe has two elbows making that easier.

    Here's a photo gallery if you're interested.
    http://s468.photobucket.com/albums/r...ion/?start=all

    Unless something untoward comes up the total cost has come in under $700. I'm not sure if that's high or low but it seems fair enough. Only thing, that's just the plumbing. I have yet to go to the fun stuff: the CBU, kerdi and tile.

    Jim, you were the guy who showed me Schluter Kerdi back in 2006 for my other shower and I'm going to use it here
    again too. I owe you a thank you for that.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  7. #22
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Have your plumber pick up the tub shower valve.
    He can purchase one at a supply house with stops on it. The ones you would pick up a box store don't give you that option. In the future, and even during your construction, having integral stops with be a huge time saver for you.

    Delta, Moen, Grohe, HansGrohe, Kohler, not in any order here.



    Moen Posi-Temp
    The 2570 has integral stops.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-24-2012 at 12:25 PM.

  8. #23
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Have your plumber pick up the tub shower valve.
    He can purchase one at a supply house with stops on it. The ones you would pick up a box store don't give you that option. In the future, and even during your construction, having integral stops with be a huge time saver for you.

    Delta, Moen, Grohe, HansGrohe, Kohler, not in any order here.
    The decision to use one without integral stops is due to if they fail or whatever I will have to shut down water to all my neighbors. That's the problem with the existing Sterling valve; the stops no longer work and are obsolete so cannot be replaced. In the other shower I rebuilt, I left the valve there and was able to get the stems and parts to rebuild the stops. Both bathrooms use the same valve except for the tub having a divertor of course. The only thing I couldn't change was the shower head piece, but it was in good shape. Between the time I did that work and now the stops are no longer made hence this work.

    The ball shut offs he's putting in will work better in this case and he can install the pipes and valves then restore water to my neighbors and work on the rest with less hurry. The valve set is already purchased yesterday, btw. A single control Moen from HD for about $100. The spout shower diverter looks like it's has better construction than Delta in that price range and it's the same general size as the current spout.

    Thanks for your reply.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  9. #24
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    The plumber was here nearly all day.

    He successfully replaced the galvanized pipe that was there and added appropriate union couplings
    for the copper connections to new ball shut offs and the new shower valve. He only had the water off for about 45 minutes.
    Total cost was $684 including the materials and labor.

    He has to finish the spout connection when I get the tile on the wall, but that seems easy.
    But for the most part the plumbing is done.
    Now onto my part which includes hanging hardi on out of plumb framing.
    And the tub is also not level side to side too. It's the original tub not a new one, btw.
    I just didn't think we needed a new one and it might even be the building was made this way.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  10. #25
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It would be impossible to read all the previous posting, but I doubt that you will find anyone who will give you a firm estimate to change the valve, unless it is so astronomical that they have covered all possibilities. The management would probably also NOT like you converting from galvanized to copper in the wall without transition fittings, which themselves could leak and fail sometime or cause deterioration of the galvanized piping.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  11. #26
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    It would be impossible to read all the previous posting, but I doubt that you will find anyone who will give you a firm estimate to change the valve, unless it is so astronomical that they have covered all possibilities. The management would probably also NOT like you converting from galvanized to copper in the wall without transition fittings, which themselves could leak and fail sometime or cause deterioration of the galvanized piping.
    The work was already done yesterday. All that's left is the tub spout which needs to be threaded after I have the tile in place.
    It was done right with unions and full port, ball shut offs so if I need to do any future repairs I can shut it off locally instead of interrupting my neighbors. We have no management here to speak of we are a self managed community. The HOA has no say of what I do within my own unit. If we have a leak or need repairs to the plumbing that serves only my unit (ie not a main line water pipe) I have to pay for it. This is well established and accepted by all. The same plumber has also done a lot of plumbing work throughout the rest of my neighbors' units and repairs some for the HOA. He has used dielectric unions and copper for most of his repairs as well. This made his an acceptable plumber who has an excellent reputation within the community here.
    Money Talks? All it ever says to me is "Goodbye!"

  12. #27
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    While you've got the walls torn up, you might want to consider resetting the tub so it sits level. This may take some shims, or if you take it all the way out, maybe setting it in some mortar so it will sit level. This will make water management MUCH more reliable. It might also mean dealing with the drain - it sort of depends on what's there and how it is installed. You do NOT want to place much torque on it. If it uses slip joints, you might just be able to loosen them, move the tub, then retighten.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #28
    DIY Member Henry Ramsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    While you've got the walls torn up, you might want to consider resetting the tub so it sits level. This may take some shims, or if you take it all the way out, maybe setting it in some mortar so it will sit level. This will make water management MUCH more reliable. It might also mean dealing with the drain - it sort of depends on what's there and how it is installed. You do NOT want to place much torque on it. If it uses slip joints, you might just be able to loosen them, move the tub, then retighten.
    I re-called the plumber who was here yesterday. Since we had talked about putting in intermediate valves in the other shower in the event I ever need to do any more work there and he quoted me $200 for that plus parts he said why don't we do that and relevel the tub at the same time. This saves on his making another trip. This is with the hope that nothing more comes up w/ the tub though. He's also changing the toilet valves all of which stick too. So this shold be OK as long as nothing more expensive shows up.

    As long as the tub CAN be leveled this is going to be fine. Hopefully, this will not be a can of worms requiring a new tub.
    We're reaching the limits of money on hand and credit.

    He did set a new drain the other day after having a helluva time getting the old one out. None of the tools he had fit in the old drain and he had to cut it out I think. It's set in such a way that he can move it if he needs to he says.
    Last edited by Henry Ramsey; 07-27-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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  14. #29
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    It has been fun following your postings.

  15. #30
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    IF he was there "most of the day" his price was too cheap, and what was he doing the rest of the time if he only had the water shut off "for 45 minutes"?
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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