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Thread: Neet advice on replacing old shower plumbing

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member TSGarp007's Avatar
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    Default Neet advice on replacing old shower plumbing

    Hi everyone, thanks in advance for any help.

    I nearly completely gutted my "master" bath recently (shower floor and walls removed to studs). I'm looking to replace my old two handle system with a new one handle that will last a long time, and move the shower head over a couple inches. I don't plan on doing this again... I think I can handle sweating and soldering the copper pipe.

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    Any advice on recommended valves, fittings, etc (even advice on trim and faucets would be welcomed)? What exactly do I need? Does a modern valve still require what I assume are water hammer arrestors?

    Thanks for any help. I plan to go to my plumbing store and see what they recommend, but I want to have an idea myself first and like the input I get here.

    -Josh

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Those air chambers stopped working probably a month or so after they were installed. IF the manufacturer recommends them, then you want engineered ones, not just a capped tube. Most valves can't close fast enough to need them. There are lost of valves that are decent, but I like the functionality of the Delta R10000 rough-in valve. Their 1700 series trim is decent and easily repaired, should it need it eventually. Based on the type of function you want, you can use any of three types: single handle pressure balanced; two handle, temperature and volume control; two handle, thermostatically controlled - one knob temp, second volume. The rough-in valve will accept any of those trim sets and functions - Delta sells the cartridge with the trim. The big box stores often sell it as a kit, but a plumbing supply will break that into two parts, the rough-in and the trim/cartridge. I've used Grohe and Delta, and found both to be quality. Some of it is style which determines which is chosen.
    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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    DIY Junior Member TSGarp007's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response. So I can remove the air chambers and not worry about them?

    Thanks for the R10000 recommendation, I've seen that mentioned elsewhere on this site. Sorry about the very basic question, but is that the only valve I would need? Just making sure...

    Is there a reason I should go for the 17 series over say, the 13 series? The comparison on Delta's site seems to indicate the only difference is low flow and volume control. Generally no one usually wants to decrease flow these days right, so volume control is not a big deal?

    Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Those air chambers stopped working probably a month or so after they were installed. IF the manufacturer recommends them, then you want engineered ones, not just a capped tube. Most valves can't close fast enough to need them. There are lost of valves that are decent, but I like the functionality of the Delta R10000 rough-in valve. Their 1700 series trim is decent and easily repaired, should it need it eventually. Based on the type of function you want, you can use any of three types: single handle pressure balanced; two handle, temperature and volume control; two handle, thermostatically controlled - one knob temp, second volume. The rough-in valve will accept any of those trim sets and functions - Delta sells the cartridge with the trim. The big box stores often sell it as a kit, but a plumbing supply will break that into two parts, the rough-in and the trim/cartridge. I've used Grohe and Delta, and found both to be quality. Some of it is style which determines which is chosen.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you're into water savings, having a two knob (volume and temp) control means you can turn the volume down while you say lather up, then return to max flow to rinse off, saving water. I also find it handy warming up the line at a low flow, rather than having to stand outside the shower, or stand in the cold spurt while it gets adjusted to my preference. With independent volume and temp, you may never need to tweak the temp, and can always return to your 'ideal' shower temp (this is more true with the thermostatically controlled valve as season to season changes mean on just the temp control means the mix of hot/cold will change and the temp will vary). I'm not sure which series will work with the R10000 rough-in, but do know the 1700 does and that has worked out for my mother's shower.
    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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    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    We,re in the process of picking out bath remodel items. My wife like the idea of separate handles for the hot & cold in the shower. Are there any valves that will allow this set-up and still have pressure and/or temperature regulation if someone turns on water elsewhere in house while shower is in use? I'm only aware of this feature with the one handle valves.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are a bunch of two knob shower controls, but they aren't hot/cold...they're temperature and volume. In this class, you can have the (less expensive) temperature mixer valve, or the (more expensive) thermostatic control knob. While there are external pressure balance valves that can be patched into an older style separate hot/cold handle setup, for probably less money, you can get one that's easier to install if you choose one designed from the start with this in mind. My personal preference is the thermostatically controlled one...find your personal favorite temp, then just turn the water on/off and never have to tweak it. If your water temps change in the winter (cold inlet), then on the mixer valve, you'd have to move it summer/winter, but it would be stable in season. Another bennie of the thermostatically controlled valve, if you're at the end of the tank, it automatically adjusts the hot/cold mix to maintain the temp until there just isn't enough hot left.
    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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    DIY Junior Member TSGarp007's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the help. The thermostatic two handle versions sound great, but I don't think worth the price in this application. My wife would leave it set at "scalding hot" (according to me) and I would leave it set at "freezing cold" (according to her), so we would always be changing the temp knob in any case. I'm going to go for a pressure balanced single knob.

    Probably pretty likely I'll post again once I get around to actually installing this baby...

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    There are a bunch of two knob shower controls, but they aren't hot/cold...they're temperature and volume. In this class, you can have the (less expensive) temperature mixer valve, or the (more expensive) thermostatic control knob. While there are external pressure balance valves that can be patched into an older style separate hot/cold handle setup, for probably less money, you can get one that's easier to install if you choose one designed from the start with this in mind. My personal preference is the thermostatically controlled one...find your personal favorite temp, then just turn the water on/off and never have to tweak it. If your water temps change in the winter (cold inlet), then on the mixer valve, you'd have to move it summer/winter, but it would be stable in season. Another bennie of the thermostatically controlled valve, if you're at the end of the tank, it automatically adjusts the hot/cold mix to maintain the temp until there just isn't enough hot left.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You said you don't want to do this again, but then you try to rationalize going with a bare bone fixture. I install a 1700 series largely because of the volume control. There are times my wife prefers not to have full volume from the tub spout. As far as the temperature control, we both really like it. Sometimes one of us (me) wants a very hot shower and this is so easy to dial up with out going too far. Installation was easy, probably as easy as any fixture. It did take me some trials and errors to get the temperature control set, but it isn't difficult to do. I'd suggest you take a longer look at the 1700 series. Maybe you wouldn't end up using all of its features, but then maybe you would.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    YOu can install a "two handle faucet" like you now have, but you would have to install a "remote" pressure balancing unit, (i.e., Kohler or Grohe), in the hot and cold pipes to it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    Like HJ says if you want it legal &/or are having inspection. If pleasing "she who must be obeyed" is the primary consideration and you haven't been getting scalded or chilled while showering, then the legal approach is the solution to a problem you don't have. Just saying. (Could be an issue if you sell the house). Those air chambers are worthless but do no harm - you can leave them if it is easier.

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    DIY Junior Member TSGarp007's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your inputs...

    My wife would probably want me to just shift my old assembly over to be centered in the new shower. She is not a spender, which is generally speaking a good thing. I just can't stand tiling over decades old shower plumbing (and I'm not sure how that would follow the code, as you guys mentioned). No way I could convince her to spend more money for the volume control.

    There is no tub involved - I can definitely see wanting less volume if there was a tub. That is for sure, but not the case here. Even with our current plumbing we never had any problems with water temp/pressure when someone flushed the toilet.

    If I install a R10000-UNBX, couldn't I swap out my 13 or 14 series handle and shower head for a 17 series set at a later date? It seems like the UNBX works with all kinds of expensive 17 series sets on deltafaucet.com. I'm not sure what scenario would dictate that, but always nice to have the option I guess (maybe a theoretical future buyer).

    Super low flow actually scares me a little... Don't need volume control, no temp control problems with current set up... I really just want a quality, reliable unit. So I am leaning towards 13 series. Still good quality right? Just not as fancy?

    Thanks again everyone!

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Based on what I read at the www.deltafaucet.com website, that rough-in valve body can be used with any 1300/1400/1700 trim, so yes, should you change your mind or want to change things out in the future, you should be able to without doing any replumbing.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    DIY Member themp's Avatar
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    I can relate here. Just re-tiled a 30 year old shower and was going to stick with the original Delta single handle valve. You can buy a re-furbish kit for around 100 dollars. But after a few discussions on this board, I ended up with

    Delta T17230

    Since I only use the shower as my wife uses the tub, the temperature set is really nice. And I was amazed at the shower head, it really works as designed.

    This link also helped me decide also: http://www.maineshowerdoor.com/Showe...r%20Valves.htm
    Last edited by Terry; 02-16-2014 at 05:54 PM.

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