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Thread: Need an advise on valve replacement

  1. #1
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    Default Need an advise on valve replacement

    Hi all,

    I am tearing down my shower room because the tiles looks ugly. Everything still work normally so this remodel is just for cosmetic reason. I don't have any problem w/ my shower valve but I was wondering if it would be a good idea to change the valve while the walls are wide open. The valve is about 13 years old made by Price Pfister. I don't mind the cost of a new valve but touching the plumbing is not my favorite thing. Thoughts?

    Thanks
    Jerome

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'd say you are on the right track. Now is certainly the right time with the remodeling underway. There are newer valves on the market that are far better than they were 13 years ago. There are of course several brands to choose from, and most of us have our personal preferences, but you can get a valve that can control temperature, flow volume, be anti-scald, and be very nice looking. My personal choice is the Delta 1700, but that's not the only good one. These are not especially difficult to DIY install, but if you're not comfortable with DIY, then a plumber could do it without requiring a second mortgage.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    The rule of thumb is if you open the wall then change the valve, especially if there is no access through the back. Also, current codes require pressure balancing. And once you get the new wall up your old trim is probably going to look tacky and you (or the significant other) will probably want to change it. That said, if you have a two or three handle Price Pfister valve the parts are ubiquitous and there are a number of new trim options available.

  4. #4
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I am a DIYer but always being nervous about soldering especially in this case because it will concealed behind tile walls.

    I am definitely replacing the trim and checked w/ Pfister and fortunately most of their new shower trims are compatible w/ my old valve. No problem here as Pfister offers many good looking trims.

    My valve is a basic one w/ just temperature control. To get anti-scald, flow control, etc... can I just replace the cartridge?

    My main worry is the old valve failing at some point and have to take down the wall to repair. What can happen to a valve that replacing its cartridge won't be enough?

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I can't say for sure, but to get the anti-scale, I think you're looking a all new.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The vast majority of the time, you can fix a shower valve by replacing the cartridge and that's done from the front. That does not mean that they'll still be made, but most common ones are generally available for a long time. This does not mean you'll always be able to replace the trim...that may or may not still be available. Today's code requires anti-scald technology. Depending on when yours was made, it may have it, but not if it has separate hot and cold knobs. The majority of the valves available today are single handle, but you can still get one meeting today's code with a separate volume control and a separate temperature control. Those come in two flavors...simple mixing valves and thermostatically controlled valves. They may handle the anti-scald differently, but they each provide it. Delta has a neat rough-in valve body (R10000) that allows you to choose which of those three types you want (the cartridge and trim are packaged separately from the valve body - big box stores often sell it as a package, though). This allows you to change your mind at some later time.
    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 Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    I would yank a single handle Price Pfister. There are several versions and trim options will be much more limited. While they aren't rare, they aren't nearly as common as the multi-handle. They also aren't that great.

  8. #8
    DIY Member jerome7's Avatar
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    The R10000 is kinda neat. Initially, I didn't notice it can take multiple types of cartridge. Usually I see cartridges being sold w/ the rough-in valves while Delta packages cartridge w/ the trim.

    If I change the valve and have to do plumbing work, I am inclined to add body sprays and a hand shower bar.

    They have a large selection and it would be easier to find a style close to my sink and roman tube faucet (which I am not remodeling)
    Last edited by Terry; 04-19-2013 at 02:23 PM.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Big supply houses normally to not package Delta stuff as a complete package (rough-in, trim, cartridge, and maybe a spout and showerhead), but big box stores do. The big box stores also don't stock the full range. You may be surprised at a local plumbing supply house's prices, but they normally do offer their best prices to professionals, not DIY'ers. I've not had trouble with online purchases. It's nice to support local, if the prices are similar, though. Maybe find what you want, then see if they'll match or get close to the online price. It's nice to be able to get quicker responses if you do have a question or problem.
    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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