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Thread: Replumbing Bathtub/Shower

  1. #1

    Default Replumbing Bathtub/Shower

    I am currently remodeling my bathroom that recently had a sewage backup in it. I purchased bathub/shower hardware and have to replace the diverter I currently have. I have cpvc for my water supply line and then copper lines running from the diverter to the shower head and tub spout. I don't like working with copper because I don't like soldering. Can I replace the copper with cpvc piping or do these lines need to be copper? I know copper nipples are used to connect the spout and shower arm, but could I use pvc instead? The connections at the diverter are on there tightly and i cannot turn them, it looks like i might have to cut into the plumbing and reapply fittings for the new diverter valve. Pvc is much easier to work with and I prefer to do this if possible, otherwise I guess I'll just have to run new copper lines for the shower head and spout. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    The things that are touched by you in the normal operation of things are better served by the copper. The plastic can get brittle. If it isn't getting stressed, then it is usually okay, but if it is someplace that can get bumped or used as a handle, or moved around on a regular basis, you would be much better served (in my opinion) with copper or brass. That includes the connection in the wall that originates the pipe coming out of the wall for the showerhead and tub/diverter spout.

    My best suggestion is to buy some fittings, solder, tubing cutter, soldering torch, cleaning brush for inside and outside, and practice a little bit in the garage or outside. It isn't really all that hard. Otherwise, it shouldn't cost much more than the minimum for a plumber to do it for you. Do you have any friends that you might tap to do this for you? Really, beg, borrow, or buy the tools you need and try it on some scraps that you can throw away until you are confident. The next time you need to do it, will be much easier and less traumatic.

    Now, if you live in MA, you aren't supposed to touch your own plumbing (although I'm sure many people do); a plumber is required.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3


    Thanks for you input, I appreciate it. The area behind the shower is such a small space and I can't really get back there to do any soldering. After searching online I was able to find the replacement handle that will work for my diverter I already have so I'm just going to stick to changing that out. I just had to replace my main sewer line and I don't want to do a bunch of stuff to this house because it's so old.

    Thanks again!!!


  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default cpvc

    If you use CPVC for the connection between the valve and the tub diverter spout, you will probably find that water will drip/flow from the shower head even when the water is filling the tub.


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