Transition prep questions - new fixtures on old pipes

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  • Minni

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    Hi, referring to my attached URLs and pics, I realize that others with my 1950s pipes might have replaced them long ago, but what can i say, i'm in need of operable bath fixtures (and later i hope to add a handheld to my vintage rainshower which requires re-fastening). For now i'm prioritizing installation by a plumber of Delta Universal shower-valve R10000-UNWS & maybe T13420-SHC trim-set, which i assume are compatible with each other. To do it right, I'm hoping for him to also envelope the spout-stem in a RDS (Red Disc Seal) as well as add silicone behind it.

    Since i'd also like your feedback as plumbers, i've some prep. questions:
    1. How viable would the above be, considering the wide diameter of the 1950s Spout-Pipe you see in my pic? (Note that the gaping spout-pipe you see is female-threaded.) Can a male-adapter be threaded into it so that the 1/2" diameter copper stem of the Delta spout can somehow thereby become connectable to the adapter?

    2. Also, it's confusing to figure out where on earth the copper-stem of the Delta spout is packaged! Is it sold with the Universal-Valve, OR: with the Trim-Set, OR: sold separately?

    3. If indeed the copper spout-stem can be connected via adapter, which version of RDS is compatible to pre-empt leaks from behind? As for silicone, I own a barely used G.E. 100% Waterproof Kitchen/Bath Advanced Silicone Squeeze tube (gold-color tube), bought last year. It feels very pliable. Would that work well with the RDS?
    Thanks for any feedback which might shed light on these matters :cool:
     

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    Breplum

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    I am not going to get into the weeds here but wanted to say that we NEVER use a copper tube for a tub spout and ALWAYS use a drop ear 1/2 " copper x 1/2" IPS adapter, then use any IPS style tub spout with slip fit. Delta makes IPS diverter spouts but, frankly I don't like the pull down action. Copper tube tub stubs are wimpy, wiggly and do not perform like a brass nipple stub out.
    Then just tile up close and use silicone for the seal. 50 years of no leaks.
     

    Minni

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    I'm trying to figure out the technical terms, but may i assume that some people (like the RedDiscSeal guy) use copper tubing, while other plumbers use your method?

    So do you somehow get a male adapter screwed into the 1950s female threading, and take it from there?
     

    Jeff H Young

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    wall is open get ridof the galvie. and old valve I do it like breplum with a drop ear 90 and put a galvinized nipple and cap on during rough in. when tile work is done I use proper length brass nipple. Youcould screw amale adapter in with a short piece of copper for the spout it is pretty whimpy as he says but on cheap jobs its very common. its not a big savings few dollars maybe 5 or 10 bucks
     

    Minni

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    wall is open get ridof the galvie. and old valve I do it like breplum with a drop ear 90 and put a galvinized nipple and cap on during rough in. when tile work is done I use proper length brass nipple. Youcould screw amale adapter in with a short piece of copper for the spout it is pretty whimpy as he says but on cheap jobs its very common. its not a big savings few dollars maybe 5 or 10 bucks
    Would any good plumber i may get - know on his own to do this, or is there perhaps a diagram i can print out to show him? Maybe even a vid? Because i need to visualize the steps in order to understand.
     

    Minni

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    Please, i'm trying to understand. Would professional plumbers chop out the entire old galvanized piping (from the three capped faucet-fixtures that are directly above the bathtub, all the way up to a foot below the ceiling where the rainshower outlet is? Which would probably mean hacking out that entire section of pink-tile wall, including the wallpaper above it.

    But what about the hacked off pipes coming up from the basement? And then what?
     

    Jeff H Young

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    Its not clear what you want done , Id recomend all galvinised piping removed sort of a blanket statement but if not why not remove it all?
     

    Minni

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    Its not clear what you want done , Id recomend all galvinised piping removed sort of a blanket statement but if not why not remove it all?
    So you're talking about breaking up that entire section of wall from ceiling to tub, then re-plumbing it
    (but what about the piping which comes from the basement??)
    ...and then re-doing the sheetrock plus tile from ceiling to tub?
    Do you think that's what Breplum meant too?
     

    Jeff H Young

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    I dont think breplum adressed that particular question. Youve already opened the wall persinally i recomend getting rid of the galvie you want to leave it fine It might last 20 years. I didnt expect this to go beyond a 300 dollar job to get a temporary makeshift handheld due to imediate medical needs
     

    Minni

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    I didnt expect this to go beyond a 300 dollar job to get a temporary makeshift handheld due to imediate medical needs
    Not sure what you mean. The fact of the matter is, that in my OP i asked 3 questions along with links and pics which were not really addressed. So FWIW since this is supposed to be an educational forum, anyone else who in future might browse thru this thread (if they too have old pipes like me) might wind up just as desperate as i remain for clear answers. Its my experience that no matter if its computer tech guys or electricians/plumbers/other-pro's - the majority require mediators who can interpret their lingo to amateurs in a way that's comprehensible. (Like as if that would ever happen)
     

    Jeff H Young

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    I agree with reach 4 let us know if you have more questions but id get rid of the galvinized if its withen budget
     

    Minni

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    Take a look again at my OP. I gave a link about RDS, yet Reach thinks i meant RTV?? RDS is not RTV. So its very obvious that professionals on these forums are incapable of understanding peoples' point by point questions. In which case, these forums are not genuinely helpful, because educators are supposed to know how to truly listen, and how to truly respond to-the-point.

    And BTW, the RDS-guy is the one who truly knows how to communicate crystal-clear to laypeople (however wimpy/wiggly his copper may be). If the whole world would communicate like he does in his vid's - then the world wouldn't be in the sorry state it is now.

    So I give up. My posts are usually painstakingly composed, yet despite that, you guys don't understand me. Well, just so you know, your posts are the opposite of painstaking (also not answering point by point). You assume everyone knows what "dribble" is supposed to mean. And i still never got clear answers to the three questions of my OP.

    So much for being candid, which usually leads to unjustified banning. But what difference does it make, since i learned that professionals, no matter if plumbers, doctors, or computer-tech's are 9/10 incapable of clear communication, thus hopeless, hopeless, hopeless.
     

    DIYorBust

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    Hi there. I doubt you'll find yourself banned here for getting frustrated. I think most plumbers understand frustrating projects. So here's the deal. I think you are focusing on the wrong elements of your project. A red disc seal does not seem important to doing this job "right" to me unless there is a known issue. Are you going to use it on your faucets as well? Even waterproofing the tile backer is relatively new, and not always done. Caulking around the tub spout , sealing the grout, waterproofing your tile backer, I doubt you have an issue.

    But one thing that does look like an issue is the galvanized pipe. Perhaps some older folks remember a time when galvanized piping was thought of as good, but even by the 80s or 90s galvanized piping was not what you wanted to find, rusty water and low pressure being common manifestations of this piping technology. Yet at that time, it was relatively likely to hold up another generation and more of an occasional nuisance. However galvanized plumbing in most cases is now exceeding the end of it's expected life, and in general has been disappointing in terms of achieving even the expected longevity.

    So I think most of the folks here are recommending that, since tilework will be needed, and you are replumbing the shower with a modern system, it would be an appropriate and cost effective time to replace the galvanized plumbing at this location. If you did this work and then you galvanized plumbing rusted too much to provide good shower pressure, you'd have to reopen the wall and redo the tilework and plumbing you had just completed.

    I would also agree with this, but if your budget is limited, and it's beyond your DIY skill, I suppose you'll do what you gotta do.
     

    Minni

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    it would be an appropriate and cost effective time to replace the galvanized plumbing at this location. If you did this work and then you galvanized plumbing rusted too much to provide good shower pressure, you'd have to reopen the wall and redo the tilework and plumbing you had just completed.
    DIY thanks for explaining! :cool:
    So (repeating my above Q) are you talking about breaking up that entire section of wall from ceiling to tub, then re-plumbing it
    (but what about the piping which comes from the basement?? For that matter all the pipes running along the basement ceiling are old, so i guess i'm living in a house that's a time-bomb.

    ...and also, does the sheetrock plus tile from tub to ceiling need to be re-sheetrocked and re-tiled? (Note that section of wall is only 29.25" wide, because the head of the tub is tucked into sorta an alcove).

    May i ask what pipes you'd use as replacement? And Approx. total cost of the plumbing plus tiling?
    Frankly, i don't see myself living here much longer anyway.
     

    DIYorBust

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    The goal would be to replace as much as reasonably possible so that ideally no future galvanized pipe replacement would require opening this tilework again. Sheetrock is relatively cheap to replace, tile more expensive, particularly since it may be necessary to retile the entire surround or more if you want the tile to match. I am uncertain whether you could find an acceptable match for these probably 1950s tile, there may be someone who makes it. Tile in a shower suround should not be installed on sheetrock, but on a cement tile backer board with a waterproofing system, such as redguard. One exception is a kerdi system which can be installed over sheetrock, although I think I would prefer cement board anyway since it would be relatively resistant to leaks or condensation that could occur. Other shower systems exist as well, generally at a higher cost, but tiling directly onto sheetrock is not a good method and runs an decent risk of your wallboard turning into a moldy gooey mess and releasing the tile, easily avoided by using cement board at minimal extra cost.

    Currently, there are two suitable piping choices for this project, copper, and pex. PEX is cheaper and easier to install and seems like the choice for you. But copper has a longer track record and may be preferred for durability or water chemistry reasons.

    If you don't plan to keep the home long, it might make sense to do minimal work and leave most of the piping for the next owner to worry about. It depends I suppose on whether renovating the bathroom would help sell the home at a good price.

    Finally, since you are in NY, I will provide an guestimate on pricing. If you are in NYC, 1 million dollars. Outside the city, well let's say
    1 day demo 250
    1 day plumber 1000
    1 day tile wallboard sheetrock and tile 250
    half day grout 125
    materials 200-500

    Assuming you can find a decent carpenter/tiler, plumber should know someone. Could vary quite a bit depending on local rates and your job execution.

    so depending on how you organize the job
     

    Minni

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to list ball-park estimates. I wouldn't be using it as a classic shower, because that's more like shock-treatment than therapeutic to me. Rather (if i ever would get around to a handheld), i'd only apply it while seated on floor of tub. The handheld would be screwed into a Hotel Spa extender that's screwed onto the rainshower-threads. I probably wouldn't even draw the curtain.

    BTW, there's some suggestions for tile alternatives on the below expired houzz thread, but having never experienced them, i wouldn't know which if any of their suggestions may be the best choice. Maybe even an oil-paint on sheetrock could work out.
     

    DIYorBust

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    Minni

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    But i don't need an entire tub-surround, and furthermore, the Delta tub-surround needs to be glued on. Whereas at my place, the narrow-wall where the spout-fixtures are, would be knocked out for purposes of plumbing, thus no solid backing for gluing on. I researched and saw there are surrounds that get anchored to stud-frames, but as i said, i don't need an entire surround. Just a narrow wall.
     
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