American Standard Shower Valve issue

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jsanfilippo, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. jsanfilippo

    jsanfilippo New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Hi all,

    My American Standard shower valve is giving me problems. Sometimes the water simply won't be hot, other times, it's scalding. It's only a problem in that shower.

    Today, I took the cartridge out and took it to a plumbing supply. They said it was an R120, and that if I call Am. St., they would send me a replacement free. They also suggested I get a Balancing Spool kit, as that might be the problem.

    When I found out it would be a week till the replacement parts came, I decided to take the cartidge and balancing spool out of the other shower that rarely gets used (same valve system) to put into the defective one.

    I replaced the cartridge just fine without issues. But I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get at the balancing spool. They told me on the phone that it should just be "behind" the catridge. But I cannot get that assembly apart. I'm reluctant to force it, as I'm afraid I'll break the whole thing and then have a much bigger problem of opening up the wall to do a full replacement.

    The problem definately wasn't the cartridge, as I did that swap and the problem continues.

    Any suggestions on getting at the balancing spool?

    Would photos of the assembly be helpful? If so, I'll post some.

    Thanks for any input!

    jamie
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
    Connecticut
    What is the model of this shower valve?
  3. jsanfilippo

    jsanfilippo New Member

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    12
    As far as I know, it's R120. It was in the house when I bought it, and I don't have paperwork. That's what they told me at the plumbing supply, and it looks like an R120 as shown online.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
  5. jsanfilippo

    jsanfilippo New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Sorry - the exact set of trim pieces isn't shown there. It's a single level handle, but a handheld shower head.

    I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm not sure how identifying the trim is helpful. Isn't R120 the model of the valve? Can't you have various trim pieces, but the same valve?

    This appears to be the same valve as I have.... but if there are others that look the same, then I can't be sure.

    http://www.americanstandard.ca/products/productDetail.php?prod=bathroom&cat=2&id=1045&sel=specs

    Is part of the confusion because I'm in Canada? Are model numbers and such different here?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    26,304
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    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valve

    Usually the balancing unit is a pull out piece just under the spool/cartridge. It may be stuck because it is a snug fit into its recess.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The balancing spool for the R120 is M952100-0070A. It should just pop right out, after you remove 3 small screws from the fixation ring.. The literature sheet for that valve is M968687A. If you don'
    t find it on the web, call AmStd and ask for that literature.
  8. jsanfilippo

    jsanfilippo New Member

    Messages:
    12
    By fixation ring, do you mean the brass plate that is immediately behind the cartridge? If so, then I did remove that, and nothing just "popped" out. I pulled on it and still nothing. I'll post some photos to confirm we are talking about the same piece.

    I wasn't able to find the document online that you mentioned. You don't have a PDF of it, do you?
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
  10. jsanfilippo

    jsanfilippo New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Great - that second document is helpful!
    What's the 1/2" NPT plug? It looks like it might come up from the bottom into the balancing unit?

    I know now that I am dealing with the same unit you guys are talking about - this is exactly what it looks like in my wall.

    So the balancing unit should just come out with a little negotiating once the screws and the disk are removed?
  11. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The plug mentioned is used at initial installation to plug either the tub or shower outlet, if one of them is not to be used.
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