Can tub diverter valve be removed? (two tap style)

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by AcidWater, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    circa 1966 Elger tub, with hot & cold taps and shower diverter in the center.

    There is a piece of junk from the corroded bibb seat rattling around in there; it blocks flow. Which might be lived with except sometimes it blocks only the hot or only the cold; making it impossible to set a temperature.

    If I pull the handle... what next? Can I get the thing out and look around for the piece of junk?

    Handle really on tight after 50 years of hard, acid water & soap scum...so is it worth the effort?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    You take it out the same way you removed the stems. It also has a seat so you may have to remove it to allow room for the piece to slip out.
  3. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Thanks; I'll give it a try after the hurricane is over...
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Maybe the hurricane will blow the house down, then you won't have to worry about it or the seat that gave you the problem originally.
  5. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    I can't get the damn handle off. Using a puller tool; but the L jaws keep slipping off.

    However, when I tapped it outwards a little, something gave way. It seems to have come out 1/8" or so, and now it all rattles inside, and I can spin the handle 360 degrees around. What's busted?
  6. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    When I turn on the water, pressure pushes the handle outwards & it flows from the shower. Pushing it inwards causes flow from the spout. In both cases significant leakage from behind the handle.

    So I gotta get this handle off... I could cut it off with a grinder...

    I'd really like to see a schematic diagram of how this valve assembly works. No luck searching on the Net.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    without a model number you will not get a schematic, but the "Regatta" and "Luxura" models' diverter is just a variation of the hot and cold stems and comes out the same way. From your description we cannot tell what you might had done, or broken, in the diverter.
  8. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Any hints on getting the handle off? I'm concerned that using the puller I might be 1) expanding the stem diameter and thus swaging it to the handle and 2) yanking on the diverter and doing worse damage to it such that I might not be able to remove the diverter or 3) damage the valve body itself so even a new diverter would still leak.

    I hate to cut the handle off; they don't make nice chrome like that anymore.

    Maybe try to drill out the stem ???

    Don't know if its "just" 50 years of crud or if when installed they torqued it down & swaged it onto the stem... There was no screw holding the handle; just friction with the stem.

    I see two Eljer diverters in the Kissler catalog (pg 85)
    http://www.kissler.com/Downloads/Faucet Stems_B.pdf

    Any special tools required?
  9. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Well, gotta get moving... hope I can drill this out. The threads on the handle seem to go quite far back before the stem begins...
  10. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Went all the way up to a 1/8" bit, 6" long, fully inserted... still can't get the damn handle off.

    Next step: torch. Maybe the handle will heat up faster than the piece of stem and loosen up.

    Isn't there some professional handle puller that won't slip off when the rear bezel is large diameter?
  11. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Melted the pot metal handle.

    Now to the cutoff wheel ...

    This is a real bitch.
  12. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Cut into handle until I could get to the stem... cut off stem... removed bonnet... whole thing just turns... yanked... and the outer pipe "casing" is eroded & brittle & broken in half (where the two sideways holes are). Can't remove the stem without removing the casing. Can't reach remaining casing several inches in...

    So I suppose there is no way to remove this -- time to replace the whole valve set ???

    Could maybe try packing it with epoxy and sticking a smaller diameter piece of pipe inside it, so I have something to put a wrench on...

    but I'm not seeing this casing portion in the Kissler catalog; only the stem.
  13. Towers Plumbing

    Towers Plumbing In the Trades

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  14. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Another thing I've been told is that the bezels are not a standard diameter, so I need to make sure the valve body does not have a larger diameter than my existing bezels; otherwise I need to buy an entire setup instead of just the valve body ?
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    I am not sure if a good plumber would have had all the problems you did with this valve, but I'll bet by now you wish you had called one before going DIY on it. You were probably at your "level of incompetence" when you started working on the hot water seat, and then you exceeded it.
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    There are occasions where it is good practice to retain older things...sometimes, it is just impossible or impractical. I think you may have reached the impractical and maybe the impossible stage - it's probably time for a new valve. While sometimes, you can get parts long after a thing has stopped being manufacturered, but that depends on how many were built, whether the company is still in business, and whether it is of good enough quality to justify fixing rather than throwing it away.

    Some of the stuff was junk when it was built. Some designs are much easier to repair than others, and some are not really designed with maintenance or repair in mind.
  17. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    I think there's a big difference between lack of competence and lack of knowledge. That's why I come here. The broken diverter means I need to replace the whole valve body, and the acid water is what weakened & eventually fractured the diverter tube. No incompetence there.

    What is the significance of the distance from the centerline of the valve body to the place on each tap where the threads for the bezel begin?

    My current Elger is about 2 1/2" long. The new production stuff I have seen has a much shorter distance. About an inch shorter. I don't know where to look in the catalogs for specifying that distance, to get a replacement with the same length.

    If the replacement is shorter by an inch then it seems that I need to also buy a bezel specially for that length, which will project backwards into the wall to reach the threads? Seems like buying just the valve body is not going to work out; might as well get the whole kit even though I don't need the showerhead or spout.

    And how do you reach so far back to remove a ceramic stem? Special tool like a deep socket? I want the tool for whatever brand/style I end up getting.
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,353
    Location:
    New England
    There are deep plumbing sockets, but if you have a deep socket from your tool chest, it may work as well. If things are set too far back, you may need an extension kit. In most, you still use the same trim, it extends the shaft (but not on all).

    If acidic water messed up part of the thing, I'd seriously consider replacing the whole valve and likely the trim as well. Old trim rarely works on a new valve and vice-versa.
  19. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    I know that I need the whole valve; the diverter is broken in half & the front half came out, so water spurts from all 3 holes...

    I rather like my valve handles & the bezels are the kind of heavy chrome they don't make anymore, so I really don't want to double the price buying trim parts of lower quality.
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