Cost to install new valve - galvanized steel to copper?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Henry Ramsey, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Henry Ramsey

    Henry Ramsey New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I demolished the shower surround myself this morning. The plumber was here this afternoon and he's coming back on Thursday morning to do the rest of the work with the water shut off. I ended up with a single control Moen valve. It's not thermostatic but is pressure balanced and I can live with that.

    He's going to install ball-valve shut offs and frame an access panel for them within the closet behind the shower. And install a new tub drain and overflow cover. The cold water pipe is threaded right below the floor beam but he can reach it from above since there is a large gap for the tub drain. The hot water pipe has two elbows making that easier.

    Here's a photo gallery if you're interested.
    http://s468.photobucket.com/albums/rr48/ghramsey/Tub-Shower-Bathroom/Tub-Shower%20Demolition/?start=all

    Unless something untoward comes up the total cost has come in under $700. I'm not sure if that's high or low but it seems fair enough. Only thing, that's just the plumbing. I have yet to go to the fun stuff: the CBU, kerdi and tile.

    Jim, you were the guy who showed me Schluter Kerdi back in 2006 for my other shower and I'm going to use it here
    again too. I owe you a thank you for that.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,000
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Have your plumber pick up the tub shower valve.
    He can purchase one at a supply house with stops on it. The ones you would pick up a box store don't give you that option. In the future, and even during your construction, having integral stops with be a huge time saver for you.

    Delta, Moen, Grohe, HansGrohe, Kohler, not in any order here.

    [​IMG]

    Moen Posi-Temp
    The 2570 has integral stops.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  3. Henry Ramsey

    Henry Ramsey New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    The decision to use one without integral stops is due to if they fail or whatever I will have to shut down water to all my neighbors. That's the problem with the existing Sterling valve; the stops no longer work and are obsolete so cannot be replaced. In the other shower I rebuilt, I left the valve there and was able to get the stems and parts to rebuild the stops. Both bathrooms use the same valve except for the tub having a divertor of course. The only thing I couldn't change was the shower head piece, but it was in good shape. Between the time I did that work and now the stops are no longer made hence this work.

    The ball shut offs he's putting in will work better in this case and he can install the pipes and valves then restore water to my neighbors and work on the rest with less hurry. The valve set is already purchased yesterday, btw. A single control Moen from HD for about $100. The spout shower diverter looks like it's has better construction than Delta in that price range and it's the same general size as the current spout.

    Thanks for your reply.
  4. Henry Ramsey

    Henry Ramsey New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    The plumber was here nearly all day.

    He successfully replaced the galvanized pipe that was there and added appropriate union couplings
    for the copper connections to new ball shut offs and the new shower valve. He only had the water off for about 45 minutes.
    Total cost was $684 including the materials and labor.

    He has to finish the spout connection when I get the tile on the wall, but that seems easy.
    But for the most part the plumbing is done.
    Now onto my part which includes hanging hardi on out of plumb framing.
    And the tub is also not level side to side too. :( It's the original tub not a new one, btw.
    I just didn't think we needed a new one and it might even be the building was made this way.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It would be impossible to read all the previous posting, but I doubt that you will find anyone who will give you a firm estimate to change the valve, unless it is so astronomical that they have covered all possibilities. The management would probably also NOT like you converting from galvanized to copper in the wall without transition fittings, which themselves could leak and fail sometime or cause deterioration of the galvanized piping.
  6. Henry Ramsey

    Henry Ramsey New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    The work was already done yesterday. All that's left is the tub spout which needs to be threaded after I have the tile in place.
    It was done right with unions and full port, ball shut offs so if I need to do any future repairs I can shut it off locally instead of interrupting my neighbors. We have no management here to speak of we are a self managed community. The HOA has no say of what I do within my own unit. If we have a leak or need repairs to the plumbing that serves only my unit (ie not a main line water pipe) I have to pay for it. This is well established and accepted by all. The same plumber has also done a lot of plumbing work throughout the rest of my neighbors' units and repairs some for the HOA. He has used dielectric unions and copper for most of his repairs as well. This made his an acceptable plumber who has an excellent reputation within the community here.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    While you've got the walls torn up, you might want to consider resetting the tub so it sits level. This may take some shims, or if you take it all the way out, maybe setting it in some mortar so it will sit level. This will make water management MUCH more reliable. It might also mean dealing with the drain - it sort of depends on what's there and how it is installed. You do NOT want to place much torque on it. If it uses slip joints, you might just be able to loosen them, move the tub, then retighten.
  8. Henry Ramsey

    Henry Ramsey New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I re-called the plumber who was here yesterday. Since we had talked about putting in intermediate valves in the other shower in the event I ever need to do any more work there and he quoted me $200 for that plus parts he said why don't we do that and relevel the tub at the same time. This saves on his making another trip. This is with the hope that nothing more comes up w/ the tub though. He's also changing the toilet valves all of which stick too. So this shold be OK as long as nothing more expensive shows up.

    As long as the tub CAN be leveled this is going to be fine. Hopefully, this will not be a can of worms requiring a new tub.
    We're reaching the limits of money on hand and credit.

    He did set a new drain the other day after having a helluva time getting the old one out. None of the tools he had fit in the old drain and he had to cut it out I think. It's set in such a way that he can move it if he needs to he says.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    New York, NY
    It has been fun following your postings.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF he was there "most of the day" his price was too cheap, and what was he doing the rest of the time if he only had the water shut off "for 45 minutes"?
  11. Henry Ramsey

    Henry Ramsey New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Perhaps it is too cheap, but his work is done right and to me that matters.

    The water cut off was only necessary until he had ball shut offs installed. He had to manhandle the old pipes out of their fittings and it took both he and his helper to do so. Once that was done putting in the shut offs was easy.
    With them installed and turned off water could be restored.

    Then he fabricated the faucet assembly onsite and installed it which included a lot of notching of studs and putting in
    some blocks.

    After that the drain took a couple of hours to cut out without doing damage to the tub. There is not a single scratch around the tub so he succeeded in doing zero damage. The putting everything backtogether and working from a tiny hole in the closet behind the tub with little leverage.

    He had to go and get a spare part to complete the work which took about 45 minutes. Our A/C main drain runs into the overflow of the tub and required some extra hoops to make it all fit right.

    He was here from roughly 9:30 to almost 5pm with about 45 minutes spent going for supplies.
    He and his helper didn't even stop for lunch unless he snacked in that 45 minutes too. 8 hours at $480 for labor is $60 per hour. He's a licensed journeyman not a master plumber, btw and a person from the HOA told me the going journeyman rate is about $65 per hour. So he cut us a break or he put in more hours than he planned, but didn't charge more. Either way I'm satisfied with the work.
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