Help Me Choose Plumbing For My New Shower

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by golddustwoman, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. golddustwoman

    golddustwoman New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Omaha NE
    Hi - The blue shower (along with the blue toilet) is soon to be replaced. YAY! The plastic shower pan and disgusting bypass shower doors are about to be out there for the trash guy. Can't wait. So we have to choose new plumbing fixtures for our shower and we have no idea what to choose. Here are our requirements/wants:

    - Single handle operation - meaning one handle that controls water temp and volume
    - Shower head with good water pressure - not interested in that feeling of being rained on
    - Easy to install as a replacement for our current Delta (see picture below - which I really just included for the fun of showing how bad it is and how happy we are to get rid of it!) My husband is not a plumber but is a gifted DIYer, so he'd like to install it himself
    - We'd like it to last another 20 years without replacement or repair, just like this ugly Delta did. :)

    Ok I couldn't upload the picture but trust me it's ugly.

    Questions -
    - Is anyone out there screaming "no! don't try to do it yourself!!"? If so, I'm open to that and would love to hear why.
    - The valve is 21 years old. We're told to replace it. Is that something an experienced DIYer can do?
    - Is there a recommended brand for good performance?
    - Should we not buy from a store like Lowe's, Home Depot or online? Or is it the same products anyplace and just go where the best price is?
    - What should I be asking that I am not?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,153
    Location:
    New England
    A new Delta shower valve could last as long as the last one. They have all sorts of finishes available and different handles or knobs. A new one would have the federally mandated anti-scald technology in it. Many of the new finishes are guaranteed for life, so if they do end up looking crappy, they'll send you new ones. There is some discussion as to whether the stuff in the big box stores is identical to that you buy from a plumbing supply house. First, the rough-in valve is often sold separately in the supply house, then you choose your trim. In the big box stores, they're prepackaged, often with showerhead and maybe a spout. So, if you do go to a plumbing supply house (or order online), you have the choice of geting just what you want, rather than the 'package'. Course, a package is pretty much guaranteed to work as a package...buying bits, you have to be smart enough to read and understand what works with what.

    If you're going to tile things, you may want to check out www.johnbridge.com. They helped me a lot when I was doing my last remodels.

    As to whether you should do this yourself or not, I have no way of knowing your skill level or what tools you have. Many people do this sort of thing themselves, and some of those end up with a pro trying to make it right - often costing more than if they did it all. But, it isn't rocket science, but a plumber does go to school and practice a long time for a reason...they get it done faster and right the first time (generally!?). You may not. Depends on your tolerance level to frustration and ability to learn new things.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Delta is still a good brand. They now come pressure balanced which is a real plus.
    You can also look at Moen, Price Pfister, Kohler
    They have web sites for support and real people that answer the phone.

    The home center stuff tends to be threaded, while the plumbing supply valves normally come ready for soldering. Plumbers prefer soldering the valves as it means less chance of a leak and less time installing.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Single handle operation - meaning one handle that controls water temp and volume

    I know you THINK that is what you want, but a Delta universal body with 1700 trim gives you a temperature knob, which you can set and forget if you want to, and volume lever so you can adjust the flow to your liking. A SINGLE handle valve ONLY controls the temperature, because it ALWAYS flows at full force once it is turned on, then you rotate the lever to select the temperature, and you have to redo it EVERY time you use the faucet.
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,443
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Choosing Shower Fixtures

    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  6. golddustwoman

    golddustwoman New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Omaha NE
    Hi - thank you - yes that is only what I think I want! But here's why I think that's what I want - we want to use only existing plumbing and that's the kind we have now. If I were to choose one with separate temp control, what changes have to be made to the existing plumbing?

    Thank you all for your help and advice! :)
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    EXACTLY THE SAME as you would have to make to put a 'single handle" faucet in. In fact, with the Delta body, you install the valve and THEN decide whether you want the one handle or two handle insert for it.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,153
    Location:
    New England
    You either didn't read, or understand my post. The same rough-in valve (the brass in the wall) supports three different trim/handle configurations: pressure balance (single handle), temp and volume, or thermostatic control and volume. You decide which to install in the rough-in, based on your preferences. And, should you change your mind later, you buy new trim and cartridge and no plumbing changes required - just install the new parts in the old rough-in valve.
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