Improvising Positive Shower Shut-off

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by karlbaba, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. karlbaba

    karlbaba New Member

    Messages:
    6
    My old shower drips badly and the dual valves would require much time and money (I especially have no money) to fix.

    I'm looking for a positive 100% shower shut-off. I know I can't buy one designed for this purpose as some codes don't allow it because it would create problems if you left your regular valves open. I don't intend to do that, just to shut off the remaining drip.

    Where (online would be a plus but I can make it to a hardware store once in awhile) can I get an inline valve that will shut off my shower 100%.

    Thanks! This house is a shack and so code is not an issue

    Karl
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,000
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Karl,
    Code is always an issue, since a public water supply is shared.

    If your neighbor has improperly plumbed his home, and the water main is ever shut off, which happens quite often really, then the polluted water is sucked back into the main for everyone to share.

    In this case, just capping off the shower head, would not be an issue.
    If the valve crosses over the hot to cold, you are still working with potable water.
    The main reason for shower heads not completely shutting off, would be for condo's and apartments. A cross over connection like that can mix the hot and cold for an entire building, making everyones water luke warm.

    If you have a two handle shower valve, it's about as much to repair it, as it is to put a shutoff on the shower arm.
    Can you attach a digital photo of the shower valve?
  3. karlbaba

    karlbaba New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Checking out the valves, it really looks like I'd have to tear the shower out to get to them, far beyond what I'm capable of. Seem to me, all I need is a 1/2inch valve with a male connection on one side and female on the other that's hopefully not just completely ugly (although even ugly would be better than dripping.) I live up in the mountains so it hasn't been easy for me to get anywhere where there is a good selection of such thing.

    Perhaps I could only get a female-female valve and have to add a nipple for the showerhead?

    Doesn't seem like more than a $10-30, 5 minute repair. I'm just looking for the part, or where to get it and what to ask for.

    Karl
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    What you say is correct....a 1/2" female IPS ball valve, and a nipple, will do it. It will not be pretty. And this all might run you between $10 and $20. Two bibb washers and 2 seats might run $4 total. Despite what you think you see, it is almost guaranteed that you can repair that. If you could just remove the handle and the chrome trim behind, and post a picture, we could further advise.
  5. karlbaba

    karlbaba New Member

    Messages:
    6
    THanks for your help

    Here's the image requested

    [​IMG]

    I can't imagine that even the tools to fix that wouldn't be more money than just the shut-off valve solution and if any parts were to drop down behind the shower wall, I'd be toast. Are there any online sources for the shut-off valve I'm looking for?

    Thanks again

    Karl
  6. karlbaba

    karlbaba New Member

    Messages:
    6
    It does seem however, that the nipple for my showerhead is bigger than 1/2 inch. How do I measure the right size for ordering an appropriate ball valve?

    Thanks

    Karl
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    1. Pipes are referred to as inside diameter. That 1/2" shower arm pipe will read about 3/4" if you measure across the threaded end. The parts you need are called 1/2"


    2. They didn't get the holes exactly right, but those valves are eminently repairable. From the photo, I am not recognizing the brand, but someone will. If push comes to shove, we might ask for a picture of the handles.

    3. About the only special tools you might need are deep shower stem sockets, $8 for the set, and a seat wrench, $6.

    4. There are possible consequences from valving off a leaking shower. Besides the possible crossover mentioned, the leak will cause full pressure to build in the pipe, and the valve stem packing will then be exposed continuously to full line pressure. It is not intened for this, and you might end up with a behind-the-wall leak, which can cause major damage.



    I strongly urge you to forget the valve idea, and fix the leak.
  8. karlbaba

    karlbaba New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks much for your time. I was worried about the screwed on clamps that are somehow between me and the deep-set shower valves. I do I deal with those? Will the tools recommend work around them?

    Karl
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'd just take those clamps off they are not supposed to be there. Its amazing what a handyman tries sometimes.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    clamps

    Has it occurred to you that the only way those clamps could have been applied was if those valve parts had been removed? Obviously that was done without "tearing the shower apart" so you can do it to repair the valves also.
  11. karlbaba

    karlbaba New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Perhaps, but I can't bet on it. The current shower was replaced by the guy who rented this place before me 10 years ago. He wasn't a plumber by any stretch, although that gives me the idea to call him up and see if he remembers anything about hose clamps. I doubt he replaced the valves, only the enclosure.

    Thanks

    Karl

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