Installing new Delta valves and want to save tiled walls

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by RonIdaho, May 9, 2008.

  1. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    Hi, I'm new here. I'm a retired mining engineer. Last fall, we started a remodel of our baths and kitchen. In addition to some expensive tile and granite, we went with Delta victorian bronze finish faucets and are carrying that theme throughout. I finished installing 1 kitchen and 4 bath sink faucets and am now at the stage of replacing our 19 year old Moen Chateau shower and tub hardware with Delta 17455 trim and R10000-UNBX valve bodies. I've attached pix of the "hole" with the old Moen valve in place, a Delta valve body, and an April fool's version of a Moen hybrid Delta trim. If only it were that easy. The caulk ring on the tile is about 6" in dia. which I could enlarge the hole to for access if necessary. I want to save the tile work and accomplish the change out in the wall. I'll be installing 3 valve bodies. The one in the pix (tub and shower) plus a tub only and a shower only installation. I presume I just neet to cap off the unsused outlets on the other installations. I like the way Delta has made the male IP/female copper connections on the ends.

    I have several questions. First, I'm willing to hire a plumber to do the plumbing work, but would rather do the fiddling and preparation myself because it looks like it is going to take hours to accomplish. I've been figuring out a way to install a wooden stringer back plate. Can't do it with one piece, but could with two overlapping pieces, some hole enlarging and fastening them to each other. I see a sketch of a thin wall kit RP47202. I have a regular 2x4 wall, but would this kit allow me to skip installing the stringer back plate? That would ease my burden quite a bit. Nother question--Could the copper pipes be cut so that they just fit inside the Delta valve body? The Moen valve body is small enough that I could cut the copper pipe just outside of it and still have enough to fit inside the Delta body without having to use short pieces of pipe and couplings. But, is there enough spring to spread the pipe the half inch I'd need to pop the new valve body in? If so, that would take care of most the rest of the difficult work. I have an exposed stud wall in the basement I can use for practice of any suggestions before committing them to the actual bathroom walls.

    I hope I haven't taken on a fool's errand. It looks like if I proceed methodically, I can get the valve bodies replaced properly and within the tight confines of working inside the wall. As I say, I'll practice first on my basement wall to make sure it works before tearing into the bathroom.

    Any and all help will be appreciated.

    Ron Ferrel
    Pocatello, Idaho

    Attached Files:

  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Most tub/shower valves are replaced through the wall on the back side. In many home there is a smartly placed closet where a back or side wall is cut open for access. What have you got for access in the back?
  3. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    Back wall

    The wall behind the faucet in the photo is a wall in our master bedroom. The wall behind the tub in the master bath is part of the adjacent tiled shower and the wall behind that shower with the shower faucet on it is the toilet wall. No closets unfortunately.

    RonIdaho
  4. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Delta makes a "renovation plate" which will cover the hole that you will need to make your solder joints

    "Delta RP29827 Showers Tub/Shower Renovation Cover Plate"
    Covers up to 8" center holes
    Part# RP29827

    Attached Files:

  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You may want to hire a plumber for this job if you only have front access. Installing a tub/shower valve is something I would say only a highly experienced DIYer should consider. Add in the limited access from the front and I would say even the experienced DIYer would be excluded. It's not an easy job!
  6. helplesshardware

    helplesshardware New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Denver
    Eeek!

    The new fixtures are beautiful! If you can hack the old one out (carefully) and finagle that new one in there-maybe....
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  7. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    Thanks for the tip. I checked around and could only find it in chrome or polished brass.
  8. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    I'm in the process of contacting experienced plumbers now to have them look at the job and possibly bid it. Thanks for your input.
  9. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    Addenda

    If I turn up anything useful as this job goes along I'll post it along with possible progress photos if I don't get in the plumber's way as possible help for the next guy.
  10. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    As promised, I'm back to relate the details of how this project came out. As recommended, I contacted a plumber. The first one never got back to me. The second didn't sound too enthusiastic over the phone, but told me he'd call the next morning (June 11, 2008) at 8:30 am. Well, he did, right on the dot and showed up with his truck and a helper at 8:41 am. He gave me a bid and was ready to go right then. They started on the shower only valve which already had a proper size hole cut in the tile while I chucked a small diamond cutter in my motor tool and started on the tub only valve. I got the hole finished just as they were ready for it, but burned up my tool in the process. So, I got my drill and started on the tub/shower valve that was shown in the earlier photos. I'll attach photos of the plumbers and the tub only fixture in this reply and will finish my report with the next one. Look at the valve photo. There's a stud on the right edge which forced the valve to be installed 3/4" to the left of center. It isn't that noticeable after everything was installed, fortunately, and I'm glad I didn't cut the hole any larger than I did or the escutcheon would not have covered it (It is 3/4" left of center too!). No more tiles to do a repair.

    Attached Files:

  11. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    To sum up

    Everything got done in 3 hours at a cost of $155 per valve. I have no idea if that is reasonable or not, but given the tight working conditions and the men not making any profit on the fixtures, plus the fact that it all turned out well leaves me to conclude that I got a pretty good deal. We didn't open the holes to the maximum the escutcheons would cover and, in the case of the tub only valve, thereby avoided a disaster. A couple of half inch diameter pops in the sheetrock behind the shower only valve were the only wall repairs I had to do and those were easily repaired with spackle and a paint touch-up. So, such a project can be done and I'm glad mine is finished! Now on to the last of the plumbing stuff--two rubbed bronze flush levers, 3 toilet supply lines, and replace the shower stall door assembly. The plumber recommended that I buy 3 replacement 1700 valve cartridges now, as he said when they need replacing, none of us will remember the details so I have them on order. When you decide on a plumbing decor and color, it is darned difficult to get all the hardware to match. I hope this thread is of benefit to other forum participants.
    RonIdaho

    Attached Files:

  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I'd say don't lose track of that plumber.
  13. RonIdaho

    RonIdaho New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    Mikey, I won't. One thing about local folks in a town of 60k. I've known him for 17 years. I sold him my old Bronco in '91. When I look at that pic of him working in that little hole in my wall, I just marvel that the job went like clockwork in spite of running into that stud in the wrong spot. Of course, I was too busy cutting tile at the time to pay attention.
  14. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, you got a good guy to do a job that many of us do not like to tackle! Enjoy your new shower!


    Now, since we never pass up a chance to nit pick each other, I will comment:

    I never stand in a customer's tub without putting a big old terry towel (MINE not theirs) down . And I never set hammers and such down on the edge of tub unless I drap a towel over that as well. Same for all the stuff piled up on the toilet seat.

    I know, easy for me to say...he got the job done. Just had to toss it in.
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