Oddly attached water pipes in tub/shower

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by palletworx12, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. palletworx12

    palletworx12 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Hello everyone, this is my first post!!

    I know some basics about fixing some plumbing and was able to fix my other shower however this one is posing quite a challenge.

    The shower/tub faucet in this bathroom (mobile home) spews water out the back bottom of the spout when it is on and even worse when the shower is on (cant use for a shower at the moment, on hence why i really need to fix it), I figured I would just replace the entire piece since there is probably a crack in the cheap plastic... BUT after cutting an access hole and 1. seeing the damn electric runs right on top of it which is that even in code? and 2. someone had the bright idea to glue the PVC to the pipes instead of screwing them on!!! This piece is the standard mobile home one what should just require disconnect the water line and then remove the mounting nuts and slide the piece off... well as you can see in the pictures there are no threads at all on the center pipe for the spout... would I be able to cut the PVC on hot/cold sides and attach some sort of swivel connector to attach to back of new spout/handles?

    Any help would be appreciated!!

    SAM_2538-001.jpg SAM_2544-001.jpg SAM_2545-001.jpg SAM_2547-001.jpg SAM_2548.jpg
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,773
    Location:
    New England
    The pipe is probably CPVC which is allowed for plumbing inside, pvc isn't although they get away with murder sometimes I've heard in a mobile home. The plastic fitting on the end of the pipe before the tub valve may be threaded, which is not a great thing as plastic female threaded joints are notoriously weak, and often split, which may be the problem - all it takes is a small crack under pressure to leak all over.

    They do make transition fittings for CPVC that have metal female parts. It also looks like they used the cement to thread in the fitting for the faucet, and that should have been either plumber's tape, or a pipe dope approved for use on plastic (not all are).

    You don't have enough room without major mods to install a modern valve that meets current codes (anti-scald technology), so the least expensive thing is to probably cut off the piping maybe 6" down vertically, and rebuild with new. Instead of a female threaded fitting, find a transition piece that goes from cpvc to brass, thread it onto the valve, then glue in new pieces to mate up with what's still there. You may need a repair coupling if there's no give to spread the pipe apart to insert the coupling - it looks like a normal coupling, but doesn't have a stop in the middle. Make sure to try to center it over the joint. You'll need some cpvc cement and primer, some pipe dope approved for plastic, and some wrenches and maybe pliers, along with probably a hacksaw or similar to cut the pipe...all in all, not a lot. This assumes the valve still works otherwise.

    There may be places that still make and sell a replacement valve/spout assembly like you have, but technically, it's illegal to replace it unless you bring it up to code...you can legally fix what you have, though.
    Those plastic nuts are what hold the faucet in place, but if they're loose, or the hole in the wall is too big, when you play with the valve, you'd be putting stress on the plastic fittings, and that isn't a good setup for longevity.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Mobile homes are NOT subject to building codes. They are regulated by the DMV, which has no plumbing code that I know of!!!
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,234
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I'm not sure I see what the problem is. The spout should simply unscrew, but there is always a chance that the CPVC fitting will break if you force it.
  5. palletworx12

    palletworx12 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California

    I can't see or feel any threads on the spout pipe as the two other sides are threaded... i have to get all 3 loose in order to be able to remove the unit as it is all one piece not separate. I've checked the underside and cannot find any screw, all the ones I've looked at for mobile homes are the single piece one should simply pull out once water supply is removed
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,773
    Location:
    New England
    If I had to guess, and this is without being there, I'd guess to get the whole thing out, you'd need to first, cut all of the piping off, unscrew the fitting that runs up to the showerhead from the back of the valve assembly, then unscrew those plastic nuts holding it to the surround, then it would simply pull out into the tub/shower area (there may be some caulk, so it may be stuck). The outlet to the showerhead is probably integral with the whole valve assembly, and you'd need to get the fitting off first so there was clearance to pull it out. I've never looked for a unit like that...you may be able to find a new one. Might as well while you have it all torn apart.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,176
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    MOST of thoses faucets have a removable spout, and when it, and the stems are removed the metal plate comes off. There should be union nuts OUTSIDE the wall to remove the valve, then install the new one if you can find an exact match, (at a good RV supply houe), other wise unscrew the unions and install the new ones.
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