Please help identify this classic fixture/setup

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by tzwizard, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. tzwizard

    tzwizard New Member

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    sf
    IMG_0153-2..jpg

    I am having some difficulty in identifying this setup. This is a bathroom in an 1920s Edwardian flat in California with original fixtures, I believe. It appears to be some sort of in-line lever diverter to a shower head that's on the other side of the tub.

    Can someone please tell me what my options are for replacing the spout/diverter and hot/cold fixtures? How does this system really work? Is it truly in-line (one valve shuts off the sequential feeds). Am I stuck with this original fixture unless I want to repipe? I just simply want to update the fixtures to something more modern without extensive rework.

    Thanks,

    tzwizard
  2. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Since nobody else wants to tackle this one I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. You don't have a diverter, you have a tub filler, which may be a service sink faucet, and a shower valve above that has been piped around to a head at the other end. If you have illusions of brushed nickle or oil rubbed bronze or some such thing, that ain't gonna happen without tearing open the walls. You may be able to get new chrome trim for the shower valve, depending on exactly what it is. It is hard to see exactly what the tub filler is, but the best you are going to do is fake it with a service sink faucet (I am thinking Chicago here) that is polished chrome rather than rough chrome.

    Maybe this will jar loose a couple extra comments for you.
  3. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    You have a clawfoot tub faucet hooked up to (I can't see close enough to say for sure) what looks like pipe nipples sticking out from the wall. Your current setup doesn't have any scalding protection, which is bad. You can get a variety of replacement styles and finishes, but you are better off installing a modern valve and remove those redundant shutoffs which are a potential leak source.
  4. tzwizard

    tzwizard New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    sf
    Thanks for the replies. Is the shower valve contained within the wall? There is no lever or pull separate from the tub filler that turns on the shower -- I think Basement_Lurker was correct in that they are redundant shutoffs of some sort. I imagine with this specific setup, the left operates volume to the tub and if closed, sends water back through the right to the shower head? Or, are these two pipes separate and operate off of separate valves?

    I don't think I am able to do any wall or plumbing work here (other than clean up grout and caulk), but what could be some example replacement styles? I found this: http://www.signaturehardware.com/product500 but the levers on the filler neither hot nor cold, so I'm not sure if there's a difference there.

    OR, would something like this work? http://www.grohecatalog.com/product/34066/

    Thanks, guys!
  5. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I don't see a diverter on your tub filler, so I am pretty sure your tub faucet is only for filling up the tub, and those two shutoffs on the wall are independent controls only for your shower. There is no valve body in the wall for your setup....clawfoot tub fillers are very simple exterior mixing valves.

    That grohe filler would work, you would need special offset connectors to make it work. Actually the majority of tub/shower setups I saw in Japan, especially the newer high end ones, used a filler/handshower setup similar to the grohe unit which had built in scald protection.

    If you aren't allowed to do any renovation work to the plumbing system, then I really wouldn't bother. Your setup is old, and once you touch it, you might end up causing a huge headache for yourself.
  6. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    The Signature won't work because it attaches to the tub and you are mounting on the wall, and the Grohe is a discontinued item. New trim for the upper shower valve may be possible and a new tub filler might perhaps be Mickeyed, but you are going to basically end up with the same thing. Assuming it works, you either live with what you have, mess around in quest of something similar but shiny, or break out the wallet and the wall. If either tub or shower are not working, then focus on the one giving problems, there are two independent systems.
  7. tzwizard

    tzwizard New Member

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    Location:
    sf
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The faucet is a "Fuller ball" mechanism, and good luck finding anyone who still has the balls, assuming the eccentrics and cams ares still good. The upper two valves are for the shower, but in 1920 they could have been any of a number of manufacturers, most of whom went out of business decades ago. A picture of the internal mechanism might tell us if it is one of the few companies which might still have parts available. The handles are no clue because EVERYONE used that style handle.
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