Price-Phister Shower Valve / hot=cold; cold=hot

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by EGL, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. EGL

    EGL New Member

    Messages:
    11
    I had a plumber install a new Price-Pfister shower valve in our bathroom remodel a couple of weeks ago. I have finished the tile today and was testing the valve and the water is hot immediately after turning it on, and cold when the valve is all the way open. In looking at the instruction book, it looks like the plumber installed the valve upside down (the notch is at the top of the valve instead of at the bottom). The instructions say that if the shower is a reverse hot/cold installation that the cartridge should be pulled out and rotated 180 degrees. It looks like it's just a matter of unscrewing 4 screws and then rotating it. Is it really that simple? Is there any hidden issues from doing this or things I need to look out for when doing it? If it's an "iffy" thing to do right, then I'd rather just leave it as is rather than risk screwing it up.

    Thanks,
    Eddie
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2006
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If the cartridge can be turned 180 do it and see if the problem is corrected then check back and let us know.

    What brand is it?
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,045
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    reverse

    That's about it. It is simple because it has to be done intentionally sometimes. I did it to one yesterday because it made the water piping easier.
  4. EGL

    EGL New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Disaster!

    Well, this has turned into a disaster.

    For starters, I forgot to turn off the water supply before I started taking out those 4 screws holding the cartridge in. When I got that third one out, water started spewing everywhere. :eek:

    After I got the water turned off and everything sopped up, I turned the cartridge 180 degrees so that the notch is now at the bottom. I looked at the top of the valve itself, and it does indeed have "SHWR" stamped into the top of it, so the valve itself was installed correctly. For some reason, though, the cartridge was upside down with the notch pointing upwards instead of downwards. So I installed the notch downwards and turned the water back on. The result is that the water is coming out of the tub pipe and the valve cannot shut it off. When in the "off" position, water spews to the middle of the tub. When in the full "on" position, water spews to the far end of the tub. So I think "crap", and decide to just put it back the way it was, with the notch facing upwards. After that, I have the same result the water will not turn off. I ended up having to cap both the shower head and tub spout in order to get the water to stop so that I can keep the water on in the house. Any ideas? Could this be a bad cartridge? I'm wondering if it is and maybe I picked up a return at the Home Depot that someone else brought back as junk? Maybe that's why the cartridge was oriented wrong (someone else's experiment)? Also, I noticed there were no valve instructions in the box (only the separate general instructions). My other shower head in the master bath (same brand) that I installed a month ago had separate valve installation instructions.

    Any thoughts???
  5. EGL

    EGL New Member

    Messages:
    11
    It's a Price-Pfister brand, and the model is "Avalon".
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Why don't you try getting a new cartridge and see what happens.

    Are you sure you had it in right when you turned it 180? The directions wouldn't tell you to do that if it were not possible to do it.
  7. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    I think you still have it upside down. Take some close up photos of everything you have, and post them here. Also look at Price Pfister's website, they have some schematics of their valves.
  8. EGL

    EGL New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Here's a couple of photos of the valve. This one shows the bonnet assembly currently oriented with the notch in the up position, which would be valid if this were a cold on left, hot on right installation (but it's not). This was how the assembly was oriented after the plumber finished up. I'm not sure if he did this intentionally, or simply installed it upside down when replacing the assembly after soldering the joints. In this position, the water was hot when the valve was first rotated from the off position, and it was cold when in the full on position. After removing and rotating the assembly 180 degrees, the water will not shut off now, regardless of the position of the lever, and regardless of whether the assembly is oriented with the notch at the top or bottom.



    Here's a close up pic showing the "SHWR" in the casting, indicating that the top of the valve was indeed installed as it should have been, pointed upwards to the shower head.



    The shower assembly itself does not leak or anything, you just can't turn the water off.

    Here's the installation manual at the Price-Pfister site for this model 08 valve. At the bottom of page 4, step 10, it shows the normal installation position for the assembly.



    Our previous shower valve was a dual set with separate knobs for hot and cold, so the hot really is on the left. Any help appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2012
  9. EGL

    EGL New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Well, I just had a thought after looking at step 17 on page 6 of the Price-Pfister link above. I wonder if the tab on the bonnet assembly is not ingaged with the slot on the cartridge? Seems like that is the mechanism that would cause the water to shut off (or stay on, in my case, if they are not aligned)? Perhaps during that spewing disaster, the cartridge rotated out of alingment and when I put the bonnet assembly back on, then the tab was not engaged with the slot?
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I am going to guess something is not in right. It could be a bad part but not likely. Sounds like you are on the right track.
  11. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Maybe this Price Phister is different, but for all the cartridges I've worked on, you didn't have to remove the cartridge to change the hot/cold position. You just had to rotate the stem 180 degrees. But like I said, maybe this is different.
  12. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    You have the valve installed upside down. I have used this valve in two separate projects.

    There are three components: The cast brass housing, the black spool, and the grey cartridge.

    The brass housing must be installed so the "SHWR" outlet is facing up.

    The black spool must have the white actuator tab facing up (opposite of your picture), when the tab is fully rotated clockwise to the closed/off position. The notch must be facing down toward the tub. Again, opposite of your picture. You have the "SHWR" outlet up, and the notch up. This is not what the instructions show, and not how I have installed this valve in prior projects.

    As for the grey cartridge, I don't think there is a specific orientation required.

    All of the above applies to the 0X8 single control, pressure balancing valve body. Pay particular attention to paragraph and diagram "10". It explains the situation very clearly.

    If I were you, I would re-route the pipes so you have hot on the left and cold on the right, then follow the instructions to install the valve properly. I hope you haven't paid the plumber; he didn't do the installation right and needs to fix it. Don't pay him until it's done right.

    Lesson for future projects, don't close up the walls until you have tested the plumbing rough-in. You can do this even if you don't have a drain in the tub, simply rig up a garden hose by way of a cobbled-up nipple adapter (you make it yourself) and run the hose to your nearest other tub/shower/back door. Turn the shower on and test all the settings (hot, cold, tub, shower).

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2012
  13. EGL

    EGL New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Problem solved!

    I took the bonnet assembly off and pulled out the cartridge to have a look at it. When I looked at the back of it, one of the two o-rings was unseated. This is apparently why the water would not shut off, even when in the off position. I reseated the o-ring and reinstalled everything and now off is off, on is on, hot is hot, and cold is cold. :) I'm guessing the o-ring became unseated when I forgot to turn the water supply off prior to starting to remove the bonnet assembly and water started spewing everywhere. :eek: The force of the water with the slight flex of the bonnet assembly gave it enough room to unseat. I sure wish that guy had installed the bonnet assembly correctly to start with - what a mess!

    Thanks everyone for your help - this has certainly been a learning experience and I now know more about the inner workings of a Price-Pfister 08 valve than I ever thought I would need to. :D
  14. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Glad you got it fixed. Yep those o-rings come off easily when disassembling the valve, and would certainly come off when partially disassembled under water pressure.
  15. bennybaby

    bennybaby New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Langhorne, PA
    Great..just a reminder..if you think anything is damaged, call price and get a replacement. I believe all their stuff has a lifetime warranty. I had a problem with some of their gear, I got some solder balls jammed inside the faucet( my mistake!) called them and they sent me two of what I needed. No questions asked, didn't need to return anything. One phone call and a visit from UPS and I was set. I was very happy.
  16. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,045
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    1700

    Yes. Do it
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,045
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    1700

    Yes. Do it like the instructions tell you to.
  19. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
    Ok, will do and let you know. Thanks for the quick response!
  20. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    When all else fails read the instructions.
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