Replacing American Standard shower fixtures

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by tw4um, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. tw4um

    tw4um New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    The plumbing in the master bathroom shower was installed circa 1971 using American Standard hardware and fittings. The current valve assembly uses rubber disks at the end of the valve assembly to control water flow. I plan on removing/replacing the shower set including the valves, but I don't want to have to break into the wall to replace the pipes because the tile is a 1X1 patterned tile that can't be found anymore. The shower (no tub) is a standard 2 handle - hot on left and cold on right. I have 2 questions:

    1. Without replacing the pipes, is it possible to use another brand of handles/valves? If so, which ones will work? I'm looking for a 2-handle brushed nickel level style handle, preferably with ceramic disks in the valve assembly. I want to stick with reputable brands (no universal style handles) that will be easy to find parts for if/when something needs replacing.

    2. If I have to stick with American Standard, will the newer ceramic disk handles/valves work in 1971-style piping?

    Thanks.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    They make repair plates that would cover the larger hole needed to replace the valve with a new one that would be both safer (federal rules require an anti-scald valve in a shower) and more reliable. Most of these are single handle. You can get 2-handle versions, but many of those are thermostatically controlled (my preference). One is the volume control, and the other controls the temperature. Single handle versions usually don't have a volume control...it is either full on or off, and the further you turn it, the hotter it gets.

    I doubt a ceramic valve replacement is available, but you might be lucky...one of the pros may know. Have you checked AS website?
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The basic answer is unfortunatley NO to everything you would like to do.
  4. tw4um

    tw4um New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Thanks Jim and Jimbo. Any ideas on where I can find a cover plate in brushed nickel? Most of the ones I've found so far are either chrome or polished brass. Thanks, again, for your quick help!
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    trim

    Not likely, because the usual source for specific finishes is a new valve with the same specifications, and yours are no longer made.
  6. rlaggren

    rlaggren In the Trades

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    San Francisco
    You can go in from the back to change the valve. This can't be guaranteed, but will often work well. It depends, of course on fixing _that_ hole. <g> Pay attention to how deep your wall cavity is - some faucets have trouble fitting into a 2x4 wall and that would limit your selection.

    There are 2-handle valves made today which may fit the existing holes and/or come with trim to neatly cover any enlargement you make. You need to measure the "spread" and talk with several local suppliers and/or spend a couple hours at the local box store (I'd only do this to get ideas unless you're doing the install yourself - nobody will warrant something they don't supply themselves and I don't know many plumbers that will warrant anything from the "box stores").

    You don't say why you want to change anything. If it's just ugly you can probably find alternative trim that will fit. If it's a functional problem, that's harder but you can usually try replacing seats and stems. IOW you want to fit the hassle to problem... <g>

    Rufus
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