Replacing shower valve - use PEX?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by JCapriotti, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. JCapriotti

    JCapriotti New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have a leaky shower valve and need to replace it. To answer your question... Yes, the whole valve. It leaks inside the valve when the shower/faucet is on, so I'm 99% sure I need to replace the whole valve. I can see it leaking from the line that runs out from the valve itself, before it gets to the pipe that connects to the tub spout.

    The existing pipes are fairly old (60's?) and galvanized. I was thinking of simplifying with some Pex and wondered if there is anything wrong with that?

    Thanks,
    Jason
  2. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    California
    You know, it's time for a re-pipe in my opinion.
    But if you want to stay with galvanized you can do the job, you just need 2 unions on the hot and cold. PEX requires a main manifold, something you don't have right now. If you want to introduce PEX, might as well do the entire house. You'll be glad you did.
    Have you heard of copper type L? it is my first choice for re-pipe.
  3. JCapriotti

    JCapriotti New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm mainly looking for ease of install and future maintenance, plus durability.

    Seems like most people stick with copper (I'm assuming type L) for most applications, but the draw of PEX for me was ease of install. I guess if I need a main manifold that is out though...

    I keep trying to figure out how old my upstairs bathroom is. I have copper running up to a certain point, but then everything I can see is galvanized. Very frustrating. My guess is they did a partial upgrade or something...

    I tend to overplan before actually starting a project so most of this thread is me trying to wrap my head around what I want to do :)

    Thanks,
    Jason
  4. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    If part of your system is in copper and the wall is open, this is good time to to repipe back to where it ties into the copper. If that concept makes you gasp, then I would use galvanized. There can't be much piping involved if you are just changing the valve and you can reuse the shower riser.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,904
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    PEX is fine for that.
    The tub spout needs to be run in either copper, or galvanized or brass pipe.
    PEX is too small for a tub spout, but fine to supply the valve and the shower head.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,510
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; PEX requires a main manifold, something you don't have right now.

    A bit of hyperbole there. PEX does NOT require a manifold. All it requires is connectors at both ends of the tubing, and the tubing can be as long, or short, as necessary. Just do NOT use PEX from the valve to the spout.
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