Shower/tub valve install, did I do it right?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by petrie, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. petrie

    petrie New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    A slippery slope got me roped into putting in a whole new shower valve for my Girlfriend's friend. Any way I'm wondering if my technique was bad. It's a single lever valve with built-in shutoffs on either side of the cartirdge. Took valve apart to just brass, cleaned fluxed all pieces. I used a solder/threaded drop elbow for both shower and tub. Valve was so tight against the existing framing I had to use a street elbow right off the valve on one side. And I had 12" lenghts of copper coming down off the hot and cold elbows

    Any way this was the first time I soldered a shower valve. I have had trouble in the past soldering a 3/4" ball valve with my my propane torch, so I bought a tank of Map-Pro and a larger all brass torch head. (heated joints alot faster than my small torch head with propane)

    So, using 2x4s and shims I set the whole asssembly up on the basement floor and soldered it. Trying to make sure that the shower and tub elbows were straight out and that the hot and cold lines would be plumb/vertical. Then I took the assembly upstairs and using dimpled couplings soldered it to the existing hot and cold lines.

    Seems to have turned out ok...no leaks, looks plumb and in right place.


    After having done it I think I should have just soldered in the 3 pieces of pipe for tube, shower, and cold supply line, and then taken it up stairs attached valve to frame where it goes and then done final soldering. My big concern was that I would have to reheat the valve to attach street elbow to hot supply line without burning framing members and or messing up the soldered joints already in valve body.

    appreciate any advice.

    P.S. My new map-pro torch made a lot of "creaking" ta-ta-ta-ta-ta noises. That's not normal right?

    Also, Was it the Map-Pro gas or the larger torch head that made my soldering go so much faster? I see that the Temperature of Map-Pro is 3600 and Propane is 3450. Map-pro is 3 times the cost of Propane here wonder if I need it?
  2. petrie

    petrie New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, my top and bottom drop elbows ended up being square, so I didn't have to unsweat them and turn them. In future I think I'll put them on when valve is in place. Also I don't want to ever come off the valve with a street elbow again. It would be so much easier to just sweat 5-6 inch long stubs into the hot and cold inlets and for the tub spout and shower, then do the rest when it's fastened in wall.
  3. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    One thing you didn't mention that is important is how deep in the wall the valve is. You want to be sure that the trim will fit properly once the thickness of the wall is added.
  4. petrie

    petrie New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Wisconsin

    They are installing a thin (less than 1/4 inch) tub surround. The back side of which will be against studs. So I used the black plastic mounting "disc" and set it flush with studed wall. I figure that way the surround will be sandwiched between the mounting disc and the trim ring. I set trim ring on valve and it looks like it should work.

    Next big hassle will be installing the spout. It's has front end screw. Planning on making my own nipple out of two male fittings and a piece of pipe soldered together.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,287
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You are confusing "theoretical" temperatures with 'real world' ones. Propane torches can only heat to about 2,000 degrees, unless they use an oxygen tank. MAPP, which is really a MAPP substitute since 2008 when the MAPP plant burned down, is about 3,200 at the working surface. True MAPP heated to about 3,600 degress.
  6. petrie

    petrie New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I get what You're saying. If there was really only a neglible difference between Propane and Map-Pro as far as temperature/heat output nobody would buy Map-Pro as it is more expensive.
  7. SHR

    SHR Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Use the MAP-PRO or whatever "MAPP GAS" substitute you have. As noted by hj there is a 1200 degree difference in working temperatures between MAPP and propane. I always use the MAPP type gas. It helps make soldering faster and easier than with propane.
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