Working on older shower

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jgold47, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. jgold47

    jgold47 New Member

    Detroit, MI
    Forgive my sort of goofy explanation of what I am trying to do.

    1. house was built in the 20's. Has been updated several times, but unsure of the age of the plumbing in the main bathroom.

    2. Tub/Shower has a) two valves H/C for just the shower b) 2 valves and a waste valve for just the tub. these are on the 'wall'. the waste valve no longer affects the drain (just bangs inside the wall).

    3. Tub has a small spout, mounted where you normally would see an overflow valve.

    here is my quandry. I want to open the wall to install a thermostatic valve (the exisiting ones are starting to leak, the hot water one you have to turn open, then pull out to turn on). That seems simple enough. however, if I wanted to retrofit the rest of the tub, with a more modern drain/stopper assemby, as well as a more modern spigot and remove all of the existing separate 'tub' plumbing, what am I likely to run into in trying this and how hard is it likly going to be to get at the drain assemby from inside the wall? I cant get at this from the back, nor from the floor, but I can open the wall all the way up to the top of the tub.


    PS - forgive my ignorance, but if I wanted to install a second valve on the opposite wall and have a dual head shower, generally speaking using 1/2 supply lines, would i have enough juice to make this work?
  2. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Rosedale, Md
    It's hard to say what you will get into without knowing what you have, can you post a picture?
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Current code requires the tub spout outlet to be above the flood plane, not in the tub where a hiccup could backflow dirty tub water back into the potable water system. My guess is that if you have access to the wet wall, you should be able to retrofit the valve, drain, overflow, and tub spout.

    1/2" lines can flow probably 6gpm or more. A showerhead is limited to 2.5gpm. So, two of them should work. You wouldn't need another entire valve, you could plumb this with a diverter and use the one valve. Use a multiport one to direct the water to the tub filler, one head, the other, or both. The more ports, the more the valve costs.
  4. TomFrost

    TomFrost New Member

    All over the world
    Waiting a photo... :eek: Maybe you are interesting in electric and mixer showers? - I shall try help to you.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The majority of the tubs with a spout inside it had the opening too low for it to be used as an overflow, plus, often the opening was too small even if it were in the proper location. In any case, you cannot "convert" it to a standard drain unless you can get to the drain fittings at the bottom of the tub. It would be impossible to do from the wall above the tub.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Often, there's a hole in the floor around the drain that may be large enough to work in or could be made larger without compromising structure. If not, then you'd need access from below to play with the drain connections.
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