Bathtub with no shower

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Ocean53, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Ocean53

    Ocean53 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Location:
    Connecticut
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    New member looking for advice on adding a shower extension to a old bathtub that was bath only.

    I live in a 1920's era home, one of the baths has the original tub that I want to add a external shower riser. Several plumbers have looked at it and can't come up with a solution without starting from scratch. Fittings are on the side of tub with a copper pipe leading down and going around to the faucet. The hot and cold pipes are galvanized steel.
    The large open pipe was for the waste water stopper (Removed). I want to add a external riser with a diverted valve leading to a shower head and still keep the option of using the bath faucet .
    Any suggestions on what I need to do this without making this project a total plumbing redo?
    Thanks for any ideas.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Normally you would have a diverter tub spout and that would force water up to the shower head.
    You really should install a new single handle with pressure balancing or a thermostatic valve though. There is a reason the plumbers are having withdrawal on something that doesn't meet current plumbing codes.
     
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  4. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    "Any suggestions on what I need to do this without making this project a total plumbing redo?"

    You already removed the wall, might as well replace the galvanized supply pipes and the faucet. It will not be a total re-do.

    While as a homeowner, you can install a 3 handle shower/bath faucet in your home, the plumbers who came and looked don't want to expose themselves to possible future scalding liability and litigation.

    Get estimates for the above, but don't expect the estimate to include finishing the wall and tile.
     
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your tub spout is in the side of the tub, so there is NO "diverter spout" that would work. That faucet normally had another above it, connected to the two plugged openings on top of your faucet, for the shower.
     
  6. Ocean53

    Ocean53 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Thanks Terry ,DJ2 and HJ
    I'm taking care of the wall and tile, I just need the plumbing/shower install completed. I'm trying to keep this bathroom look somewhat '20's period. Reference the photo, if I removed the two plugs on top of the valves and ran individual pipes up to another 2 handle or single handle shower mixer? I know I still have to have a shut valve to the spout. Yep I know it will look funky but I need to get another shower up and running.
    Plan B is to remove all the existing valve above each H/C pipe and just install a wall mount and forget the tub spout.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    After what hj mentioned about the spout around the corner, yes, it makes since to not use a diverter spout for the tub. Why not two valves while you are at it? One for the shower, and one for the tub?
     
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You do NOT need a shut off on the spout because you are NOT going to turn those valves on when you use the shower. The two systems will be completely independent of each other. THAT is how it was done in a 1920's bathroom, (and on the Queen Mary). I have no idea what you mean in your plan ""B".
     
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    I can't tell for sure from the picture, but is there a small lip on the outer edge of the tub? It also appears that there's no moisture barrier behind the plaster walls. Throw in the code requirement for anti-scald technology and the fact that the tub spout is below the rim of the tub, and making mods is risky for a plumber to do what you're asking. The codes have changed a fair amount in the last nearly century. Galvanized piping that old is also asking for problems should you start to make any changes. It could break off or start to leak if you look at it sideways. How is the flow to the tub spout? The insides of the pipe may be constricted radically by rust.

    FWIW, neither tile nor grout is waterproof. Some moisture will get behind the tile through the grout, and no, adding a grout sealer doesn't prevent that either. That's not usually an issue when used as a tub only, but add a shower to it, then things become more critical.
     
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