Can I replace tub faucet without cutting in an access panel?

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chops4796

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I have a house that was build in the mid-90s, and I'm remodeling part of an old master bath. I want to leave a jet tub in place (tile around it) but I want to replace the faucet (spout and handles) as one of them leak when you turn them on (tried replacing the o-rings, but no avail there it seems). I'm also not a big fan of the wood handles even if they didn't leak.

While I've done other plumbing stuff, I've not messed with a jet tub like this...and one big problem is there's zero access to the tub faucet area. The tub is on the main floor and the basement is finished with a drop ceiling. No access from basement to that faucet area I can see.

I was peeking around on youtube and saw a couple folks replace the faucet handles/spout from above only...but in each case they seemed to know what brand/model of faucet they had on the tub. I've no idea what faucet hardware this is - can't find any brand or model markings.

I'd like to avoid cutting into the tile and putting a big white, plastic access panel in (would be right in the middle of the tile work). I've seen a few examples of cutting a part of the tile wall for a panel access as well. I'd like to avoid cutting the tile at all, but I'm thinking I have to in order to swap this faucet hardware.

Pic of the tub hardware in case anyone here recognizes the brand/make/model:
Screenshot 2023-03-23 at 11.14.21 AM.png


Open to any advice you pros might have! Thanks in advance!
 

John Gayewski

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I have a house that was build in the mid-90s, and I'm remodeling part of an old master bath. I want to leave a jet tub in place (tile around it) but I want to replace the faucet (spout and handles) as one of them leak when you turn them on (tried replacing the o-rings, but no avail there it seems). I'm also not a big fan of the wood handles even if they didn't leak.

While I've done other plumbing stuff, I've not messed with a jet tub like this...and one big problem is there's zero access to the tub faucet area. The tub is on the main floor and the basement is finished with a drop ceiling. No access from basement to that faucet area I can see.

I was peeking around on youtube and saw a couple folks replace the faucet handles/spout from above only...but in each case they seemed to know what brand/model of faucet they had on the tub. I've no idea what faucet hardware this is - can't find any brand or model markings.

I'd like to avoid cutting into the tile and putting a big white, plastic access panel in (would be right in the middle of the tile work). I've seen a few examples of cutting a part of the tile wall for a panel access as well. I'd like to avoid cutting the tile at all, but I'm thinking I have to in order to swap this faucet hardware.

Pic of the tub hardware in case anyone here recognizes the brand/make/model:
View attachment 91431

Open to any advice you pros might have! Thanks in advance!
You need access to the under side to change out the faucet.
 

Jeff H Young

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You probebly dont know how the faucet works and its very likely possible to update the trim without changing entire rough valve. cartridges or washers can be replaced by a competent hand.
 

chops4796

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You probebly dont know how the faucet works and its very likely possible to update the trim without changing entire rough valve. cartridges or washers can be replaced by a competent hand.
OK but identifying which parts I'd need seems impossible without some sort of part number or other lead on make/model, right? Or can one simply do measurements and look up compatible parts that way?
 

John Gayewski

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OK but identifying which parts I'd need seems impossible without some sort of part number or other lead on make/model, right? Or can one simply do measurements and look up compatible parts that way?
Most people take pictures and ask for help identifying them.
 

Jeff H Young

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HJ says Delta, but pull the trim off take pictures etc take parts to a plumbing shop and go verify. It sure looks like run of the mill 90s stuff and even though I cant identify Im guessing its all available parts and serviceable.
Another point is if you are re- tiling Why cant you bust out the tile to access the valve?
 

chops4796

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HJ says Delta, but pull the trim off take pictures etc take parts to a plumbing shop and go verify. It sure looks like run of the mill 90s stuff and even though I cant identify Im guessing its all available parts and serviceable.
Another point is if you are re- tiling Why cant you bust out the tile to access the valve?
OK the delta lead is helpful!
I'm really trying to not re-do the tub or tile since they are all in great condition (other than the faucet). Cutting in an access panel is my last resort.
 

Jeff H Young

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Sorry I thought (tile around) meant re tiling. so replace the parts its called "tub valve Trim" and its specific to your brand but also you need cartridges or washers for the valves . youll need to be capable of replacing or hire it out as youve been unable to repair in the past. Entire water to house needs shut down of water. one thing to do is test the tub real well and insure there are no leaks that you are unaware of unless its used often because if the tub has issues or the valve adress it now rather than after the room is all new and pretty
 

chops4796

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Update here: I'm going to risk cutting grout with an oscillating tool and try to make a 12x12 panel from the exiting tile. Figuring I can try that first and if that fails (tile section falls apart or something), I can cut in a 12x12 or 14x14 plastic or metal access panel. The bonus on this will be confirming there's no leaks (don't think there is, but I hate not having access), future flexibility, and I'll probably add a 4th hole to the tub for a spray wand (makes cleaning the tub way easier).

Thanks for the advice guys!
 

Jeff H Young

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Update here: I'm going to risk cutting grout with an oscillating tool and try to make a 12x12 panel from the exiting tile. Figuring I can try that first and if that fails (tile section falls apart or something), I can cut in a 12x12 or 14x14 plastic or metal access panel. The bonus on this will be confirming there's no leaks (don't think there is, but I hate not having access), future flexibility, and I'll probably add a 4th hole to the tub for a spray wand (makes cleaning the tub way easier).

Thanks for the advice guys!
I think you can service from above . I understand not knowing whats inside , What about the pump no access? Ive never modified a standard valve to a hand held . if access is there for the pump maybe you can use a cheap camera or cell phone to see inside to inspect just throwing out there in case you arent sure about the hole you plan to make .
 
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