Gutting my bath.. replace shower supply line or leave it?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by lithnights, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    I have my bath gutted. I need to replace the old shower faucet diverter with our new one.

    While I'm doing this, should I replace the copper line running from the diverter up to the shower head? Or is this unnecessary? The lines look to be in OK shape so should I just leave it all alone? ie. if it's not broken, don't fix it?

    1) What do most folks do when gutting a bath? Leave the existing visible supply and waste lines or replace?

    2) To get the old diverter out, should I just heat up the joins to melt the solder and pry it free and then use the existing hot and cold lines? OR do people just cut it.. which would require more soldering to extend the supply pipe. I am assuming the former.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    Unless you have water conditions that corrode copper pipe, leave the old pipe. As far as question #2 is concerned, I think it will be easier in the long run to cut the old fixture out and configure the pipes to fit the new fixture. The additional amount of soldering is easily offset by the time and effort it takes to unsolder and clean the old pipe sufficiently to install the new fixture, and unless the new fixture is a mirror image of the old, the pipes won't match up anyway. It's lots easier to work with new pipe ends and new fittings than to salvage the old.
     
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  4. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Use as much of the old supply as possible. Don't waste ;)
    Copper will last a long time.

    However, I'd cut the end (about 3-6 inches) and solder in a new end with a coupler. Unsoldering, not bending the pipe, cleaning it, and getting it smooth enough to accept the new fitting are all pains better avoided.
     
  5. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    Sounds good. I will make the cuts around the diverter and just solder a coupling 3-6" away each for the hot and cold; and one for the pipe running up to the shower head. That should allow me to leave most of the original..

    Same question for the waste.. how about replacing the waste pipes under the tub? ie. the pipe from the tub drain to the overflow pipe. I ripped out the tub so I can see the whole drain waste assembly. Should I replace all this?

    Thank you.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    w&o

    New tub = new waste and overflow. It would be very unusual for the new tub to have the same dimensions as the old one.
     
  7. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Yeah, so for dimensioning reasons, you may need to move stuff. But if the drain pipes are clean and appropriately sized, and the welds are all strong, then there's no reason you need to replace them per se.

    I would, however, take the time to clean them with bleach and a plastic brush. If you do that, they'll be as good as new.

    I imagine the re-routing will require you to cut out and replace some fittings and add a little pipe, but again (sorry to lecture) don't waste plastic, and reuse as much of the usable old pipe as you can.
     
  8. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    After looking at it and running to HD, I see what you are saying. I got an overflow kit which I can easily install.

    My problem now is the actual drain pipe connection to the overflow pipe. It's not the standard simple layout I see in all my books. The drainpipe goes across the floor, It takes a 90 down then 90 up, then 90 right then a cleanout area with plug, then another 90... it's ugly. I actually bought a bunch of PVC connectors and am going to try to replicate the layout. This will be my project tomorrow…
     
  9. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    Here's my new config compared to the old.. It matches the old contraptions dimensions so I am forging ahead.

    The 2nd pic is where I had to cut into the main drain to connect the new configuration.

    I know it's hard to tell from just pictures, but does it appear I am missing anything here?
     

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