How do I connect to these crooked shower supply lines?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by bronzefury, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Hi,

    I'm trying to redo my shower and replace a three-handled diverter tub and shower faucet. Since there is no tub, I'm only going to use the hot and cold water handles. The diverter handle will not be installed and I plan to set the diverter to point at using the shower all the time and leave it that way even after the tile wall/waterproof backer board is installed.

    The problem that I'm running into is that the hot and cold water supply lines are not straight and vertical. Instead, they come out of the concrete floor then make their way to the old shower faucet at an uneven, slanted fashion. Please see attached image. On the way from the floor to the old shower, there are slight curves.

    I've built a mounting board that holds the shower faucet. New copper pipe will be 1/2" type L and they will attach to the bottom new shower faucet using threads reinforced with plumbers tape and pipe dope. My goal is to ensure that they connect to the faucet completely vertical.

    Then, I was going to using a coupling fitting to attach the new copper pipe to the original supply lines.

    My question is, how do I connect vertical pipe from the new shower faucet to the unevenly slanted pipes?

    I think my options are:

    1. Try to bend the original supply lines to try and align with the new pipe, I might compromise the integrity of the original supply lines. And, I can't seem to find a 1/2" copper pipe bender in either Lowe's or Home Depot.

    2. Bend the new pipe coming from the shower faucet to align to the original supply line, that might be tough since I don't think 1/2" type L is meant to be bent. And, I can't seem to find a 1/2" copper pipe bender in either Lowe's or Home Depot.

    3. Put right angle fittings on the original supply line and try to make the pipe line up to the new vertical pipes - but, the issue is, the original supply lines are still slanted.

    I'm sure people have installed new shower faucets in this kind of scenario but I couldn't find out how anywhere on the internet. I'm hoping I'll get some good suggestions.

    Thanks,
    bronzefury

    P.S. I think this is probably the best forum I've ever followed on plumbing. So, much great tips and advice.

    20201007_043058.jpg 20201007_050004.jpg
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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  4. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

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    Oct 7, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Reach4,

    Well, that makes sense now. I had always thought that pipes had to be installed perfectly vertical or perfectly horizontal and the builder had made a mistake.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Be careful bending and rebending copper. It becomes stiff every time its bent and eventually will kink. I would suggest supporting the tubing at a point close to the solder joints down low to prevent any movement to those joints while you're working on the tubing. You don't want to have to rework any of that. Leave the longest amount of the soft copper tubing that you can intact and solder your new work to that...

    You may even be able to unthread the old valve union ends from the copper male adapters and simply thread your new unions to those since they are already spaced properly and level. Assuming they are level. Just be sure not to twist the copper fittings.

    I would recommend a single control shower valve over a 3 handle personally. But if you've already intent on the 3 handle, don't bury the diverter valve in the wall. It needs to be accessible in case of failure.
     
  6. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the tips, Tuttles.

    Good point, I'll make sure to put something around the pipes to provide some support.

    The old and new faucets are the same width and I did consider the possibility that I can thread the new unions unto the old. The old is not perfectly level - it is about 1.5 degrees off. Please see attached image.

    Also, in the photo, right under the cold water valve (e.g., the right side) there seems to be some corrosion - there is a greenish color there. There is a little bit on the hot water side (e.g., the left side) as well. Not sure if that is from within the pipe or outside so I was going to cut an inch or two below them. I was going to keep the cuts so that the hot and cold are close to the same height. Clean and deburr the original pipe then attach new cleaned pipe above that with coupling and shoot for completely horizontal so that they'll match the grout lines of the tile.

    The boss (wife) likes the look of the 3 handle version. I'm just the implementer. What kind of issues do you think we'll encounter if the diverter valve is buried in the wall?

    20201007_095642.jpg
     
  7. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
    just about the easiest valve ive seen its wide open work space. the copper will move any where you want plus it soft, so easy to do.
    the 3 handel is great with one major downfall, no anti scald. however it dosent take 15 minutes to fill a tub which I so hate on like say a delta single handle. any way its your house your decision unless this is permited work which wont allow that valve
     
  8. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Hi Jeff,

    Let me check with our local building code. In the meantime, if you do have any info already, I was wondering if you would be able to point me to the California Plumbing code 2019 where it says that 3 handle valve is not allowed? I see some requirements for combination valves but wasn't sure about 3 handle valves. I hate to install the 3 handle then find out I can't use it. Seems like the California Plumbing Code treats them as seperate things - please see attached image.
    CPC_2019_417_5.jpg
     
  9. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

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    Oct 7, 2020
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  10. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    So does your 3 handle valve comply with 408.3 by being either pressure balanced or thermostatic?

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  11. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2020
    Location:
    California
    No it doesn't comply but I'm praying that my 3 handle valve can't be categorized as a Shower and Tub-Shower Combination, (with a mixing valve). but instead as 417.5 and maybe its exempt?!? Checking our local codes at the moment.
     
  12. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    417.5 is not an alternative to 408.3, it's just an additional requirement. You don't want a shower valve without one of the two anti-scald measures required by 408.3, that would be dangerous. Time to change your plans.

    Which raises the question, are there any pressure balance or thermostatic valves that duplicate the 3 handle look?

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  13. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    You could install a valve like this before the shower valve. PPP Tempura.
     
  14. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
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    Op started out saying that he was redoing his SHOWER. make sure you verify the code I havent put a standard 2 or 3 handle valve in in 20 years and haven tried. I am in Ca just havent pushed the threshold on the code, if its not being inspected you are the king and its your castle . just trying to let you decide
     
  15. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Code should always be considered when giving advice on a forum such as this.

    I have a client who is currently suing the previous owner of his home (prior to us starting working in his house) because of a seriously defective shower installation. We used the drain to connect a new toilet to and failed our inspection because the plumbing of that prior work was so defective. We ended up replacing the entirety of the bathroom drainage plumbing in order to satisfy the inspector.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  16. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    I did tell him check code. he has a 2 handel now. Im just saying if his heart set on it and he is doing this without permits make his decision. Or should I tell him not to change the valve at all with out a permit. we give advice all the time without mention of permits . I am new perhaps this is wrong?
     
  17. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

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    Oct 7, 2020
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    California
    Thanks for sending this. Only problem is that it needs to be installed in an accessible location. I don't have that.
     
  18. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Behind a very nice decorative access panel?

    Not being up on whatever california code is.. but what about point of source temperature control?

    https://www.cashacme.com/product/tank-booster/

    ASSE 1017ASSE 1070*CSA B125.3*NSF/ANSI 372NSF/ANSI 61Listed by ASSE, IAPMO*NOTE - applicable to Tank Booster PRO model only.
     
  19. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

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    Gee,.. I think I'm SOL on this one. I might have to buy a different one and take the loss. I can't return the 3 handle valve since its past the 30-day return policy. I wish they had posted a warning on the online website (wayfair.com). It looks really nice though, but whatever...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  20. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    darn sorry to hear that you cant use it thought you should at least know. you might contact seller might give you an exception good luck!
     
  21. bronzefury

    bronzefury New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Thanks Tuttles. That would mean a whole lot of other work that I didn't anticipate and would have to learn to do. I think the easiest thing would be to get a different valve - one that complies with California code and fits the color scheme and style we had intended.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
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