Replace/Repair Tub Valve Stems

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by bbellabird, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. bbellabird

    bbellabird New Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    We recently purchased an 80 year old home that was previously a rental. The valve stems in the tub a stripped and someone used pliers to turn on and off multiple times.We are currently using the on/off handles in the wall to be able to shower. How do I fix/replace these?
  2. MG

    MG New Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    You need to find out what brand the faucet fixture is. After that you should be able to find replacement stems - if its not too old. I replaced ours a few years back and it wasn't too difficult to do.

    After that if there is room you can get a faucet socket (I think that's what its called) to remove the old stems. SHUT THE WATER OFF TO THE BATHROOM FIRST.
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  4. bbellabird

    bbellabird New Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    LOL. How do I find out what brand the valve stems are? There aren't any markings on the tub spout and the handles were already gone. I replaced the shower head right away, so its long gone too. That's assumming it was a set.
  5. wazmo

    wazmo New Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Real Estate
    Same problem Valve Stems striped

    I had the same problem with the Valve Stems being stripped in a rental that I have just remodeled, with plumbing of 70 years old and the valves were at lest 40 years old if not the originals. This probably is the worst case scenario I am about to tell you.
    I to, did not know the brand of the Valve Stems. Your only choice is to remove one of the Valve Stems with an appropriate wrench, or what MG said "a faucet socket" and find the oldest Pluming Supply store around to see if they have the parts. You will not find these pieces at Home Depot if they were like mine, which looked like and weighed about the same as 30mm cannon shells. You could be lucky and the former owner had plumbing work done to the shower in the last 20 years and the valve stems should be a snap to find and they will not be as big or heavy.
    The supply store I went to, did have the Stems but no handles. Do not worry if this happens to you. I just asked every plumbing supply store I ran across if they had hardware for the new stems. I found one place relatively quickly. Remember if the store has old stock they are looking to get ride of it, since most plumbers (at least in my area) would have just given me new Valves. The suppliers can’t sell older materials easily.
    That is a second option, replace the valves entirely and that brings on a whole new set of expenses.

    Oh, the plumbing supply store will know the make of the valve stem when they see it, if they know anything about plumbing.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2005
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I guess it is possible, but not likely, that the shower valve is the 80 year old original. The older it is, the more difficult it will be to find parts. Many, many companies that old simply are gone. If it was a big company, then an aftermarket company probably picked up some of the parts line, but as time passes, the population of units shrinks until the line is no longer viable.
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