Shower handle sticking out too far

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by alphonse55, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. jehman

    jehman New Member

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    Awe come on Mr. Love, show us one that you've done where the handle sticks out an extra 1" or more. You know, the ones where you get wrinkled when people say it looks crappy even if it's technically within specs. Oh waaait a minute, you're not telling me you just think the ones that are nice and tight like that look better are yah? Like they looks more "professional?" ;)

    Or maybe you're trying to show me how good your tile setter is?:rolleyes:
     
  2. John Harris

    John Harris New Member

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    Recently installed a Moen 3330 valve and TS4112 trim kit taking great care to follow the instructions to the letter. The supply valve handle sticks out 3/4 inch from the escutcheon plate and the diverter handle is 5/8 off the plate. Both look like crap. Moen explained that this was 'acceptable' and I countered that I was not interested in acceptable but rather the product as it is represented in all of the diagrams and pictures that they use to market the product. I explained that bringing a water hose through the window would also be acceptable and serve the purpose of getting me wet but is not really the fit and finish I was looking for in the bathroom (green would not go well with the granite).
    If I install it as directed with the plaster plate flush with the finished wall I expect the outcome to be similar to what is represented. I pointed out that nothing in the installation instructions, illustrated parts list or product specifications provide what is 'acceptable tolerance' and the product specifications actually show the trim seated neatly at the escutcheon. The only solution that they can provide is to move the valve body back in the wall. How hard would it be to accurately reflect that information in the installation instructions or provide the correct size plaster plate?
    My own solution>
    I was able to move the diverter valve by shortening the spacer 3/8" (white tube that fits into the stop tube) with a belt sander.
    I am about to address the supply handle and it is going to be a little harder - there are (5) parts that need to be modified or removed: 1. shorten the threaded stem on the cartridge by 3/16" 2. remove the screw and stop from the stop tube (allows handle adaptor kit to fit into the stop tube and additional 1/16") 3. shorten the white plastic handle adaptor piece by 1/8" 4. shorten the center (only the center) of the black handle adaptor kit that faces the valve by 3/16" 5. shorten the stop tube by 7/16" - the result should be a gap between the handle and the plate of 5/16" OR a pile of worthless parts. If it does not work I am out a Stop Tube Kit, a handle adaptor kit and a replacement cartridge (total $50.35 if ordered from Moen; ~$30 if ordered/purchased not from Moen)
    Will let you know how it turns out.
    I am doing this because I enjoy a challenge - it does not forgive Moen for the quality of their instruction or mis-representation of the product. This is the second issue I have had with Moen (drop ell has 3 threads, vacuum breaker has 6 - no way to seal it) To their credit they sent me a new drop ell (same one I already had) and ultimately a new handheld with the vacuum breaker in the shower head ("engineer forgot to update the specs")
    There is no reasonable remedy on the handle issue, hoping my modifications work. If not there is always the garden hose - maybe I can get one in grey.
     
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    What you are seeing with Moen is common across pretty much all of the manufacturers out there. The only thing you are guaranteed when you install the product between their min/max allowances is that the trim will fit...not that it will look as you wish, but it WILL function. This is the reason that I tell people to mock up their full wall assembly to determine where they like the trim, then install the rough-in there. The danger comes if you mount it at one end of the min/max based on an anticipated wall buildup, then change your mind, or get a little more or less thinset on the wall, or something similar...if you were exactly at one end of the range on your estimate, things may not longer fit! THen, say your valve is not perfectly lined up with the wall, and when you turn the handle, it rubs at one end of travel. Lots of things, so to ensure fewer problems, the manufacturer sets the min/max to account for some of those variables.
     
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    I do not know when this last response was posted, but I cannot believe this discussion went on for SIX pages. What you see on a "display" board is some designers idea who has NEVER installed one. What you see in the bath is the way the Moen engineers DESIGNED it to be installed, but the engineers and designers NEVER discuss it between them selves.
     
  5. Trooper

    Trooper New Member

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    I can't believe it's gone on for so many years and Moen has STILL not updated the 'comic book' that they provide as an excuse for installation instructions to include a statement of what the dimensions will be of the handle 'stick out' if you follow that comic book to the letter...

    As I did. And I'm not happy either.

    Argue all you want about 'acceptable' tolerance. I won't hear it.

    The bottom line is that the plaster ground, the white plastic piece that says "INSTALL FLUSH WITH FINISHED WALL" is just plain WRONG!

    If you follow that instruction, the handle WILL stick out too far to be aesthetically pleasing. That is a FACT. If that plaster ground was 1/2" thicker, nobody would be complaining.

    OK... I just took some very careful measurements.

    If one follows the instruction and installs the plaster ground flush with the finish wall, there will be SLIGHTLY under 1/2" between the back of the handle and the escutcheon. Therefore, instead of installing the plaster ground flush, one must install it 3/8" BEHIND the finished wall surface in order to have 1/8" between the handle and the escutcheon. The plaster ground should be 3/8" THICKER than it is, not the 1/2" I stated above.

    FYI, this valve is the MOENTROL version. I don't know if this applies to the POSITEMP valve or not, but they do appear dimensionally equivalent.

    Bottom line is: Do NOT trust the 'comic book' instructions. MEASURE, MEASURE, MOCK UP, MEASURE AGAIN.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
    MrStop likes this.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm sure the homeoweners would love the shower valves with no tolerance then.
    Install them, tile the wall, and good God! You can't install the handle!!
    There are bigger fish to fry.
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    1/2" isn't too bad...some of them end up lots further out than that. If the valve body is slightly canted in the wall, it is easy to have the handle get a bit too close. Some of the Kohler stuff want things within 1/16" or they look awful...try doing that with multiple layers of materials to get that just right! What a pain. Then, take someone with a large, pudgy hand verses a beanpole...one may need all of that projection to grab the handle, while the other thinks it sits out too far. But, as has been said before...mock it up, and put it where you want it - your ideal may be different than the generic answer the manufacturer calls for that will typically fit any of their trim pieces which may not all look the same. Decide 10-years from now to change the trim, and it may not fit. It would if things were as designed.
     
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    I get tired of people complaining that THEIR shower does NOT look like the one on the showroom display board. That display has NOTHING to do with how the valve will look in their shower/bath. The valve comes with a "plaster ground" which is installed flush with the finished wall, and when the handle and plate are installed THAT is how it is supposed to look, but the manufacturer also give a +/- allowance so it could look than if the ground wre flush with the wall, and STILL be the way the engineers designed it. The customer service people are interested in making the customer happy so they will say anything they want to, because they have NEVER seen the installation instruction. Incidentally, EVERY photo in this posting looks EXACTLY like the majority of Moen valves I have installed or worked on, (most of the others were installed deeper into the wall so the handle would NOT stick out and then they needed an extension kit to get it put together which moved the handle even further from the wall than it would have been otherwise.)
     
  9. Trooper

    Trooper New Member

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    And this is where our opinions differ.

    In my opinion, Moen is WRONG. The plaster ground is of an incorrect dimension, and Moen cares not to investigate, or correct.

    Because you followed the INCORRECT instructions from Moen.

    My point is that however it was designed, it is WRONG.

    It is not, the first time, and won't be the last, that manufacturers have made errors.

    hj, as adamant you seem to be in defending Moen, I might presume that you have some personal interest in the company?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The instructions provide you with a means to ensure that the trim fits without interference, the screw lengths are acceptable, and that the valve body can accept other compatible trim pieces, should you decide to change them at some other time. Moen is not alone in this conundrum about what works and what various people's opinions are about how it ultimately looks. Which, is one reason why I always try to tell people to mock it up to see if THEY like the way the default install works, and adjust it if not. There is usually a little leeway, since it is hard to estimate the exact thickness of say the thinset used behind the tile, but you can normally get pretty close. What's shown in a store on a display board is not a working model, so should not be used as a basis for the exact installation results.
     
  11. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    The plaster guard can be installed two ways. Thick wall, or rotated 90 degrees, for thin wall on Moen. 180 degrees on Delta. If that's a fiberglass shower, and the handle sticks out too far, then the plaster guard was not properly oriented when installed. It's fixable if you don't drop the screws, and have some flex in the water pipes. Also, you might could remove the plate and shim the plaster guard/valve deeper into the wall.

    [​IMG]

    photo added by Terry. A Posi-Temp with plaster guard left on for installing on a fiberglass shower stall.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2015
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    What usually happens when you try to install the valve with minimum reveal under the handle is that someone "changes" the wall and it is too deep for the piece to fit. THEN the customer wants to know why YOU "installed it wrong" and they have to use an extension which changes how they THOUGHT it should look. I "defend" ALL the manufacturers when their instructions are followed for an installation, regardless of WHAT the customer THOUGHT it would look like as long as it is within the specified parameters. When the plaster guard is used to clamp a valve to a fiberglass shower, there is NO WAY to orient it incorrectly, and I do not know what rotating 90 or 180 degress, whatever that means, would have to do with the placement in the wall.
     
  13. Carol Erson

    Carol Erson New Member

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  14. Carol Erson

    Carol Erson New Member

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  15. Carol Erson

    Carol Erson New Member

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    I purchased the Brantford faucets from a high end supplier through my contractor.I purchased the Brantford faucets from a high end supplier through my contractor.
     
  16. Carol Erson

    Carol Erson New Member

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  17. Carol Erson

    Carol Erson New Member

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    I am having the same problem with a new Moen shower faucet. The handle just sticks out too far from the escutcheon. In addition, the handle is not solid, it wobbles around on the stem and feels very flimsy. I am not a professional, just a simple homemaker having her bath remodeled and I appreciate your patience and help. My contractor took two weeks off to work another job and I do not want to interrupt him while he is on that job. I will talk to him about it when he returns to finish my work. I purchased the Moen Brantford at a high end supply company through my contractor. I called the salesman at the supply company, and he said that is just the way the faucet is and in order to make it closer the contractor would need to go through the wall. I have perused this thread and the only solution I have found is the complex solution posted by John, or have my contractor go through my closet wall to shorten the valve/stem. Also, someone mentioned a part to extend (add on to) the escutcheon, but I cannot locate this and my faucet is chrome. Are there any other solutions? Should I just go back to the plastic, faux crystal faucet knob?...I think my contractor threw it out already! Is there another/different faucet that would make this less obvious? I assume I need to continue with a Moen faucet since the valves are Moen, is this correct? I do not have allegiance to that brand. Please see the accompanying pic. Also, the new hose is going to be returned for either a longer or shorter one as this length interferes with the operation of the handle.
    Thank you in advance for your help. I really appreciate it. Carol
    [​IMG]
     

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  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Carol,
    If the handle wobbles, it may be that the adapter is not screwed on tightly. There may be some movement, but not very much.
    I'm sorry that all you people are so bothered by a little bit of tubing showing.
    Yes, the only way to fix that, is to worry it to death.
    What you have works, and I'm guessing it fitting into a shower or tub stall that is 48" or longer. That 1/2" to 3/4" is gonna ruin it.
    I feel sorry for Moen tech support. They do their best to make a faucet that you can't screw up and that's not good enough for some.
     
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    There's a good reason why on most valves, the metal handle is not connected directly through metal...the handle can actually become too hot to touch and burn you, depending on the hot inlet temperature. There is nothing 'wrong' with the install. Standing IN the shower, you probably find it looks fine. My recommendation is to always mock it up and decide how YOU want it to look, but if you don't express a firm opinion prior, the plumber just followed the instructions - it works, and is how it was designed. That you don't like it, maybe you should not have bought that valve. It can be modified, but personally, expecting it to happen for free when all factory installation instructions were followed, is expecting a bit, and if challenged, you'd lose in court.
     
  20. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Look how far this Delta shower valve is sticking out!!!
     
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