Stupid noobie question about shower remodel

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by boston confused, May 12, 2008.

  1. boston confused

    boston confused New Member

    May 11, 2008
    This may be one of the dumbest questions that you have heard here but is it at all possible to change out a remodel valve/plate without turning off the water supply?

    I want to remodel my second bath and for the shower just want to replce the tile and fittings. The problem is that I live in a condo building with no separate hot/cold water shutoffs. So if I shut off the water supply I will shut it off to 4 units.

    During the remodel, I was planning on keeping the current single water control valve/cover plate on while I tile most of the shower and then taking off the valve/plate at the end, finishing the last few pieces of tile, and then replacing with one of those Symmons valve/plate remodel combos that you see at Lowes.

    Here comes the stupid question.......can you take off the valve/cover plate without turning off the water supply - i.e. not taking out cartridge, clip or anything else.

    I'm sure that the best way to do this is to just turn of the water for an hour or so and have individual shut-off installed to the shower in my condo but access is not easy and was wondering if there was another way.

  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Well, on any shower, you can remove the handle and then the chrome escutcheon plate, just leaving the valve body in the wall...intact, with cartridge in place.

    How old is the existing valve? Because if you retile, you are committing to another ..20 or so...years on that valve. Most of us would recommend installing a new valve at this point, unless it is fairly new.

    One sounds like you are replaceing tile with the location of the valve in the wall might be good. If you use a different thickess of substrate or tile, you could affect the proper fit of the trim and handle.
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  4. boston confused

    boston confused New Member

    May 11, 2008

    Thanks - good point on the tile/substrate. I am hoping that it will just be a direct tile replace but who knows until I go digging back there.

    I am remodeling the condo to sell it so am not as worried about the 15-20 year on the valve.

    So, just so I am clear - if I am careful removing the handle and plate and leaving the valve body in the wall (with cartridge) - no water will flow.
    Ever seen a cartrige 'pop off' ?

  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    removing the trim will not allow the water to turn on. Now, if you knock the valve, it might be hard without the handle to turn it off if the knock did turn it on.
  6. boston confused

    boston confused New Member

    May 11, 2008
    Great - thanks Jim.
  7. SuperDaddy

    SuperDaddy New Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    New York
    I cant believe there are no individual shut-off valves.........
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