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  • Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

    Are using unions a good idea for a shower valve installation?

    I normally solder threaded male copper fittings onto short pieces of pipe and then thread them into the shower valve with some pipe thread dope. Then when I do some additional sweating, it seems far enough away so as not to bother the valve or burn the pipe dope.

    Occasionally, I notice a pinhole leak at the threads and end up having to redo the run, because I can't tighten the fitting to stop the leak

    I just demo'd a shower stall and found that the builder used unions to connect up the shower valve. This seems like a better way to do it. What do you think?

  • #2
    Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

    this isn't a good idea. if you need to tighten the joint just cut the 1/2 copper take it apart and then soldier it back together with a coupling.

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    • #3
      Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

      I like the delta mixing valve for this very reason, they give you the option of using an fpt or sweating the pipe in. I always sweat the pipe to the mixing valve.
      Buy cheap, buy twice.

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      • #4
        Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

        agreed.sweatn'er is betten'er....just made that up right now

        if you do decide to solder, remove the cartridge first.
        West Trail Mechanical Ltd
        Service. Commitment. Expertise.

        www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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        • #5
          Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

          The old valves used to have union type connections to the valve that either offered a solder or threaded connection into the assembly.

          The new ones offer both applications and I sweat before I make up threaded connections.


          I'm going to get razed for my next statement but oh well:


          In situations involving tub/shower valves that have been broken off in the wall because the bonnet nut was froze tight (Delta faucets with the 3 copper tubes) is a perfect example of what I've been doing.


          I'm only a handful of guys in my area that can go into the 4" hole in the tub wall and replace the valve without any access to the back side. "Sometimes" I'll use 1/2" FIP's and sweat thread to thread on those new R10000 valve bodies and never have to worry about heat sink on a doped/taped connection anymore.

          I don't do it on any other application than this particular method but it works and there's nothing worse than having a taped connection leaking in this type of repair.......knowing how extensive it is to fix.

          I absolutely love it when somebody calls and says that I'm the 1st plumber stating no access from the back side of unit. Either that or I don't mention a remodel plate which means a huge hole in the front wall to fix the issue.

          It's like surgery when you do one like that.....I'd like to know if there's anyone else that does them this way.......?



          I can see sharkbites, 1/2" CTS by 1/2" FIP's making a replacement almost a 1/2 hour job.
          Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 01-24-2008, 11:39 PM.
          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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          • #6
            Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

            Dunbar your funny.
            I just snapped off that same valve this last weekend at our house.What a piece of junk.

            I called Rick to see what I could do in the future to prevent doing so.He said sorry,just be aware of the bad design in the future.

            So now that I replaced the valve in the trim accessed cavity can I be put on your Christmas mailing list

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            • #7
              Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

              Thanks for the responses! I believe that if there was a better way - you guys would know about it. Regarding Dunbar's little trick:

              Are you saying that, for valves that don't come with the sweat or thread option and only have female threads, that soldering that connection has been your preference over tape or thread paste? Seems like a good connection. Do you sand the threads with the emery cloth or some kind of brush?

              The first set up that I did, I was cooking the soldered connections and the tape and paste. Now I use tinning flux and have a little more finnesse with the torch - sweating still takes me forever, but no more leaks and I'm getting faster. Thanks alot for the tips!

              RC

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              • #8
                Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

                Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                Dunbar your funny.
                I just snapped off that same valve this last weekend at our house.What a piece of junk.

                adam,you can't use a 24 on a delta valve. just a 430 channelocks or the fancy grip serrated ring i have to grip the knurls

                I called Rick to see what I could do in the future to prevent doing so.He said sorry,just be aware of the bad design in the future.

                true, you need to watch for it and sometimes tap on the nut. turn both ways and be aware it might tweak. same with a deck mount valve like the delta 100.



                So now that I replaced the valve in the trim accessed cavity can I be put on your Christmas mailing list
                i would rather be on the christmas gift list. still trying to pawn off joeys bidet seat maybe next season. all i need to do is tape up the small tear in the gift wrapping

                rick.
                phoebe it is

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                • #9
                  Re: Shower Valve inst-Male Thread fitting or Unions?

                  I've replaced valves through the front, too, but not very often. Soldering in a space like that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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