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Replacing Valve Body Assembly In Bathtub

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  • Replacing Valve Body Assembly In Bathtub

    Hello eveyone.

    I moved into a home that was built in the late 60's so I am in the process of revamping everything from the smallest of hardware to the largest. I ran into a setback and can't get out and need assistance.

    I purchased an American Standard Shower kit. I thought i would be slick and remove the old hot/cold handles and the tub spout. the tub spout was a breeze and when I moved onto the handles I realized the old valve stems were not configured to fit on the new product because those stems required a small size stem. I thought I was going to get everything resolved just by replacing the stems by themselves without replacing the old valve body with the American Standard one and then I noticed how many stem sizes there were available and matching components needed and much worse what I have finally come to realize is my old valve body assembly needs to come out more than likely unless someone knows some tricks up their sleeves that can be helpful. The old one is a is a Price Phister.

    Of course I got brave and disconnected the fittings around the hot and cold copper piping under the trap, but then I realized I could not remove the shower pipes from the assembly nor the connection running up to the ceiling or at the top of the valve body. mainly because of sodering built up around the nut and on the bottom it when I tried to loosen it it turns the copper piping (the bathtub spout) and really won't go anywhere because the pipe protruding from the inside of the shower wall won't come out of the wall. so it's stuck in limbo and I am frustrated.

    So should I just give up and call a plumber to remove and replace the valve body or should I reconnect everything and come up with a unique way to make the valve stems work on my new handles.

    This is my second American Standard purchase before I realized it was a parts issue and then I realized how many sizes of stems are available.

    What is the smartest way to proceed. ? Thanks for any suggestions
    Last edited by Busygirl; 08-11-2006, 07:14 PM.

  • #2
    Your smartest move would be to hire a plumber. I understand that you are attempting to save money, but you have to understand that there is a reason that "trades" exist. It isn't that these issues are easy and plumbers charge a large amount because they are greedy. They have the knowledge that you lack, based on years of training and experience.

    I am always amazed that people in other professions or trades seem to feel that plumbing is easy. Their theory is that all I need is a quick answer on a forum site, and I can do it. Before you waste alot more money, hire a plumber, and let us know how it comes out.
    the dog


    • #3
      You should stop by a plumbing supply house and check out kits for a Price Pfister.


      • #4
        busy girl, price pfister is a good base valve to start with. it's been around for years and the hardware is easy to convert and update.

        i would get to a good plumbing supply and bring pictures of your old trim/ handles. there is bound to be a comparable trim from p.p. that should match your taste and design of the amer. std. that you like.

        price pfister is like general motors. the trim range starts at chevrolet and continues up to cadillac. the nice thing is that there is many varieties and conversion stems and adapters. almost like "pimp my ride"

        post some photos of what you have and what look you want, and i'm sure that there is a trim that will be close and work. i've had very good luck with the price pfister line.

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback

          Thanks for the feedback,
          Saving money wasn't really my main concern, I am just naturally a tool kind of chick that likes to pull things apart, examine the parts and fix and/or upgrade them or see how they work. It was more of a stubborn thing not wanting to give up, but this time I had to let my hands down and let out one of those exhale noises that sounded like
          there were no options and I was over it. I guess there are some things I just can't do myself.

          I appreciate the advice from all three of you and so quick! So far two of ou said call the plumber one of you said go the supply warehouse and check out the PP line. I think I will do both, I just needed someone with the knowledge to encourage me in the right direction.

          I really appreciate your help!


          • #6
            Busygirl....Before giving up, you should know that replacing a tub/shower valve body can be complicated or simple if you know how to sweat copper pipe. As your house was built in the late 60's, the old valve bodies are probably not washerless valve bodies. It would be advisable in most remodels to replace old washer type valve bodies with washerless bodies. Do you have access to the exsting valve bodies without having to break open the shower wall? Are the walls sheetrock or plaster? Posting a photo or two of the present condition would help in providing more informed assistance.
            there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.


            • #7
              washerless is great on lever type handles. on round or cross it's not an issue. truthfully the p.p. washer style is pretty reliable. the ceramic disc is pretty reliable, and the non washer/ non ceramic are typically a gimmic on a two handle valve.

              i've actually had pretty good luck with the p.p. standard valve body, converting to ceramic. if it works, great, if not, no big deal to keep the washer style (compression).

              phoebe it is