just paid a visit to my brothers house to see my new 10 day old nephew and look into my brothers tub problem.
he has a tract house built 20 years ago that he purchased almost 1 year ago.
since he had a home warranty policy and he lives 45 miles away, i told him to have the warranty co send out a plumber. well after 5 trips to address a handful of items, my brother has given up on the incompetent plumber. i ended up replacing his water heater that the insurance co cashed him out on.
so the last issue is lack of hot water volume in his upstairs deck mount tub valve. the company was clueless in even attempting to diagnose the issue.
the cold is fine and the hot just dribbles out. i removed the 20 year old ceramic stem and determined that there was plenty of water suppling the valve. i then tried to back feed the cold into the hot by removing the tub spout and inserting a cork into the deck spout adapter. still very little flow back into the hot side.
at this point it was either a kinked line to the spout or debris.neither that was going to fix itself. since there is no access to the valve, i had to cut a 6''x6'' hole in the first floor full height wall to access the valve on the other side. now my brother was nervous like a new daddy
so i measured twice and cut once to expose the valve right on the money
what i discovered was a first to me. i even called mark to run it by him too. now we were both stumped. 60 years+ combined and we never came across this
the valve was basically a wide spread lav faucet with a bigger deck mount spout. the valve bodies and center spout tee were threaded for 3/8'' water flex lines like used in a lav widespread. problem was there were no flex lines installed. the plumber used 5/16'' od refrigeration tubing and soldered the tubing into the valve body and tee. thus reducing the ports to 1/4'' i.d.
this is a fairly large master tub. i figure that the inspector 20 years ago didn't allow flex connectors without an access panel. the access would have been on the living room wall approx. 10' above the floor. so that's where the brilliant idea of using 5/16'' copper came into
i took a couple of photos to attempt to show the bottom side connections. as reference the water feeds are 1/2'' copper. (5/8'' od.) the others are 5/16'' od copper.
couldn't believe it and still can't. this is in a private community of 160 homes starting at 1.5mil.
i had my brother fill the valve and spout tee with vinegar and sit overnight. maybe just a hard lime buildup