Replacing shower/tub faucet


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Old 07-31-22, 09:20 AM
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Replacing shower/tub faucet

I have an old Delta junker that I'd like to replace (3-handle), because it's near impossible to adjust the temperature where you want it, and it won't stay at that temperature for long. I've already replaced the diverter, but can't find them for the hot and cold valves. When this one was installed, sweating the joints was brutal - water kept bubbling up from the pipe and cooling the joints. Couldn't get the water to stop (and yes, the valve was shut completely). So, I'm wondering if swapping to Shark Bite connectors would be acceptable in this case. Also, since the handles are in the low position on the wall, would it work replacing it with a single-handle, or should I stick with a 2 handle model? Finally, who makes a decent tub faucet these days that won't require a 2nd mortgage, and isn't all plastic? Any and all suggestions appreciated. Thanks, guys!
 

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07-31-22, 10:37 AM
Pilot Dane
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I do not like bite type fittings on a bath faucet. Many/most bite type fittings are approved for in wall concealed use. I have used PEX almost exclusively for 20 years so I trust it more. Bite fittings can leak if moved, flexed or twisted. Many faucets get a surprising amount of support from the pipes. You could do it though if you are good about properly securing/mounting the new faucet body so it can't move.

I do not trust bite fittings for decades long use. They use a rubber O ring to form the water tight seal. I have not used bite fittings long enough to see it happen but I'm basing my feeling on all the misinformed, cracked and broken O rings in other applications and assume the same can happen to the O rings in bite fittings.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 10:37 AM
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I do not like bite type fittings on a bath faucet. Many/most bite type fittings are approved for in wall concealed use. I have used PEX almost exclusively for 20 years so I trust it more. Bite fittings can leak if moved, flexed or twisted. Many faucets get a surprising amount of support from the pipes. You could do it though if you are good about properly securing/mounting the new faucet body so it can't move.

I do not trust bite fittings for decades long use. They use a rubber O ring to form the water tight seal. I have not used bite fittings long enough to see it happen but I'm basing my feeling on all the misinformed, cracked and broken O rings in other applications and assume the same can happen to the O rings in bite fittings.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 10:51 AM
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(and yes, the valve was shut completely)
But did you open a drain to drain the pipes?

would it work replacing it with a single-handle
You probably already considered this , but I think you would have to use one of those conversion plates to cover the old openings if you convert. That would give the wall a different look. Not saying it would look bad Ė just different.

(assuming you wouldn't redo the wall)


 
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Old 07-31-22, 02:05 PM
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Thanks, Pilot Dane. Good point about the rubber seal!
 
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Old 07-31-22, 02:12 PM
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Zoesdad, Yes, I had the main valve off and opened everything else up. Every time the pipe heated up, the water rose up from the floor. I guess I could try pumping the water out with a siphon or pump, maybe.

As for the cosmetics, yeah, I'd need a massive faceplate, which wouldn't look particularly great, but I'll sacrifice some form for function at this point. Either that, or it's time for the full bathroom remodel.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 10:43 AM
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F-

Iíve never tried it, but supposedly that bread trick works. You stuff some bread into the pipe and then it should be dry enough to sweat the pipe. The bread just later dissolves.

I know your frustration. I had a well pressure tank on which I was trying to sweat on a little extension pipe because I didnít want to mess with the elbow and pipe already connected to the tank. No matter what I did I could not get that dry enough to sweat. I even turned the tank upside for 24 hours so that any little bit of remaining water would run away from the bottom. I gave up and used a SharkBite.

Maybe that bread trick would work for you next time.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 02:37 PM
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If trying to sweat pipes obviously you need to turn the water off. Often old valves leak and water will continue to drip from the work area which will keep the pipes too cool for soldering. Best would be to fix the shutoff so it doesn't leak. Next best is to open a faucet in the house that is at a lower elevation like an outdoor spigot or a faucet downstairs or in the basement. This will allow the water leaking past the shutoff to drain without rising to the height of the fixture your working on.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 03:36 PM
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Pilot Dane - The main shutoff is a recently installed ball valve, so I know that's not the problem. Just residual water rising from the heat, I'm guessing. I might give the bread trick that zoesdad mentioned a try.
 
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Old 08-03-22, 05:28 AM
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If the shutoff isn't leaking it's easy to get rid of the water. You can open a fixture somewhere that is located at a lower elevation and the water will drain. Or, you can stick a piece of small tubing in the pipe and suck/siphon the water out.
 
 

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