Loose shower pipes - how do I fix?

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Old 12-09-13, 08:37 AM
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Loose shower pipes - how do I fix?

Like most of my plumbing projects, something simple this weekend spiraled into something complicated...

I had two leaky shower faucet stems that I replaced this weekend (hot and cold)...not too complicated--both are now leak free. But, in replacing the stems somehow the pipes that they thread into have become loose and they move in and out a lot inside the shower stall, as does the shower head...the whole setup is really unstable now with the pipes moving around pretty freely. Apparently I worked loose whatever braces were holding the pipes in place.

The problem I face now is this: To access the pipes, the adjacent wall is actually the far end of shower stall in my other bathroom. So if I cut into the wall to get to the pipes, I'll actually cutting the shower enclosure itself. Is this my only option? Both shower enclosures (the one with the loose pipes and the one in the adjacent bathroom) are fiberglass (plastic?), not tiled, so I can't simply remove a few tiles and piece it back together once the pipes are stabilized.

I have read some threads about spraying some sort of hardening foam into the wall to stabilize the pipes. Will this work? I'm afraid of making a mess out the plumbing and only complicating matters further if the foam doesn't work as intended.

Any ideas? THANKS!!!
 
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Old 12-09-13, 08:46 AM
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Foams not going to do anything but make a mess.
Got a picture?
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:11 AM
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Below is a pic of hot faucet stem and surrounding shower...


The second picture is the wall/shower in the adjacent bathroom. This is the wall that would provide access to the pipes. Assuming I'm going to have to punch a hole right through this thing...? Argh...really don't want to tear up the shower stall.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:13 AM
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Have you tightened the escuteons all the way to pull the faucet towards the wall more?

Yes if no other alternative I would use a mild expanding spray foam... Try to get the foam back behind the diverter and the wall....
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:20 AM
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What about opening it up inside the shower and using a remodeling plate(?) to cover after?
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:20 AM
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Yes...even when they're tightened all the way there's still play. Enough play that water's going to enter behind them I'm sure. The escuteons aren't anchored to anything...they just thread into the stems.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:25 AM
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The escuteons aren't anchored to anything...they just thread into the stems.
They should keep threading on until diverter pulls tight?

What type of escutcheon? Pic?
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:34 AM
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I thought of that...not sure a plate exists for my setup...the stems seem pretty far apart for the plates I've seen online to work.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:38 AM
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here's a pic of both hot/cold w/ the stem covers on...not sure if "escutcheon" is the right word? They just thread right into the stems themselves.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:43 AM
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The tube threads onto a plastic sleeve right?

Just keep turning the escutcheons evenly on both H/C until the diverter in the wall pulls up against the inside wall...
 
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Old 12-09-13, 10:26 AM
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Yep...they bottom out before it pulls everything snug enough to the point I'd be comfortable with water not getting behind the shower wall. Even when they're bottomed out I can still pull them away from the shower wall a good quarter inch...
 
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Old 12-09-13, 12:12 PM
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May be best to cut hole from front and replace with a single lever...

You could then work from front to remove old and install new...


Oiled bronze is ugly as shown here. I like chrome... I guess because I own a Harley...LOL













 
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Old 12-09-13, 07:11 PM
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Hi, Looking at the picture with the "escutcheon" I can see what looks like corresion inside them.You might just be screwing the pipe nipple into the vavle but not turing the "escutcheon"on the nipple.
Remove the "escutcheon" then remove the nipple clean them up put the nipples back on the valve then screw the "escutcheon" on the nipple you might accomplish what your after.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
 

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