How to Convert a Two or Three Handle Tub / Shower Valve to Single Handle With No Tile Repair
In older bathrooms, a 2 or 3 handle Tub, Shower, or Tub and Shower valve can go bad, break or be a brand that uses parts that are no longer available. Some plumbers will tell you a tile repair man will be needed after they replace your valve. But in many situations, your old and leaking Tub and Shower Mixer can be replaced without needing a tile repair afterwards.
The following work example shows how you want this done!
Honestly, if your Shower Mixer valve looks this cool, we hope it lasts for a million years! Before you make the decision to upgrade or change out your Tub Shower valves, make sure they’re not a valuable unrealized expensive treasure. Sometimes old bathroom fixtures can add quite a bit of value to your house. Make sure you’re not getting rid of a valuable unrealized treasure!
But then again, they do need to work. And it they don’t, and repair parts are unavailable, you may have no choice but changing them out.
This original Shower Valve had stems and handles that could not be removed. As you can see, the Valve Stem on the right had to be broken to be removed. This customer was also in danger of flooding due to the lack of readily available rebuild parts.
Make sure you have a good working whole house water shut off valve! They are a must for emergency repairs or natural disaster aftermath.
This shows a close up of the Repair Plate outline, as well as the cutting guide marks. The tile cuts are well within the coverage area of the Repair Plate. After the new Shower Valve install, there will be no tile gaps or openings.
This photo shows the tile cuts and the various cross cuts to control the breaking of the tile and concrete wall float behind. Of course there’s no 100% guarantee you will not lose a small tile piece during this process, but when doing control cuts, it’s very rare that would happen.
After the wall demolition, you can see the great access you’ll have to effect the valve change out.
Because this particular Shower Valve had a 2” x 4” stud almost directly on center of the riser, we also had to cut the back of the wall. Luckily, there was a closet on the back of this particular Shower Valve.
Here we see the installation of the new, modern Shower Valve. You will never have a problem finding replacement parts once you convert to a modern valve and future rebuilding and servicing will be a breeze!
Always remove the Tub and Shower Valve Cartridge after installing a new valve and purge the in-wall valve!!! In California, building codes require Pressure Balancing Shower and Tub & Shower Valves. In short, this means if there is not equal pressure on the Hot and Cold sides of the valve, no water will come out and you won’t be accidentally scalded by unexpected hot water.
These Pressure Balancing valves have very fine ports and channels the will be blocked and clogged by the smallest installation debris that is IMPOSSIBLE to remove. But removing the cartridge and blowing out the valve body easily takes care of this.
This final photo shows the Shower Valve with the Repair Plate, face plate, handle and fixtures installed. Also notice the water proofing sealant at the edges of the Repair Plate, faceplate, and even Phillips head retaining screws.
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