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Old 01-02-2008, 06:41 PM   #1
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replacing brass shower fixtures; how hard?


yes, its time.

my wife has been on me for awhile to do away with the early 90s brass trims.

have 2 showers to do: one stall, one tub/shower.

couple questions:

1) when it comes to the heads, I know how to repalce a showerhead. but the gooseneck pipe into the wall is brass too. so it has to go. how hard are those to get off? that is, do they just unscrew? or do I have to cut into the wall and jimmy it off with a wrench or otherwise.

2) then as for the control dials. both shower stall and tub/shower combo are tiled. I am guessing I have to bust out the tiles immediatel surroungin the control knob? once I do that, does it just unscrew and you put a new chrome/nickel face on? or is there a wole mechanism that has to come out?

3) similar deal for the tub spigot. its tiled. I am hoping I can just uncaulk it and unscrew the spigot. or is it not that easy?

any help is appreciated. I am not a beginner in terms of DIY, but I dont do much plumbing.

any links are good too. thanks...

thanks!

brendan

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Old 01-02-2008, 06:57 PM   #2
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replacing brass shower fixtures; how hard?


Brendan,
1. The gooseneck shower arms are threaded on both ends and are simply screwed into a mounted fitting inside the wall. Unscrew it counter-clockwise. You'll see what I'm talking about when you buy the chrome replacement arm. When you replace it, wrap 2-3 flat wraps of teflon tape around the male threads on both ends clockwise only as the threaded end faces you. Use a strap wrench or one handle of a pair of channel-lock pliers stuck into the showerhead end of the pipe to tighten it back into the fitting to keep from marring it.
2. You may be able to completely replace the outer fittings with chrome handles, etc. without replacing the faucet body, which is the only thing inside the walls. What brand? Single handle? Two handle? Need more specifics before we can advise you. If you have to go into the wall, it's usually better to go in through a wall behind the faucet instead of through the tile side. It's much cheaper and easier to repair sheetrock than tile. However, they do have new faucets made to go in from the tile side that cover the larger hole with a large estucheon. You can only get those at professional plumbing supply houses usually though.
3. Tub spigots either screw on to a male threaded fitting on a pipe sticking out from the wall (with teflon tape again), or they slide onto a strgiht piece of pipe with a rubber gasket to seal it on the spigot and are held in place by an Allen head set screw (look for a slot on the bottom of the spigot next to the wall). Both are very easy to replace. If you use a screw-on spigot wrap a wash cloth or something around it before using a wrench on it, to keep from marring it.
Good Luck!
Mike


Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 01-02-2008 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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replacing brass shower fixtures; how hard?


Quote:
1) when it comes to the heads, I know how to repalce a showerhead. but the gooseneck pipe into the wall is brass too. so it has to go. how hard are those to get off? that is, do they just unscrew? or do I have to cut into the wall and jimmy it off with a wrench or otherwise.
Ayuh,.....
It Should be just Screwed into a fitting behind the wall,......If the fitting is properly secured,+ the grout/chaulking lets go, it should come right out....

Quote:
2) then as for the control dials. both shower stall and tub/shower combo are tiled. I am guessing I have to bust out the tiles immediatel surroungin the control knob? once I do that, does it just unscrew and you put a new chrome/nickel face on? or is there a wole mechanism that has to come out?
If you can find a copy of the color you want, in the Exact same faucet from the same manufacturer,.....
You Might be able to just change what Shows.......
Otherwise,.....
It's All gotta be Changed........

Quote:
3) similar deal for the tub spigot. its tiled. I am hoping I can just uncaulk it and unscrew the spigot. or is it not that easy?
Ayuh,.......... It Should be that Easy.....
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:46 PM   #4
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replacing brass shower fixtures; how hard?


post a pic of the faucet. someone will know mabe what kind
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:30 PM   #5
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replacing brass shower fixtures; how hard?


1) sounds easy enough.
2) they are both plain-Jane Delta. brass, big honkin' crystal looking plastic knob controller. has two screws under that that appear to affix the "plate" to the wall. I was hoping I could just unscrew those, pop the top off the knob to reveal a screw, pull knob and plate off, slap new "outer pieces" on, and that would be about it. I mentioned "busting the tile" because the perimeter of the "plate" appears to be embedded in a grout line...maybe with a grout tool I can scrape it free; not sure
3) spigots agan look like builders best grade Deltas, circa 1990. very oxidized. I do not see a screw slot, but that may be becuase of the 1/8 width of caulk around the base of the spigot, although I did start to peel it away and it looks flush to wall, with no Allen slot. will look again.

will post a pic if I can tomorrow.

thanks so much for the advice!
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:41 AM   #6
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replacing brass shower fixtures; how hard?


You should be able to get all Delta chrome parts to fit onto the existing faucets without replacing the faucet body.
Coincidentally, when we built our home in 1977, we went with chrome Delta faucets everywhere. When we remodeled in 1998, my wife wanted them all changed to the "shiny gold brass" look, so I did. Now, I'm changing them all back to chrome. Yes, dear. LOL No big deal. You can do it.
The tub spout sounds like it's the kind that screws in. Cut the grout line at the wall out with a Dremel tool or scrape it out. Try not to damage the tile. Use a good anti-mildew tub-and-tile caulk when you put the new one on.
Good luck!
Mike
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:18 PM   #7
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replacing brass shower fixtures; how hard?


Thanks for all the advice on my brass-to-chrome retrofit, guys.

I have a follow up...

I am now tackling the garden tub in my Master Bath. It needs a new "roman" tub fixture. I talked to Delta and I have narrowed down a few wife-approved models that will work with the rough in/valves already there. I have new trim kit on special order from Lowes that should do the trick.

Ok, now to the question....or my idiocy as the case may be.

I cannot figure out how to get the old faucet off. Knobs were no problem. On the spigot, there is a littte round cap. I popped it off. About 1/2 inch in is an old and kinda discolored/rusty bolt of some kind. Looks like a hex/"allen" type deal. I am guessing a 1/8 hex. So I got that 1/8 allen bit out of my drill bit set and attempted to get the bolt out, assuming the faucet will then just kinda lift right out. The bit seems to fit, but the facuet is not disengaging... And I am afraid if I keep trying, I will strip the bolt (looks a bit stripped already, before I even went in, to be honest) and then really be screwed. Stuck having to hacksaw the damn facuet off or something.

I am not real handy, admittedly. But am I just dumb, too? Am I missing something obviosu here? Any help is appeciated. Thanks!!!

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