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Old 01-11-2016, 08:35 AM   #1
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Question on replacing shower valves


After multiple rebuilds, I’d like to replace my original 50 year old shower valves with new ones. I understand that I need to buy a kit that includes valves as well as the trim pieces. How would I go about making sure I get the right valves? I am thinking the important measurement is the depth of the pipe from the outlet to the seat, so I should take out one of my old valves and try to go to the store to match the length of the part of the valve that screws into the pipe.. Is that right?
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:02 AM   #2
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Yes. You can try the big box stores. Doubt they'll carry something that old.

You may have better luck finding a replacement at a plumbing supply, specialty or hardware store.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jmon View Post
Yes. You can try the big box stores. Doubt they'll carry something that old.

You may have better luck finding a replacement at a plumbing supply, specialty or hardware store.
Sorry that I wasn't more clear. I do not wish to replace the valves with identical ones. I would like to put new valves in, those manufactured in the last year. I am just wondering how to determined compatibility of what I can find in a big box store with my pipes. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:04 AM   #4
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Still not sure what you mean here? When I hear valve, I assume you are wanting to replace (sweat in) new plumbing? If that is the case, and given your old valves it is probably a two knob mixer (hot and cold knobs) where many new ones are a single mixer. I'd pick out the set you want, and the directions will clearly show the set back (takes into account distance from valve through sub-wall/tile etc) and what is required additionally, if anything. Some will come complete with everything you need, or most of it.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by keithhe View Post
Still not sure what you mean here? When I hear valve, I assume you are wanting to replace (sweat in) new plumbing? If that is the case, and given your old valves it is probably a two knob mixer (hot and cold knobs) where many new ones are a single mixer. I'd pick out the set you want, and the directions will clearly show the set back (takes into account distance from valve through sub-wall/tile etc) and what is required additionally, if anything. Some will come complete with everything you need, or most of it.
This is what I mean, yes, but I don't want to sweat in new plumbing and I am OK to continue using a two knob mixer until I am able to do a bathroom remodel. The question is whether - without doing any rough-in work - I can simply find a 3 knob kit with valves that will fit my existing 1968 rough-in.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:20 AM   #6
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New valves will have to be connected, mechanically, so if not sweated in, what exactly are you planning here? some do screw in, others are sweated, but not likely everything is exactly where you will need it.
Without knowledge of exactly what you have, hard to say what you can do, but you can open and replace o'rings of existing valves generally, and they do make "universal" replacement knobs for most valves, if cosmetics is what you are after.

Last edited by keithhe; 01-11-2016 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by keithhe View Post
New valves will have to be connected, mechanically, so if not sweated in, what exactly are you planning here? some do screw in, others are sweated, but not likely everything is exactly where you will need it.
Without knowledge of exactly what you have, hard to say what you can do, but you can open and replace o'rings of existing valves generally, and they do make "universal" replacement knobs for most valves, if cosmetics is what you are after.
I should have called these "valve stems" instead of valves. Sorry.

My Speakman valve stems are the screw-in type. My thinking was that getting identical replacements would be a waste of money, if I was going to remodel and redo the rough-in plumbing later on anyways. So, for the same price as buying two replacement valves, which are $40 a piece at a local plumbing supply store, I thought I could also upgrade to a new trim set. I have already had my existing valves rebuilt a few times over the last couple years, and still either hot or cold develops a new leak every few months. I just had to tighten something again just yesterday, so I am always on edge about a leak, and would just like to replace them now. I am thinking perhaps I will just suck up the cost, as it will be the most straightforward solution.

Last edited by genEus; 01-11-2016 at 12:16 PM.
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