There are a number of plumbing fixes and adaptations that can help you and your family achieve a level of comfort and consistency with your plumbing fixtures that can leave you all feeling pretty pampered! This fix today addresses the water pressure you would be getting from your shower as you unwind from a rough day at school or work and don’t want to have to fumble with the shower. One less thing to have to worry about, installing a pressure balanced shower valve will keep the water from your shower at the same pressure regardless of whether you are using hot or cold water. A DIY option you can do at home, the job should take about 2 to 3 hours and requires a moderate skill level.
Tools you will need:
1. Drill driver
2. Oscillating saw
3. Pipe cutters
4. Pipe deburring tool
5. Blow torch
Materials you will need:
1. Shower head
2. Tub spout
4. ½-inch copper pipe and fittings
6. Pressure balanced shower valve
7. Retrofit cover plate for valve
8. 2×4 dimensional lumber
9. Pipe hangers
First, and a step you should take with nearly any plumbing venture, is to shut the water off at the water main. This will ensure there are no accidents and avoid any unnecessary water damage. You will want to then find a reasonable amount of room to access the shower valve. Some homes give you access to the shower valve from the room directly behind the shower where the valve is located. For example, removing a kitchen cabinet that would allow room to create an access hole in the wall.
Next, you will need to trace the outline of the cover plate that has already been retrofitted over the hole from the old valve, giving yourself about an inch of room for the room for error. Then, find the fiberglass that outlines the shower valve and cut it out using the oscillating saw.
The next step is to remove the shower valve by cutting it out and removing it completely, pulling out the old plumbing along with it. You may need to make additional cute here using the saw once more or pipe cutters. With the space made to install the new valve body, go ahead and assemble as much of it as you can outside the access panel to make it as easy as possible. Once you have assembled as much as you can, solder the parts together to make sure there are no opportunities for water to escape, creating a watertight seal. This will include having to apply flux to the insides of the fittings and outside the pipes that need it. Heating the pipes along the joints with the blow torch will help the solder to suck into the joints for the best possible seal when applied directly to those heated joints.
After the watertight seal is achieved, simply place the assembly into the access panel and make sure the body of the valve is lined up with the center of the hole. All of the disconnected pipes will need to be soldered together, mainly to the tub spout and shower head.This step is a great time to use pipe clips and a drill driver to secure the pipes to the surrounding structure to prevent them from banging inside the wall during use.
Lastly, connect the hot and cold water lines to the pipes in the appropriate locations to make sure all of your work is not done in vain! Then, test everything by turning the water back on and checking for leaks. Installing the trim over the shower valve completes the process and, of course, repairing the access hole you created to begin with.
That’s about it, and once you’re finished, you won’t have to worry about those lulls of drippy water or sudden sharp blasts happening while you take your showers, and best of all, you know you had fixed it yourself! Now if you want to achieve the same wonderful outcomes and don’t feel confident in doing the work, simply give your local plumbing professionals at Jack Ward & Sons a call today at (615) 227-2811.