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cutting out a brass shower body?

skimmer
skimmer Member Posts: 32
I may need to remove this shower body, but I do not want to break the tiles...

Is it advisable to attempt to cut through the brass in order to remove it? I know I could do it with a sawzall but that would probably cause the copper piping to break from the vibrations... Use a dremel to cut at its narrowest points?

If I have to do this then an external mount shower jet type system would be installed in its place...meaning I would not need the copper piping to the tub spout or shower head as the shower system would have as part of its system (as well as a mixing valve). My plan is to put a hot and cold shut off valve in each of the threaded connections in order to connect the tubing to the shower system.

And no i cannot get to the plumbing from the other side.




Comments

  • the_donut
    the_donut Member Posts: 374
    edited March 2018
    if I can’t get through from the back I will cut out a couple inches to the side and use a wide cover plate underneath the new plate that comes with a new assembly. I use a close quarters pipe cutter.

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,991
    Wow you would get the plumber of the year award if you can pull off a valve swap through that same access/space. Good luck.

    Most normal plumbers will access from the rear. If that’s not possible, like Donut said, get your new valve and goof plate and carefully mark how far you can cut away at the fiberglass
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • skimmer
    skimmer Member Posts: 32
    Not looking for a valve swap, just removing this one and then screwing in shut off valves to the existing elbows.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,729
    I'm not quite sure what you want to do, but something like this might give you a little more room to work.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    With threaded connections it will not be an easy replacement. Looks like a Delta, why not rebuild it and add new trim? Or buy the identical valve and swap all the parts?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    mattmia2
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,991
    You said you may need to cut through the brass....normally that points towards “a new valve”. Anyway, it seems like there’s already service valves already
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    delta T
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,593
    The insert and plate that came with those valves are too small so I can't blame the tile man. Enlarge the hole and use a bigger plate.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    how do you replace a valve like that with 4 threaded connection. Looks like all galvanized pipe?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Gary Smith
    Gary Smith Member Posts: 361
    as hot rod said earlier, why not replace the innards and use the existing valve?
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,084
    edited March 2018
    Hello, Skimmer said: "Not looking for a valve swap, just removing this one and then screwing in shut off valves to the existing elbows." I made myself this tool from 3/4" threaded fiberglass rod, with a Sawzall blade: Maybe this is a good time for a hand powered tool rather than something more powerful. B)

    Yours, Larry
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,160
    I have replaced shower valves in the wall before by going through the existing hole, but it was very tricky, and it was sweat valves, not threaded. You really have to soak the inside of the wall before putting that flame in there though! And use a very small flame.
    I would use either a dremel or a multitool and cut the valve just before the copper threaded adapter, and then unscrew the cut off valve from the male adapter. This is assuming the valve isn't fused on to the adapter. Hopefully after you get things cut out, you can move the hot and cold feed pipes and maybe get enough movement to pull them in to the center of the hole so you can work on it. Personally, since I hate threaded connections, if I did have room to pull the lines over, I would cut the male adapter off and sweat on a 90, or even use sharkbite fittings.
    Rick
    Gordy
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,530
    Does the owner have extra tiles? Or can the tiles be matched?

    I'd pop the tiles, and cut the cement board back to the studs give yourself room to perform. Then repair. It's not that hard. Be a lot less vocabulary involved.
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 287
    I agree, Gordy. We often remove enough tile for safe access and valve replacement. If there are no matching replacement tiles, we'll remove enough tile to " frame " the valves escutcheon with new color tiles and accent pieces to make the repair look like a design detail.....
    Gordy136lin
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,530
    Depending on how well the tiler did, some times you get lucky if you are careful. The nice thing in this instance is only two tiles, are in the opening. However more may need removal to get better access, or a quality repair to the tiles.
    MikeL_2
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,530
    Disagree?
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,196
    What is the tile glued to, mortared to? Drywall? Cement board?

    If it is drywall, just use a putty knife and pop the tiles off the drywall. Be sure and mark them at to location with a permanent marker. Do your repair and then use a 4" diamond circular saw on a Makita grinder to clean the back of the tile. Fix the substrate with cement board and replace the original tile and grout. I've done this before. Piece of cake!
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,283
    edited May 2020
    @skimmer Your on the right track to consider using a dremel or die grinder to cut the brass. Then unsolder the leftover brass from the copper tubing. That is if you have copper tubing? I cant tell from the picture.

    What I have done in situations as you describe is to indeed use a die grinder. Heat the left over brass from the tubing and then solder a new valve with a smaller, and I do mean SMALLER! shower valve body. The smaller valve body will give that extra room you will need to solder the new smaller valve.
    (Propress and crimp fittings will not work in this tight space because the tools are to large.So soldering , or a combination of solder fittings and shark bight fittings should do the trick here.)

    Take it slow. Patients often wins with installs like this.
    And when you do change the valve. Make sure you get a new valve that includes a escutcheon that will cover the hole that is there. One company, Symmons, on there lower end 96 series valves, supplies there shower and or tub and shower valve with to small of a escutcheon for that install. Most, if not all other brands should cover the hole beautifully. Or a higher end symmons.

    Best of luck. This can be done with some patients, the right tools and fittings.

    But first........is the pipe copper?
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