1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

DIY or call a plumber?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Gooserider, Jul 18, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    I was moving some stuff around in the basement just now, and discovered I was getting water dripping from the tub in the bathroom overhead. Investigation shows that it seems to be coming from the shower valve in the bathtub.

    This is one of the "Temptrol" type valves with one large knob that turns the water on and off, and adjusts the temperature. Under the temp knob, and part of the valve, there is a lever that controls whether the water goes to the tub spout or the showerhead, and gives some control over the flow volume.

    It doesn't look like it's leaking when in the "tub" position, but in the intermediate or "shower" positions, I'm getting a fast drip on the back side of the valve. Is this an easy DIY fix, or is it "plumber time"? I've rebuilt single lever kitchen faucets, and replaced the cartridges in the bathroom sink faucets, but I've been told the Temp-balancing shower valves are a bit trickier, and need special tools...

    Gooserider

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    458
    Loc:
    Maple Shade, NJ
    It could be a cartridge, or it could be internal- IMHO- Cut it out and pop in a new one.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,532
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  4. triptester

    triptester Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    259
    Loc:
    S.E.Wisconsin
    If the leak shows up when the water is diverted to the shower there is a good chance that the pipe leading to the shower head is the problem. The chrome pipe from the shower head is usually only installed hand tight, for fear of scratching the chrome. Sometimes after the shower head has been adjusted one too many times or has been pulled on the threaded joint inside the wall will start to leak.

    Access will be required to determine where the leak originates.
  5. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    We have access to the valve - it was worked on a few years back and we had to cut a hole in the back of the closet behind the tub. I found the leak today by looking in that hole, the water is definitely coming from the valve itself, not the pipe leading up to the shower head.

    However the GF and I talked it over this evening, and between this leak and a couple of other problems, we decided that the situation rated calling in the plumber to addres everything as I really didn't feel comfortable tearing into it by myself... He should be showing up tomorrow afternoon. (Our guy is good, she's been using him for at least the last 15 years, and we've always been happy with his service)

    Gooserider
  6. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    North Worc. CTY MA
    Goose, It's the "cartridge" in the valve... Temptrol valves are about the best in the industry...but like everything else...need routine maintenance from time to time.

    I had an "imediate" lesson on this when I first bought my home. I too decided to "try" and get a plumber. After multiple calls and no luck finding one to come out to the house...I ventured to HD paid & $7.95 for the complete cartridge...and twenty minutes after I started into it...it was fixed.

    I also read your post about the plumber coming out today. Watch (and learn) how he fixes it and then next time you are HD or Loews... buy a spare cartridge and hang it up in the basement....your wallet will thank you in the future. ;)
  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Well, the plumber is here and gone... Had him do some extra stuff because he was here - the shower in the master bath we hadn't used in years because the valve didn't work properly, he replaced that, as well as totally rebuilding the valve in the downstairs bath that was the main problem. Also the toilet was moving around like the wax seal was gone.

    So - 1. Reseat the toilet, including adding some extra screws to the flange

    2. Totally rebuild the valve in the downstairs bathroom, including all the seats (which were worn and pitted), new face plate, handle, tub spout, but keeping the old valve body. (BTW, this did require the use of some special tools intended just for those valves.)

    3. Open the wall in the master bath, remove the existing valve and replace it with a new one.

    He did some extra stuff in the process like doubling up on the O-rings in the diverter, and putting extra grease on the threads of all the fittings. He was here for about 3 hours total.

    Bill - $875

    I probably could have done the toilet, and maybe the valve in the downstairs bathroom, but probably not the upstairs bath. So it was probably worth the effort.

    Gooserider
  8. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    North Worc. CTY MA
    YUP...I always said it...If I had to do it over again...I would become a plumber...lol

    Glad things worked out for ya' goose...is the 'Mrs.' happy now?? ;)
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    I hope she'll be happy - at least till she sees how much it cost in total. I have to agree, plumbing is a great racket, probably one of the best in the construction world. Tossup between plumbing and electrician, and I suspect that plumber is probably better when the economy bombs - you are more likely to need a plumber than an electrician on those "got to do" jobs.

    Gooserider
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,532
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    As you've found out, plumbing has more wearing parts and human failures involved, therefore more calls. WE have local lawyers that wish they became plumbers, maybe more money in it. There is is local retired plumber that's a millionaire, all made by cleaning up someone else's crap.
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    I thought it was the REST of us that wish all the local lawyers would become plumbers - maybe then there'd be less crap to clean up... :lol:

    Gooserider
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I never could figure out why they get more money than carpenters we have more tools Equal skill or more Don't have a plumber figure and cut jack valley rafters
    Again I would not want a plumber doing deatiled molding Speaking of which I was asked to join a finish crew on a new 35,0000 sq ft home in Weston
    The job will take 8 very skilled carpenters 2 months to complete including to sets of circular stairs. If I get the job I willl be assigned the stairs and be paid the highest
    due to the differculty that is If the state does the right thing I will not be working the tools. these starir may take a month to build They have not been framed in because the thinking is the guy doing the finishhas to fram them to match the finish poproduct this is a huge foyer bigger than many homes with right and lef circular open stair cases meating at a common circular platform
    the frammers did not want to do it Actually my first suggestion was to take the measurements and have them modular built. This still to me makes the most sense. Even if done this way
    they want someone to cordinate it and make sure it works out to the desired look and cordinate what ever framing may be necessary. The guy hiring me just wants someone to deal with the stairs and not be his problem. Every door casing each side requires an 8 piece molding setup. All doors are custom doors costing 2500 each the door just pre hung in the Jam full 7" doors to boot And the molding and raised panneling work in the 2 studies and Libaruries are really time consuiings and differcult all rooms have 5 piece picture moldings. this job will require a complete finish shop setup where molding and edges will be custom routered and shaped most of it will be cherry wood..

    I have not commited to the job yet, but this is like working with the the Yankee workshop with an allstar cast

    the negative travel would be 2 hours a day running into winter. All other jobs would be lost my own personal remodeling jobs and all inspections no time to do them.
    this could set my own remodeling business back as even my regular customers would seek others to do jobs there would be no garentee I would ever get them back
    if a snow storm came I could loose my plowing customers as well So this is not an easy decision

    Pluses working on an allstar crew Fantastic wages working with tools I can never afford but dream about, like have the entire Yankee workshop at your disposal
  13. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    North Worc. CTY MA
    Had my fair share of those types of jobs when I was a carpenter in the USAF. Gotta love the military in its' infinite wisdom...send a guy as a carpenter in the AF to a base with no runway and no wooden buildings...Lets just say the Generals' office got remodeled a "couple few times". We had some equipment (shapers,planers saws and a few other nice tools) even Normie' would love to have in his workshop...always had plenty of time to do custom work without someone breathing down your neck about the $$$ end of things. You wouldn't believe the amount of mahogany we worked with for a "maintenance shop" lol ;)

    Working a job like the one you described Elk...you left out the part of doing "old school custom work" and even though they would never know your name, people would see your custom work for years to come...it doesn't sound like the kind of job that will be remodeled a few years down the road... ;)

    Sounds like a tough decision for you... If you have your own work on-going it might not be worth disrupting your own business.
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Hey Key want to bang some nails next week is so I will leave the cell on Its in my truck to discuss matters So If I do not ick it up you will know why I have to run the the customers only down the street and discuss s before I can continue the job
  15. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    North Worc. CTY MA
    After working with you on a stove install..Would be a pleasure working a carpentry job with you Elk...
  16. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    507
    Awww. HearthNet, bringing people together...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page