Plumbing Repairs (Again!)


Plumbing Repairs (Again!)

by admin on Apr.21, 2009, under WashHouse, Water System

Last fall, we had made a trip up to the ranch, expecting to get one more in before any hard freezes.  So we neglected to drain the pipes in the shed before we left.  When I returned in November, I discovered that the shower would no longer turn all the way off.  Since I didn’t have the replacement valve, I just drained the system, added RV antifreeze to the John, and waited until spring to arrive.

When we made the trip in March, I intended to pull the valve and get specifics to buy a new valve.  But then we discovered that we had let the water tank get too low to feed the shed anymore, so we put off the repairs for the next trip.

Finally, after Al the Waterman filled our tank in April, we were ready to do repairs this trip.  Here is how we replaced the shower valve.

Step 1 - Remove the handle

After removing the allen screw holding the handle to the black stop block, the next step was to remove the phillips screw to allow removal of the black stop block.  That reveals the two piece white temperature limit stops that keep you from turning it on too hot.

White Temperature Limit Gears

After replacing the phillips screw to prevent losing it, we pulled out the two white temperature limit stops.  Next, we removed the two screws holding the valve cover on.  This exposed the tin shield around the assembly.

Eustation Assembly surrounding valve

 After removing the tin shield from around the valve, we were ready to pull the clip that holds the valve in place.

Old Valve Assembly still in place

 Grabbing the clip with a pair of pliers and pulling up released the valve assembly.

Pulling the clip

Next, we grabbed the valve by the stem, and pulled it straight out of the assembly, leaving an empty valve hole.

Valve Hole


When the valve was originally installed, the HC stamp was facing up.

Front of Valve

Notice that the flat side of the stem was facing up in the off position.  With the old valve in that position, the left side hole was at the rear of the valve.  Also notice that the rear O-Ring is missing.  I suspect that this is why we couldn’t turn it off.  The pieces of o-ring popped out when we pulled the valve.

Valve Left Side

The Right side of the valve had the hole near the front. 

Valve Right Side

On the new valve, with the flat side of the stem facing up, the holes were in the opposite locations, front and back.  So when we installed the new valve, we installed it with the flat side down, instead of up.  That turned out to be a good guess, because when it was all back together again, the hot water was still turned on more as you advanced the valve, as it had been in the original valve.

The new valve cost around $35 at Home Depot, but at least it appears that we bought the right one.

New Valve

So to install the new valve, we just slopped on some silicone lubricant, and slid it in, doing everything in the reverse order from the disassembly.

Of course, once we had it all put back together again, we applied water to the system.  Hmm… a little low pressure… Then Tara noticed two streams of water pouring from under the shed.  Oops, a water line burst from the freeze last fall.

You have already seen how we go about repairing the water lines. And here are the two segments that had burst, needing patching.

Burst Pipes

Finally, after fixing the pipes, all worked as it should.


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