Replacing Old Shower handles

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SVariance1
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Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by SVariance1 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:39 pm

I wanted to see if I could get an opinion on replacing old brass shower handles with new ones that are more modern. I do not know the brand of the handles (they were in my shower prior to moving in about 14 years ago.). My plumber told me that the only way to replace them would be change the valves behind the wall. There is no access behind the wall... The only way to access the valves would be to go through a wall in a bedroom ans then use a blowtorch. This would end up being very costly. Is there another way? Can I find replacement handles? Could I paint the existing handles? Thank you.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/367 ... edac_b.jpg

https://imgur.com/hd404xv
Last edited by SVariance1 on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:51 am, edited 8 times in total.
Mike

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Kosmo
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by Kosmo » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:38 pm

A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. I couldn't get the handles off and neither could my plumber. The minerals in the water can basically fuse the handle to the valve. He ended up replacing the valve and had to cut an access hole. I made a panel to cover it up instead of repairing the drywall in case I needed to get to the valve again. I don't know how much it cost because I had it done in conjunction with other plumbing work. If you can get the existing handles off, take them to a hardware store and find new handles that attach in the same manner. I wouldn't paint brass.

Frisco Kid
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by Frisco Kid » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:01 pm

Does your shower function correctly and you just don't like the look of the handles? Trying to replace them could open up a big can of worms. Any idea how old they are? Even if you could get them off which is unlikely, finding/fitting new ones could be a pain. If you were to replace the entire unit (valve) it would require work as outlined by your plumber. You would also need more than likely to install something code compliant. Most now are single handles with a mixing valve making them "anti-scald" by design.

123
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by 123 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:36 pm

If you don't have annoying leaks in the valves (constant shower dripping etc) I would just try to live with it.Depending on your area if a plumber has to open the wall behind and replace the valve assembly (could involve soldering etc) I wouldn't be surprised to have a charge of $500 or more. It would take a skilled plumber an hour or two. It would likely then be up to you to have the wall patched.

A skilled handyman might be able to free the handles by applying a little heat from a torch and wiggling them, or he might end up welding them to the shower valves accidentally. YMMV

Edited to add:
Depending on the set-up one of the tools pictured here might be helpful: https://www.google.com/search?q=shower+ ... 80&bih=920
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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lthenderson
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by lthenderson » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:56 am

Cutting a hole in drywall and patching it later is a pretty easy job and can be done so that you never even knew the hole existed. If they bother you that much, the easiest option is to do just that. An alternative option would be to remove the old handles and grab a serial number or some sort of identification off of it. Once identified, you can generally find a lot of old OEM stock around online in different finishes that work for that particular model. I.E. most valves are offered in a variety of finishes so you can find that same handle in another finish.

tigerdoc93
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by tigerdoc93 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:34 am

I would definitely paint them before considering cutting access through a wall. Who knows what you may find or how much it would cost to do that. I recently remodeled our bathroom and we painted the fixtures and sconces. This was cost effective and they looked like new fixtures. Good luck!

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SVariance1
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by SVariance1 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:26 am

tigerdoc93 wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:34 am
I would definitely paint them before considering cutting access through a wall. Who knows what you may find or how much it would cost to do that. I recently remodeled our bathroom and we painted the fixtures and sconces. This was cost effective and they looked like new fixtures. Good luck!
How did you paint them? What type of paint?
Mike

mouses
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by mouses » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:42 am

Photobucket won't let me see the photo.

Why paint brass? And what type of paint might one think would stand up to shower use?

If they look grotty, I would use a brass polish on them.

tigerdoc93
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by tigerdoc93 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:39 pm

I'm not sure what type of paint the contractor used but I'll try to find out. I remember they primed the fixtures and then painted them

mhalley
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by mhalley » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:54 pm

Pinterest has a page on painting them
https://www.pinterest.com/jessjordank29 ... -fixtures/

N1CKV
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by N1CKV » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:08 am

I can not see the picture, photobucket reports an issue. If I could see it I could probably identify it from the look alone, I spent several years in the wholesale plumbing industry.
Getting replacement handles is always an option. There are few that manufacturers don't have options for and even then the after market solutions are plentiful still.
What style is available is another story, but you can always freshen it up.
I did an "impromptu remodel" last year, while I was at it I changed my shower to a totally different style, but was able to maintain my original valve body. My house was built in 2002.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

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SVariance1
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by SVariance1 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:51 am

N1CKV wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:08 am
I can not see the picture, photobucket reports an issue. If I could see it I could probably identify it from the look alone, I spent several years in the wholesale plumbing industry.
Getting replacement handles is always an option. There are few that manufacturers don't have options for and even then the after market solutions are plentiful still.
What style is available is another story, but you can always freshen it up.
I did an "impromptu remodel" last year, while I was at it I changed my shower to a totally different style, but was able to maintain my original valve body. My house was built in 2002.
I was able to add the actual photo in the original post
Mike

mouses
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by mouses » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:07 am

SVariance1 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:51 am
N1CKV wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:08 am
I can not see the picture, photobucket reports an issue. If I could see it I could probably identify it from the look alone, I spent several years in the wholesale plumbing industry.
Getting replacement handles is always an option. There are few that manufacturers don't have options for and even then the after market solutions are plentiful still.
What style is available is another story, but you can always freshen it up.
I did an "impromptu remodel" last year, while I was at it I changed my shower to a totally different style, but was able to maintain my original valve body. My house was built in 2002.
I was able to add the actual photo in the original post
No such luck, Mike. It's still a photobucket thing blathering about third party hosting instead of a photo.

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SVariance1
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by SVariance1 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:19 am

mouses wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:07 am
SVariance1 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:51 am
N1CKV wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:08 am
I can not see the picture, photobucket reports an issue. If I could see it I could probably identify it from the look alone, I spent several years in the wholesale plumbing industry.
Getting replacement handles is always an option. There are few that manufacturers don't have options for and even then the after market solutions are plentiful still.
What style is available is another story, but you can always freshen it up.
I did an "impromptu remodel" last year, while I was at it I changed my shower to a totally different style, but was able to maintain my original valve body. My house was built in 2002.
I was able to add the actual photo in the original post
No such luck, Mike. It's still a photobucket thing blathering about third party hosting instead of a photo.
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/367 ... edac_b.jpg
Last edited by SVariance1 on Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
Mike

azurekep
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by azurekep » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:21 pm

If there had to be a hack, it should have been to Photobucket (instead of Equifax).

Then images could be freeeeeeeed... for all to seeeeeeeee. :D

Mike, you need to read the Photobucket thread:

viewtopic.php?t=226339

mouses
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by mouses » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:41 pm

SVariance1 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:19 am
mouses wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:07 am
SVariance1 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:51 am
N1CKV wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:08 am
I can not see the picture, photobucket reports an issue. If I could see it I could probably identify it from the look alone, I spent several years in the wholesale plumbing industry.
Getting replacement handles is always an option. There are few that manufacturers don't have options for and even then the after market solutions are plentiful still.
What style is available is another story, but you can always freshen it up.
I did an "impromptu remodel" last year, while I was at it I changed my shower to a totally different style, but was able to maintain my original valve body. My house was built in 2002.
I was able to add the actual photo in the original post
No such luck, Mike. It's still a photobucket thing blathering about third party hosting instead of a photo.
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/367 ... edac_b.jpg
"This photo is no longer available."

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SVariance1
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by SVariance1 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:50 pm

mouses wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:41 pm
SVariance1 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:19 am
mouses wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:07 am
SVariance1 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:51 am
N1CKV wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:08 am
I can not see the picture, photobucket reports an issue. If I could see it I could probably identify it from the look alone, I spent several years in the wholesale plumbing industry.
Getting replacement handles is always an option. There are few that manufacturers don't have options for and even then the after market solutions are plentiful still.
What style is available is another story, but you can always freshen it up.
I did an "impromptu remodel" last year, while I was at it I changed my shower to a totally different style, but was able to maintain my original valve body. My house was built in 2002.
I was able to add the actual photo in the original post
No such luck, Mike. It's still a photobucket thing blathering about third party hosting instead of a photo.
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/367 ... edac_b.jpg
"This photo is no longer available."
Are you referring to the photobucket or the Flickr photo? When I click on the link, I can see the Flickr photo.
Mike

azurekep
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by azurekep » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:32 pm

Mike, I can't see it either.

Two of the most popular sites for hosting images for free and without registering are https://imgur.com/ and http://tinypic.com/.

Imgur has gotten a little more complicated. I think you'll find tinypic is easiest. You may have to fill out a captcha, but otherwise it's a simple interface. It should take you 30-60 seconds to upload your image. Then you can post it.

Again, no registration is required.

Edit: To avoid picking up any Photobucket/Flickr weirdness, use the File option rather than the URL option in tinypic when selecting your image. I.e., open your Photobucket or Flickr account, download the image to your desktop, then upload it (after browsing to it on the desktop) into tinypic. That way, you're dealing with a fresh image.

Alternatively, if you store your original images on a hard drive, you can just navigate to the image on your hard drive and upload it.

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SVariance1
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by SVariance1 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:52 am

azurekep wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:32 pm
Mike, I can't see it either.

Two of the most popular sites for hosting images for free and without registering are https://imgur.com/ and http://tinypic.com/.

Imgur has gotten a little more complicated. I think you'll find tinypic is easiest. You may have to fill out a captcha, but otherwise it's a simple interface. It should take you 30-60 seconds to upload your image. Then you can post it.

Again, no registration is required.

Edit: To avoid picking up any Photobucket/Flickr weirdness, use the File option rather than the URL option in tinypic when selecting your image. I.e., open your Photobucket or Flickr account, download the image to your desktop, then upload it (after browsing to it on the desktop) into tinypic. That way, you're dealing with a fresh image.

Alternatively, if you store your original images on a hard drive, you can just navigate to the image on your hard drive and upload it.
https://imgur.com/hd404xv
Mike

azurekep
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by azurekep » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:23 am

The picture shows. :sharebeer

Hopefully someone has some ideas.

We had some old fixtures that needed replacing. It turned out they were from a European company. I found that out by taking a photo and showing it to a plumbing supply warehouse near us.

Sometimes you can look for a similar photo by using Google Images, entering the URL of your photo and hitting the camera icon. I tried that and no luck.

Is that a black tile shower wall? If you do replace the fixtures and the plumber has to punch a hole in the tile, it's up to you to match and replace the tile unless the plumber happens to perform that service as well (don't count on it!). I talked to a plumber who said some customers install metal plates to cover the hole in the wall. You'd have to decide whether that would look good in your bathroom.

No idea about painting...

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SVariance1
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by SVariance1 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:29 am

azurekep wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:23 am
The picture shows. :sharebeer

Hopefully someone has some ideas.

We had some old fixtures that needed replacing. It turned out they were from a European company. I found that out by taking a photo and showing it to a plumbing supply warehouse near us.

Sometimes you can look for a similar photo by using Google Images, entering the URL of your photo and hitting the camera icon. I tried that and no luck.

Is that a black tile shower wall? If you do replace the fixtures and the plumber has to punch a hole in the tile, it's up to you to match and replace the tile unless the plumber happens to perform that service as well (don't count on it!). I talked to a plumber who said some customers install metal plates to cover the hole in the wall. You'd have to decide whether that would look good in your bathroom.

No idea about painting...

I am leaning towards painting the handles. My concern is that there are so many issues with removing the old handles such as getting the old handles out with a blow torch, putting large holes in two walls. My guess is that all of this might cost thousands. The plumbers time might cost thousands. Then I have to hire a contractor to fix the walls...
Mike

azurekep
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Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

Post by azurekep » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:51 am

SVariance1 wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:29 am
I am leaning towards painting the handles. My concern is that there are so many issues with removing the old handles such as getting the old handles out with a blow torch, putting large holes in two walls. My guess is that all of this might cost thousands. The plumbers time might cost thousands. Then I have to hire a contractor to fix the walls...
Yeah, I wasn't fully awake when I posted. There's no need to identify the fixtures if you want to replace them with something else. But once you start going into the wall, it gets expensive. I doubt it would cost thousands though. We were quoted in the hundreds by the plumber. (I think max $500.) The work by a contractor would be in addition. Contact several plumbers for a bid. Prices in our area vary wildly.

But if you can paint the fixtures, all the better.

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