Check out the post on replacing the valve. It's chock full of awesome, with modern plumbing materials that really made the installation easy.
Replacing the more cosmetic parts of the shower and bath fixtures is actually a very easy project*
*"easy" if the stars align and you don't live in a mutant house like I do. Around here, "easy" means "it could have been worse".
With our hard water, we went with a chrome finish for easy cleaning. I'd picked up a Price Pfister "Pasadena" Single Handle Tub and Shower (8P8-PDCC) which came with the valve, the trim, the tub faucet, and the shower head. Let's take it from the top!
Installing a new shower headThe first step is to remove the God-awful, hard water corroded head that came with the house. I put a pair of pliers on the neck and gave it some counter-clockwise, heavy persuasion. It was pretty snug; I was afraid I'd break something in the wall. But, just before heading out to the garage, for a can of trusty WD-40, it broke free and started un-screwing easily enough to turn it by hand.
|Yeah, I'm precariously perched on the tub without a fall-support harness. I live on the edge.|
It slid out of the wall easily.
That plate was pretty rusted up and I could see the deep gouges from the
original installer's wrench on the pipe. What a putz.
With the threads wrapped with Teflon tape, I inserted the new neck into the wall. Then I immediately pulled it back out, when I remembered the escutcheon plate. It's the shiny disk that covers the jagged hole in the wall around the pipe. It has some one-way metal barbs that make it difficult to slide on from the front, so after sliding it on from the back, I re-threaded the neck into the wall. I tightened it as much as I could by hand.
I wrapped a thick, protective bundle of paper towels around the new chrome tube and put the mighty Channel Lock slip jaw pliers back to it, to tighten it up. A couple pair of these pliers around the house is a DIY requirement in my opinion. My favorites are the 12" Channellock # 440. They're long enough to get some good leverage, but not too big to be unwieldy.
Another wrap of Teflon tape to the outer threads, and I could thread the shower head on, using the protective paper towel trick. It only works if you get a grip once and don't do a bunch of gripping and re-gripping which would tear up the towels and let the jaws of the pliers gouge up the finish. Done!
Installing Shower / Tub Valve Trim
The large escutcheon (not "crustacean ") plate covers the hole around the valve. It has a foam gasket that compresses and keeps water out of the wall. It's important to line it up correctly because there's an opening in the gasket on the bottom, to let any moisture that does get in drip out.
A threaded collar with an o-ring got threaded on next. I tightened it snugly by hand.
The style of this particular valve and handle needed an extension which threaded into the tip of the valve with a screwdriver.
The valve handle slipped easily on the valve stem and got tightened up by a hex head screw and the included Allen wrench. Done!
Installing the bathtub faucet
I wrapped the tub feed with Teflon tape and threaded the spigot into place. I was able to get it to spin tightly into the correct position by hand, but there is a slot in the rear that you can stick a screwdriver for leverage (also good for removal) Done!
Actually, I wasn't so done. For some reason, the original spigot was shallower than standard. When I screwed the new one on, snug to the shower wall, it pulled the valve forward off the wall by about 3/4". So much for a quick project eh? I removed the entire spigot pipe from the valve, by releasing the SharkBitepush-in connector on the other side of the wall.
|This is not cool|
Luckily, my habit of buying a couple extra parts saved me. I had everything I needed to solder up a new feed elbow. Fire and molten metal again, my friends. If you want to read how to solder "sweat" copper pipe and fittings, check out this post where I did the original in-wall repair.
I used the rigid copper tubing this time instead of the flexible plastic PEX that I used to feed the valve, because the spigot gets mounted solely to this water line. Flexible plastic just won't do. When I finished the new elbow assembly, I wrapped the threaded connector with Teflon tape and mounted the spigot, cranking it tight to a perfect 90 degrees, at least as perfect as my dead-eye aim would allow.
|Sniper Mode (The facial expression is absolutely critical for success)|
It was easy to slip the entire assembly in, simply popping the new pipe into the SharkBite connector on the valve. For now, I have the pluming tied in place with a piece of electrical cable to keep it in place. I'll get it strapped down properly as I begin repairing the damage from the leak.
With the project complete, the final step is a twist of the handle to send a request to the new water heater and...
|Temperature and flow: One Handle to Rule them All!|
It's a gusher!
|I love the adjustable spray. My favorite setting is "laser beam blast"|
(or whatever it's really called)
Done with no leaks! It came with stickers to show hot and cold direction, but ehhhhhhhh. I'm not going to install them. I like the cleaner look. It's not really rocket science, just turn the handle and it gets hotter the further you go; I don't think we need a poly-chromatic diagram to explain it.
If you have solid plumbing and already have the pressure-balanced / anti-scald valves in place, this is an easy project that can be done in less than an hour with basic hand tools. Give me a shout if you have any questions, I'm happy to help.