more fun with plumbing. i wont complain about how long it took the plumber to engage with the project because he is here now or he was a minute ago. now he is out solving a problem i created for him although admittedly i thought it was the easiest solution and therefore cheapest solution which is turning out probably not to be the case.
all the pipes for my shower are outside the wall and probably pretty ancient. though who knows, maybe they were replaced 30 years ago. im told they are brass painted over with a matte silver finish though the finish has been unfinished for as long as ive been here and undoubtedly much longer.
the final 3 foot pipe leading up to the shower arm (a term i just learned) and ultimatley the shower head had eroded at the juncture just above the hot and cold knobs. so it wasnt a plumbing emergency since there was no leakage, i just couldnt take a shower or at least not one very well as i found out this morning as i held the broken pipe in place as i attempted a quick rinse cycle. but as far as i could tell the threading on the female coupling was intact and only that the one stretch of piping needed to be replaced. the plumber in his hasty appraisal had just decided it was easier to replace the entire run of pipes including the faucets and the shower head, et al. should i have cared? probably not. was it likely something marginally less asthetically pleasing? i couldnt even say because he never brought it over for me to see, although he complained that he couldnt return it which seems unlikely as it was purchased today and is unopened.
i never actually complained that he was replacing "an antique" for something lesser, but that is what he decided was my concern. i really was thinking of it as the simplest fix, as i said, and the cheapest. i left him alone to do what he would after he snapped at me for acting like his wife which he doesnt have. but in the time he was disassembling the shower arm from the wall he decided he would give it a go... without any real prompting. so he left and came back with the same poorly painted brass pipe with some fresh new threading on one end. i didnt even know that was a thing. unfortunately, the threading didnt match. he said something about it being female to female. i gave him a 'whaddya gonna do' look, and the answer was look for a connecting piece to join the two. is that a fitting? maybe?
so the buzzer just knocked me out of my stupor. next stage is upon us. im not gonna even bother to look in until he yelps in frustration or triumph.
no go, apparently. now i have to feel worse about it all, not for wasting his time, but for wasting the landlords money as im sure the plumber will now blame me for what will be two hours billed. the landlord has nothing better to do with his money anyway. essentially he is paying for the joy of getting to be angry at the inflated cost of the repair.
not done yet but worse than i expected. id call him a retard but its just that he doesnt give a shit.
this is what he considered an acceptable look.
been trying to find a better way for the last four hours. the main problem with the above picture other than the hacked up fasteners which is an easy fix is that those handles protrude 8 inches from the wall and the shower head is situated mid tub so its nearly impossible now to turn around without bumping into them. does not lend itself to a relaxing shower.
ideally he would put the original valve/knob structure back in place. the one thing he didnt try was affixing a new copper pipe to the old valve. he wasted time trying to rebuild the old pipe but then never just went with a new pipe instead of changing out the entire works. he didnt want to waste another hour on a potentially failed endeavor but he had to see how poor a fit his system was. at that point he just wanted to finish.
another option is to move the new valve to the far wall and reorient the shower 90 degrees. this is really the most logical option at this point especially if the first option is untenable. it would require some extra work on his part but not a tremendous amount.
option three was to find some compatible but shorter parts but i have as yet been unable to crack that nut. maybe a thoughtful plumbing supply store clerk could help but... my head hurts.
that look might be OK in a many 1000 sf artist loft with classic old low rent
pipe straps/clamps come in all the various sizes that pipes do. those bits you have there are pretty unacceptible landloard short cuts. bronze threaded pipe is obsolete as it corrodes on the inside of the pipe and you loose flow and the integrity of the threaded joints. it can be repaired for a short term fix, but copper (hot and cold) pipe and copper elbows which are soldered (no threads) in place are the better route for long term reliability. the brass fixture you have is standard hardware store variety and pretty jerry rigged as i imagine there is also another set for filling the tub. knobs are also cheep hardware store items and can be changed up or down graded for esthetic reasons. on/off valve stems are also HWS replacement items but come in many varieties. NYC does not allow plastic PEX pipe is much cheeper but not pretty so it's used inside the wall when used all over the rest of the country. expposed pipe is a design thing thats pretty popular in design circles. not for everyone, but i like it in the right application.
i went out and bought some pipe clamps first thing this morning. unfortunately one of the pipes was further away from the wall than the other so i had to go back and get a couple of bigger ones. they didnt have the galvanized clamp in the size i needed so im stuck with copper ones if i want them to match.<p>plumber was in a mellower mood when he arrived a couple of minutes ago. he is open to my suggestions about moving the whole thing to the far wall, reorienting the shower lengthwise in the tub, if smaller stems and handles arent an option. but for now he is just installing copper piping from the rough in valve (brass fixture) that you linked to. actually this one is a little smaller than that one, only 6 inches between centers instead of 8. dont know if that makes any difference when seeking out stems, et al. so im just getting out of the way and letting him install it and trusting that he will revisit it in the not too distant future which im fine with assuming it comes to pass.
if you want to research its gerber 46-220-83. he said the gear has to be gerber to fit. the only thing smaller i saw was for tub fittings. i dont know if the stems are interchangeable with the shower ones.
for valve replacement you usually take the one you need to replace out (with the water cut off) and take it down to the hardware store. that is if it needs replacement. sometimes you can just replace the rubber part, rubber O ring or washer if its leaky. thats if its not a mechanical issue with the valve. but i dont sense that that the prob. slow flow is cruddy pipe and failed joint, i think. They might have put the shower in the middle to eliminate splash over ? but the conventional wisdom is to set the shower up at the head of the tub. take a picture of that part if needed. he would just rough in new copper pipe to the tub faucets and put in a new brass fixture with a shower diverter and run some pipe up to the new shower head. so then there would be three knobs, hot, cold and switch to shower knob in the middle. it would need a different brass thing than you have. the brand i linked to is higher end $$$ but which ever the valve solid brass one he can find is fine. we are not talking too serious a money.
here is what is gonna happen. landlord wont want to pay for any more than he already has and doesnt give a shit if im inconvenienced and i wont want to pay either if its much more than $100 to shift it to the far end of the tub and ill be stuck with the hacked together bullshit. i thought at minimum i could angle the shower arm away from the handles as the previous one fixed but no such luck. at least i can tilt the shower head a little.
the previous showerhead was swan necked and reached out a foot over the tub with a showerhead pointing down. there was no splash issues it just allowed for the most range of movement in the tub.
fair enough. lots of tenants take it on them selves to put on what ever shower head they prefer. good hot and cold water pressure is all you can ask him for.
the head isnt the issue. the old one had a weird juncture so i could swivel the arm instead of being fixed ahead. that would have been useful right now.
anything outside of the wall you can fuck with, once they are gone. don't forget the teflon tape!
i encountered my landlord on the stairs yesterday after avoiding a phone call earlier this week. he was surprisingly unembittered when he explained to me how i was wasting his money by trying to fix the old fixtures rather than replace them with the ugly ill fitting ones. needless to say no mention was made of moving the fixtures to a less obtrusive location.