Shower diverter valve and sprount pipe connector has a slow leak.

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Old 01-04-17, 08:31 PM
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Shower diverter valve and sprount pipe connector has a slow leak.

My mother's bathroom has a small leak at where the sprout copper pipe is connected to the diverter valve. It is behind a drywall, but there is a small plumbing access hole right beneath it, so I was able to snake an endoscope to the location and snap a few blurry pictures. From the picture, it looks like a very small section of the solder seems to be failing.

Shower Diverter valve sprout connector leak - Album on Imgur


The leak is not major right now. I put a container to catch any water that drips, since there is a convenient access hole right beneath it. If the sprout is not used, ie, only shower is used, it doesn't leak. If sprout is used, it will only leak if water is turned way up. it also sometimes just randomly stops leaking whenever it feels like it.

How would a repair like this be handled?

1. Does the entire diverter valve need to be replaced, if it does, are diverter valve brand specific?

2. What about just replacement of the sprout pipe? or possibly just re-solder the connection?

May or may not do it myself, but would like to know the process and repair that may be involved.

Thanks.
 

Last edited by Dimeron; 01-04-17 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 01-05-17, 03:21 AM
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If I'm seeing this correctly there is an adapter that appears to be leaking, it's then screwed into the valve body.

Meaning it could be repaired but to get to it the wall is going to have to be opened up. It will need to be cut off and new copper pieces soldered back in place.

Another factor to consider, how old is the unit? Really old and you have the wall open, might want to replace.
 
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Old 01-05-17, 06:26 AM
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Is "sprout" the same thing as "spout" meaning the pipe leading to the tub spout? If so that's an unusual place for a leak as it's not under pressure. What is on the back side of the shower wall? Hopefully a closet.

I would plan on cutting an access panel on the back side of the shower. Make the panel big enough to give you room to work and to expose the entire valve assembly, tub spout and fittings. If you cut carefully you can use the piece you remove to repair the hole in the wall, or trim it with molding and leave it an access panel.

Once you have the wall cavity opened up remove the tub spout. Then I would cut the tub spout pipe below the valve so you can turn the fitting in the valve to remove it. Personally I'd replace everything with new but you can unsweat fittings and reuse them though soldering may be more difficult if you don't clean them thoroughly enough.

When reconstructing the tub spout pipe sweat the vertical pipe into the male fitting first. Then install it into the valve body. Next sweat on the elbow at the bottom and tub spout pipe. Doing the vertical pipe separate and first means the valve body is not sucking heat away when you're trying to solder and it prevents the heat from damaging the seals in the valve.
 
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