Retrofitting Old Tub Fixtures


Old 04-15-17, 08:37 AM
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Retrofitting Old Tub Fixtures

Hey all. First post here, hopefully I'm abiding forum rules by asking this here.

I have a very old house. By very old, I mean built in the late 1800's. The current tub fixtures are trash, and I'm trying to replace them this weekend.

The setup is a tiled/caulked in tub (no feet), with fixtures that I can only assume were originally designed for use in a mobile home. I have taken the tub spout off to try and find a drop-in replacement, but to no avail. The spout itself is 1 1/4", wall threaded, with machine threading, not pipe threading (the threading itself is very tight with a high TPI) and probably proprietary from a defunct manufacturer from the 50's-70's. So I'm left with replacing the entire fixture assembly. I have ready access to the back of the tub and the pipes through an above-the-stairs cubby, but I haven't actually removed the plate that houses the water knobs.

My question is, are there any particular issues that I should be aware of or look for going into this project? I'm looking to replace the fixtures with as little hassle as possible, I'm fairly well-rounded in construction, but plumbing has never been my forte, so given that I'm retrofitting something old and unusual, I want to make sure I'm looking for the right replacement fixtures, and as prepared as possible going into the job to mitigate the problems I'm sure will come up.

My tentative plan at this point is to (obviously cut the water off) pop the existing spout assembly off, along with the diverter/shower pipe/showerhead, remove the elbow joints at the back of the tub leading into the wall from the pipes, and replace them with standard sized elbows, then install a new spout assembly (sorry that's probably not the right term) with an exterior 'roman' shower. Similar to what I have, hopefully no tile cutting/routing will be necessary.

Does it seem like I'm on the right track? Am I way off base and this is gonna take exponentially more work than I'm picturing? Is this post too long-winded?

Anyway, thanks in advance, glad to be a new member here.
Old 04-15-17, 10:34 AM
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Your post is long but it's a good intro into the problem.
Your pictures haven't shown yet as of this post. Your plan sounds good and you can get help here.
As long as you have access to the shower plumbing wall, you can swap everything out.
It sounds like making the connections won't be hard. You also need access to secure the fixtures.

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