Tub faucet repairs can be a simple adjustment, to a loose handle, that can be resolved with the turn of a screwdriver. Some of the trickier tub and shower problems to troubleshoot are:
Clearing difficult clogs.
Finding parts to fix your old faucet.
Finding the source of a concealed water leak.
Concealed leaks are often from tub and shower drains. They result in costly repairs, and are always the concern of respiratory issues resulting from wetness. Caution should be taken when addressing any of these issues. A small mistake can be very costly when addressing water related damage.
Tub and shower drain clogs can be harder than the larger drain line clogs to clear. If a sink drain is clogged, a service person can remove the trap and clear the line with a larger cable going straight into the drain line. Tubs and showers traps are concealed inside the wall and are rarely accessible. Smaller traps make 270 degrees in turns within 1 foot, and can be difficult to navigate past. The more flexibility a cable has, the easier it is to pass difficult turns. A hydro jetter does very well in a line that is not prohibitive with turns. If a hard to pass turn exists, the cable is your best friend. A bathtub can often be cleared with a crank type hand snake, sometimes easier than an electric snake. This is the same for shower drains. Shower drains can also be cleared with a device called a, “blow bag,” which is attached to the end of a garden hose and expands to force the water forward, clearing a local clog. Tubs do not clear as easily due to the design of the waste pipe and overflow. O’Grady Plumbing is competent and has a high success rate at clearing the worst drain clogs that nobody else can.
Tubs & Faucet Repair, Installation & Service
Older faucets are relatively easy to repair, as long as the bathtub/shower faucet is not broken completely, and you know what you are doing. Repairing an old faucet can also be one of the hardest repairs for the most skilled plumber. Older faucets have stems with a washer on the end that compress on to the seat to make a seal. The seats are inside the faucet casting and can be jagged causing the washers to get chewed up fast. Faucet seats are usually frozen in place, and are almost impossible to remove.
A skilled plumber can use a fine grit grinding head to regrind the seats in place, allowing for the washers to make a good seal on a now smooth shower faucet seat surface, avoiding premature replacement of faucet washers. Broken parts from older faucets are not easy to find, and are machined specifically to the original manufacturer. The water supply pipes for tub/showers are inside the wall, except on a claw foot tub, and can be original galvanized piping. Internal stops are unlikely to exist when trying to isolate the water shut down on older faucets. These types of repairs may go beyond that of a novice plumber, or handyman. Modern shower faucets have internal stops and a removable plastic cartridge control device in lieu of stems. The internal stops behind the shower faucet face plate, on newer faucets, make it easy to isolate the water to the fixture.
Manufacturers do not always put their logo on a faucet. The homeowner needs to rely on the competence of their plumbing service company to identify the correct manufacturer. Faucet cartridge repairs involve locating costly specialized control cartridges and a second trip, usually costing more than a repair on an older faucet. O’Grady Plumbing is a full service company that can identify and find difficult faucet repair parts for both foreign and domestic fixtures; and we have the technical experience to handle these difficult repairs. Call today for service on your faucet.
Concealed water leaks are often tile grout issues. They can be easy or hard to repair depending on the level of deterioration behind the tile. Any prolonged water leaks into concealed areas should never happen. Water damage to wood and sheet rock, risk of electrical fire, and mold growth are too great to ignore when dealing with these types of problems.
Other forms of concealed leaks come from broken drains and defective domestic water piping inside the wall. It is always good to troubleshoot and try to stop the problem. It is important to have a professional out to determine the best solution given the risk of more costly damage when fixing an old faucet.
Retrofitting an existing tub/shower set up is such a varied task depending on the needs of the homeowner that involve a lot of consideration and understanding of product material, dimensions, and a host of other variables play into putting together a successful install. Call today to consult with an O’Grady Plumbing technician on the upgrade of your tub or shower.