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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    3

    Default Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    I've got an old cast iron tub with a two handle faucet with a shower diverter. This is pretty old school so there's no pressure balance valve or anti-scald features at all. We've been having problems with the faucet handles moving (you can see them move) when we're using the shower diverter. The worst one is the cold water, so my wife can't seem to take a warm shower at all because when she turns down the cold water it gets immediately hot, but then the cold handle turns on its own again. What could be causing the handles to move and is there a way to fix the problem (that doesn't involve gutting the bathroom and replacing all of the plumbing)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    two options.

    #1 you can replace the cartridge on the cold side and see if that helps.

    #2 you can buy a new shower valve with a trim kit that will cover the old 3 handle units like you have. it's pretty tricky to do yourself with out the experience but a good plumber can do it in about 2-3 hours. this way you have the same shower, same tile but a new shower valve.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    You didn't mention the type of faucets, but I'd bet they are the old screw-stem and washer type. What is probably happening is that the whole assembly is moving, having come loose from the mounting in the wall. As you move one part, the other stem rubs somewhere causing it to move due to excess side-wear on the stem and valve body from years of use.

    I too think an up-to-date system is the best way to go. Flush-snd-scalds happen all the time in old homes and while the usual burns don't often require professional medical treatment, the falls from jumping out of the scalding water often do If your plumber isn't comfortable working with the tiles he may need to remove then get a tiler to meet with him and you to discuss the whole thing together. Having two trades involved may cost a little more now but the peace of mind in knowing the job was done as well as possible will be worth it when it is all still in great shape decades from now.

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    1. I'd try to fix the faucet by installing 3 new stems and seats (about $30). Special inexpensive tools required.

    2. If you want a new faucet, you can still get a three handle faucet. You install the body from behind the wall. The new faucet will fit the holes in the tiles. Knowledge in plumbing required.

    3. If you want to replace this faucet with a pressure balance faucet, you will have to deal with the holes. Knowledge in plumbing and tiling required.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    Sadly, it's not a three handle set up. It's a Barclay http://http://www.lowes.com/pd_195291-73838-205-S-CP_0__?productId=1227885&Ntt=barclay+shower+faucet &pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dbarclay%2Bshower%2Bfauce t&facetInfo= type faucet that I just replaced last year (because the other one was doing the same thing)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    Sadly, it's not a three handle faucet. It's made by Barclay and it looks like this http://www.lowes.com/pd_195291-73838...cet&facetInfo= faucet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    I have the same problem. The old tub was original with the house in 1912. I converted to a shower/tub arrangement and installed Barclay faucet set about two years ago. The handles moved by themselves when using the diverter, so I installed a new set about one year ago. Perhaps I should check with Barclay. Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,661

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    I don't know how these faucets are constructed, so I'm just guessing here.

    If it uses a compression washer (as you turn the handle, does it move in and out?), there's a good chance the stem packing is loose. If you remove the handle, you might be able to tighten the packing nut and resolve the issue. Don't tighten the packing so much that you have a hard time turning the handle, but it shouldn't feel really loose and floppy.

    If the packing is loose, water pressure can cause the valve to open up more.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    If it uses a compression washer (as you turn the handle, does it move in and out?),
    I have the same faucet, and yes it does.

    Id the new poster or old poster wants to go the anti scald route, you can install a tempering valve like I did a month ago. It works well, but I think I should have installed check valves on BOTH sides of it as I seem to get cold water invading my hot water lines as well as the concern of the opposite.
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Shower faucet handles move when using diverter

    I'd call Barkley and ask them why a brand new faucet does that.

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