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Bath & Faucets

Discontinued Shower Cartridge

Hi Experts,

My shower cartridge failed, and it seems it was discontinued because it was always failing. 

While i understood (and googled) enough to know this, and how to replace it, I am now at a loss.

I was given a "similar" cartridge from the same company, but for a very different type of shower handle. It works very poorly. 

A plumber tells me to fix this, he will have to take apart the entire wall to change everything.
Is this true? Is the plumbing in the wall designed to only work with this obsolete model of shower fixtures?

Any guidance would be appreciated!

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Posted 2015-08-19T01:20:08+0000  by Jumbs Jumbs
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but if replacement cartridges aren't available and/or fail regularly, the only option is to replace the entire shower valve.  In your wall you have something that looks like this:

The white thing in the center is the front of the cartridge.  The plumber would have to open the wall enough to remove the old valve and put in the new one.  If he has to solder, it's even more challenging.

What's on the other side of the wall where the shower valve is mounted?  If it's just plain drywall in another room or closet, that may provide access without having to rip apart tile or a surround.
Posted 2015-08-20T00:20:09+0000  by Adam444
Hi Jumbs,

I'm always surprised when a mainstream valve brand does not have a replacement part.

Unless it is an unusual brand, I'd expect to find the valve in our Plumbing Department or at a local plumbing supply house.

You always need to take the original valve with you for comparison.

It is also common to find ports and seals located in slightly different places on similar parts from the same brand.

Recently, I replace a Moen valve with an aftermarket valve ... because it was the only part in stock.

Even though it was "designed" to replace the original, the seals did not align and the shower dripped constantly.

When I replaced it with an original equipment Moen valve, the drip stopped and didn't return.

Like my example, sometimes the most convenient repair isn't a repair at all.

And often when I DIY, I have to work a bit harder to find the exact part I need.

Before tearing out your wall, dig a little deeper at The Home Depot and several local plumbing supply houses.

When you find the exact match original valve, smile and give yourself a firm pat on the wallet.

That's what DIY is all about!

If you finally decide to replace the shower valve, take Adam's advice ... look in the adjacent room for another way to access the valve without destroying your shower wall.

Sheetrock is much easier to repair than tile.

Also, look carefully at your shower.

Sectional fiberglass shower walls can often be carefully removed for a repair ... then replaced, re-caulked and put back in use.

Posted 2015-08-25T22:07:07+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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