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Old 10-25-2011, 11:14 PM   #1
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Shower Valve Repair

Repairing the shower valve in several Alpine floorplans has caused numerous folks to break out in a sweat. The access seems implausible if not impossible. For posterity, I have photo-documented the process for coaches with the shower valve behind the kitchen mirrors.

You can verify the location of the access hole behind the mirrors by looking behind the slide while it is closed. I measured the distance to verify that it was behind the 3rd and 4th mirrors.

First, carefully pry the Karadon strip from the top of the back splash.

Second, use a hairdryer or heat gun (on very low) to warm the mirrors and pry loose. Be careful to not allow the wallpaper to rip above the area covered by the mirrors. They come out quite easily.

Third, move the slide in (or out) enough to line up the offending valve with the opening.

Fourth, to remove the valve or connectors requires removing the shower set inside the shower. This allows the valve enough movement to back the connectors out.

Fifth, make your repair. A piece of advice is to put some tape on the tube to keep connectors from sliding down, outside your reach. My issue was a mal-formed elbow that was quite obvious and installed anyway. It held for 9 years, but probably by a miracle.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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Sixth, after your repair, check all the other connections, pressure it up and check again. By now you don't want to be doing this again next weekend.

Seventh, clean up the mirror backs. Reinstall the mirrors using mastic designed for mirrors. It needs to not damage the mirror backing and work on vertical surfaces. I used Liquid Nails for mirrors.

Eighth, after the mirrors are installed, and dried, seal the bottom edge of the mirrors with aquarium-grade clear silicone, then add the Karadon strip back using the same silicone. Reseal the top edge of the strip. You can clean everything up the next day, after it has cured for 24 hours.

Voila, about 2 hours of work, an hour parts and materials shopping, 15 minutes photographing, 15 minutes cleaning up, 15 minutes posting it here.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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There is another way but I don't recommend it. A long time ago,before I knew I could take off the Karadon backsplash (mirrors in your case) by simply removing 2 little brass inserts and 2 screws, I removed a cover in the back of the cabinet above, got on my knees on the countertop, stuck my head and arms into the little hole up to my armpits and painfully changed the valve. ALMOST HAD TO GET THE JAWS OF LIFE TO GET ME OUT OF THERE!!!!
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:38 AM   #4
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FWIW - If you go look at the remodeling mythplaced posted, he elected to build a framed box inserted into that access hole designed to easily be removed for access. I've seen his backsplash remodel and it looks great. The "box" looks somewhat like a window box deep enough to place handy items while parked (not while traveliing). I thought it was a really great idea if you don't care about having the mirrors.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:00 PM   #5
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Shower Valve w/"The Shark" brass 90's

I too had the shower valve leak due the horizontal loading on the threaded 90 degree elbow. Once the threaded broken part was removed you could see the signs of the weeping at the crack in the root of the thread just inside the valve body neck. Never saw that coming as the inspections appeared to be the condensation from the brass body. I replaced the 90ís with brass shark-fittings, from Home Depot.

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Old 11-04-2011, 09:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbowers View Post
FWIW - If you go look at the remodeling mythplaced posted, he elected to build a framed box inserted into that access hole designed to easily be removed for access. I've seen his backsplash remodel and it looks great. The "box" looks somewhat like a window box deep enough to place handy items while parked (not while traveliing). I thought it was a really great idea if you don't care about having the mirrors.
Picture is worth a thousand words...Thanks Bob!

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Old 11-04-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
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Takepride, in your rear picture of the shower valve everyone should take notice of the plastic plug in the bottom of the valve. Since this valve has been used in many home applications, this outlet in the bottom of the valve normally would have routed water to a tub. Someone at the WRV factory came up with this design solution to plug this bottom opening with this plastic assembly.

In taking our coach out of service, I always clear all the lines with air and worked fine until January 2011 zero tempertures hit our normally warm winter weather. I learned the hard way that this plug can not be drained with air and when the water caught in the plastic plug freezes, it chatters the plastic solution rendering the shower unusable.

MY FIX- I removed the Moen mechanism, removed what was left of the plastic plug solution with a tappered yard sprinkler tool (used for removing broken risers in the ground in a sprinkler system), bought a plumbing 1/2" brass plug at ACE, filled the cavity in the middle of the plug with epoxy, intalled the plug into our Moen mechanism, and reinstalled the valve. To my knowledge, we have no more surprise locations in our fresh water system where water can freeze and do damage now we have the newly installed epoxy filled plug in our Moen shower valve. FYI
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:03 AM   #8
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rbg:

Great idea. Wish I'd thought of that before I re-installed everything. But really....

You need a latitude adjustment
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