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Old 06-28-2014, 10:19 PM   #1
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Shower Valve Access 2007 Diplomat PDQ

We have experienced the same over-sensitivity from our Delta knock-off shower valve that others have mentioned. I have wanted to replace it but wasn't sure how to remove the mirror covering the wall panel behind the valve.The mirror is held on by plastic clips and double sided foam tape.

In trying to figure out how to get the tape to release, I tried several methods including monofilamet fishing line, .020 steel wire, braided steel fishing leader, and .020 music wire. The music wire seemed to work best but still got bogged down in the sticky tape. I tried using liquid soap as a lube and this helped somewhat, but I was still unable to cut through all the foam tape. I was succesful in releasing about 1/4 of the upper right corner, just enough to be able to gently pull the mirror out and peek behind it with a flashlight. What I saw was confirmed with a 12" piece of .005 shimstock that I probed with.

The tape was in two horizontal strips, about 2" wide, one at the top and one at the bottom. But due to the confined placement of the mirror, I was unable to use the music wire cutter any way but horizontally, and I quickly bogged down, unable to release anything but the upper left and right corners. This was not going to work.

Then I tried something that worked. I took a 12" hack saw blade and ground the set off the teeth on both sides. I didn' t want to scratch the back of the mirror and ruin it. I then heated the end that the teeth point toward and bent about one inch over to form a tab that I could hold on to. Then, I heated the blade end with a propane torch, and while still hot, gently slipped it behind the mirror (while wearing gloves). Using the heated blade as a hot knife, I was able to quite easily cut through all the foam tape along the top of the mirror.

It took several heat cycles to finish but soon I had the whole top pulled loose from the wall. Then, by gently pulling the mirror away from the wall I was able to get the bottom strip of tape to pull loose, completely freeing the mirror with no breakage or scratching. After getting the mirror off, it was pretty easy to peel the tap residue off the wall and mirror back.

Behind the mirror I found a square access hole immediately behind the shower valve. From there it was relatively easy to remove the old valve and install the new one. I put in a Moen valve that I got at Lowes. If you do this, be aware that you have to use the tub/shower combo valve because you need the bottom port to hook up to the shower wand. The other thing you need to do is get two female 1/2 pipe - compression L fittings to replace the male fittings in the origonal valve. The Moen valve has male pipe fittings at each port. You will also need to cap off the upper port that feeds a shower head.

The only other change I made was to make up a copper line to replace the galvanized pipe and fittings that screw into the bottom of the old valve. The old pipe is too long and would need to be adapted to the male fitting on the Moen valve. That's it. Really not a hard job if you can get the mirror off. Oh I did make up a PFTE spacer and rubber washer to firm up the fitting for the shower wand.

I hope this helps someone else wanting to replace their shower valve. Heinrich (Danes-on-tour) this is for you. I remember our discussion at Q-site in Jan and how we couldn't figure out how to remove the mirror without breaking it. If you want my hack saw blade tool, PM me and I'll send it to you.

BTW, the Moen valve works great and is not sensitive like the origonal valve. Pictures below show the story.
Roy
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:06 AM   #2
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Thank you for that info Roy - you make it sound easy.

I still have a thousand questions like isn't the space behind behind the bath cabin extremely tight? Can you operate a spanner in this space? Did you have to cut any of the old pipes in order to make the new faucet fit? How about separating the old pipe from the old faucet? Any specialized tools required?

Which Moen model did you get? We have changed both the kitchen and bathroom faucet to Moen and they work so much better than the stuff Monaco installed. I was thinking maybe this one, because of the "Moentrol" system that will give you your required temperature +/- 2 degrees right off the bat. I would have like the brushed chrome, but it seems to come in only the "shiny version".

Thanks for the offer of using your modified blade. Towards the end of October it looks like we will be driving from Klamath, CA to Alamo, Ca. If we take Interstate 5, will we at any point be anywhere close to where you are? Then maybe we could swing by and pick it up?

We have planned to go to Q for the 2015 meeting, so we will hopefully see you (and all the other regulars) there.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danes-on-tour View Post
Thank you for that info Roy - you make it sound easy.

I still have a thousand questions like isn't the space behind behind the bath cabin extremely tight? Can you operate a spanner in this space? Did you have to cut any of the old pipes in order to make the new faucet fit? How about separating the old pipe from the old faucet? Any specialized tools required?

Which Moen model did you get? We have changed both the kitchen and bathroom faucet to Moen and they work so much better than the stuff Monaco installed. I was thinking maybe this one, because of the "Moentrol" system that will give you your required temperature +/- 2 degrees right off the bat. I would have like the brushed chrome, but it seems to come in only the "shiny version".

Thanks for the offer of using your modified blade. Towards the end of October it looks like we will be driving from Klamath, CA to Alamo, Ca. If we take Interstate 5, will we at any point be anywhere close to where you are? Then maybe we could swing by and pick it up?

We have planned to go to Q for the 2015 meeting, so we will hopefully see you (and all the other regulars) there.
Henrik,

Here is a link to photos with notes we made when we did this project a few years back. Could be of some help.
Moen shower control install in 2006 Diplomat - iRV2.com RV Photo Gallery

Bob
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:27 AM   #4
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Thanks Bob.

I have to admit that it looks like a "doable job". The 2 main pipe connections looks very similar to all the connections that I have in the wet bay, and they are close to "finger-tight" only. Before Roy's info, I didn't have the guts to get started on this job, but now I do.

What I keep finding when repairing stuff on the RV is, that I start off worrying to much. Once I get stuck in it's rarely a problem, and when I am finished I often stand back and say: "Was that all there was to it".

It helps tremendously when I get advice from fellow irv2'ers - especially when I get to see some photo's.

Thanks guy's.

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Old 06-29-2014, 10:30 AM   #5
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Heinrich,

We bought the Moen Adler in brushed stainless from Lowes ($128). I think it is the same one that Bob used.

I used a Vice Grip push button slip joint pliers to remove the connections (see pic below). The space is tight but it wasn't too hard. Once I removed the PEX lines, shower wand fitting and trim ring, the valve easily came out the access hole. I used a piece of 3/8 pipe stuck in the wand fitting to remove it so I didn't leave wrench marks on it.

I didn't make any change to the PEX pipes. I did get new fittings for the new valve because it has male 1/2 pipe ports while the old one has female. I got them at Allied trailer supply here locally but they should be available at most RV parts stores. I made up a new down pipe out of copper because the old one is too long to fit up to the hole in the shower stall and it was easier than trying to cut the old one off or try to make up a new galvanized pipe nipple of the exact length needed. I also turned up a spacer out of PFTE to go behind the shower stall on the down pipe nipple to make the wand fitting pull up tight against the shower stall. I noticed the old pipe had evidence of leakage so I wanted to cure this problem.

We live about 20 miles off I-5 up I-50 toward lake Tahoe. We should be around when you come through but drop us a line to be sure. I have a driveway you can park in and a shop with plenty of tools, so if you want to wait that long, we can do the change out here.

Bob's post gave me the inspiration to do ours. Thanks Bob.

Regards,
Roy and Debbie
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:43 AM   #6
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Changing out the "CHEAP" bean counter recommended shower valve was one of the BEST mods we have done to our MH. deSanford
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:12 AM   #7
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Roy - I am for some reason not able to locate the exact faucet that both you and Bob installed. The closest that I seem to get is this one. It's in brushed nickel (not stainless) and comes with the fixed showerhead (which I don't need). Could this be the one?
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:52 AM   #8
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Does the unit you are looking at have a "ceramic" valve? If so it should work just fine. deSanford
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:02 PM   #9
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Henrik,

BTW, sorry I have been misspelling your name.

The shower valve we got is the Adler in brushed nickel like what you reference, but the stock number is L82694EPSRN. It is the one with the tub spout and the showerhead. The model you showed only has the showerhead and only has 3 ports - 2 for hot/cold and 1 for shower. But you need the one we got which has 4 ports - including the one for the tub spout. You need the tub port to hook up to the shower wand fitting which is below the valve. I capped off the port to the showerhead - which incidentally is also what Monaco did on the original valve in our coach.
Our Lowes stores here in the Sacramento area carry both types, as they do for other models and brands as well. Also, when I open the link you sent, the correct one shows up at the bottom of the page as an alternative. You should be able to get it through Lowes.

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Old 07-02-2014, 12:34 AM   #10
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Thanks Roy
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:36 AM   #11
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We had 17 rental units plus our house,for many years -- Thats over 50 faucets -- 5 of those houses had Moen faucets when we purchased them -- When I found out that it takes a special tool, & parts more were expensive, I replaced them with Pfister -- Thats all I ever used, with very good results -- Parts are less expensive, & they will last as long as any Moen --
I took the shower valve apart in our 07 Camelot, & used plumbers grease on the ball that directs the flow, & now it works very easy --

Henrik -- When you get to AZ, we`ll take your valve apart, & see if we make it work with just the grease -- No need spending beer money on a faucet if it`s not needed -- William Willard
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:59 PM   #12
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After doing all the work to take out the old faucet might as well put in a good one with a ceramic valve. My "CHEAP" 2011 Navistar Monaco valve used rubber "O" rings to limit the flow of water to the shower wand. Not very precise and very hard to adjust to a nice temperature. FWIW deSanford
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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Hey William,

I vote for more beers.

My OEM shower valve was difficult to regulate temp - very sensitive. I rebuilt it with two different balls and lubed with plumbers grease. It worked very smoothly but was still very sensitive to regulate temp. I thought maybe someone had put in the wrong ball, so visited local plumbing supply house. Could not find anything different and could not find a replacement handle that would mate up to the hex adapter on ball shaft. Debbie unhappy, so we wound up looking at possible replacement valves.

To be sure, any of the available ones would probably work fine and last forever with the low duty cycle in MH usage. But the Moen made Debbie smile. That's worth a lot to me so we got it.

I'm really not trying to sell Moen or even replacement of the valve. The OEM valve looks well made and if I could get it to be less sensitive I would have probably kept it - even with the discolored plastic handle.

So, this post was really about how to remove the mirror. I figure I probably spent $41 in materials (music wire, tie wire, floss, shim stock, putty knives, etc.) in attempts to avoid destroying a $40 mirror to remove it. But that ain't the point. It was simply a challenge to see if it could be done.

Probably not practical in the long run but what is with these rigs. By my calculations, I am probably at about $1,220/hr for my usage and climbing since I keep putting $$ into this thing trying to make it perfect. Sounds like a hobby.

I did get enjoyment out of feeling the hot ground down hacksaw blade slice through the double sided tape so easily. That's gotta be worth something. But now I gotta look for another Moen tool to carry around in the MH less I get stranded somewhere and can't take out the cartridge - not that it will ever happen, but need to be prepared.

So cheers for more beers.

Regards,

Roy
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #14
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Roy -- I appreciate your post on how to remove that mirror --My response was more for Henrik -- He was having a hard time finding the Moen that Nodine used, & I was only telling him that there are other equal options -- The orginal valve is touchy after the grease job -- That was a good move replacing the galvanized nipple -- That will cause problems eventually -- I`ve had to replace them in Park Models, after some rusty water developed -- It is a hobby working on these money pits -- We haven`t moved the coach since Q in January, but I`m out there every day doing something that don`t need to be done -- There`s nothing wrong,YET , but probably will be by the time I`m finished --

DSandford --The only thing you need to do, to repair the valve, is remove one screw, & a retaining nut -- William Willard
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