first off, there are images attached for best description of the problem. The setup is: The 1/2 inch copper pipe connects to a threaded joint on the shower valve (1 inch), easy, right? Except when I try to replace/rebuild this assembly (it is leaking at the joint, see picture), I cut it out and take it to HD/Menards: they say they don't know how to replace it or what the connecting bit really is. It seems like some random threaded part that was soldered on top of the pipe.

I can't solder, is there a way to rebuild this joint using pex or sharkbites or something else? Or I can only solder electronics, I doubt it's the same-never tried it.

EDIT: the manufacturer seems to be selling a very similar/ updated version of this at https://www.pioneerind.com/product/three-handle-tub-shower-set-2/#0868-Z, but the installation guide is not clear on how to connect the 1/2 inch supply lines.

Thanks a lot!

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That looks like one side of a union. The threads on the union nut engage with threads on the valve body to make a flat metal-to-metal seal. Alternatively a special seal, now missing, might have fit in a groove and pipe dope was used to try to make it seal.

Pipe dope is to be used to seal threads. A union seals with two clean flat surfaces clamped together by threads, or with a special seal (not pipe dope). You might get it to seal by cleaning down to bare metal without gouging the surface, but it could be that a seal is needed.


If you reinstall this part or a new one you will have to use a slip coupling, e.g., a Shark Bite 1/2" "slip" coupling. That way you won't have to use a torch inside the wall.

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  • Hi Jim, thanks for your answer! That is good to know, even if it is bad news that I need whole new valve. Actually, it is a conical part, which is what I found the most weird (I added a 3rd picture to show the conical shape) that connects to the flat valve. And the leak is unfortunately coming from under the conical fitting (can see rusted part of the 1/2 inch pipe). For replacing the whole valve, is that something I can do myself? I'm sure I could cut and remove the old one, not so sure about installing a new one, ha! – biostatrat Oct 7 '18 at 16:38
  • So the soldered joint is leaking? And the tubing with fitting has been cut out? Take it to a plumbing supply and see what they can tell you. If you cannot get a new fitting, you could remove the old tubing and re-solder it to a new piece of tubing. – Jim Stewart Oct 7 '18 at 16:44
  • Yeah, the soldered joint is leaking. I have cut out the whole pipe, so yeah I can take it places. I'll try a plumbing supply store- I have a blowtorch so I assume I could take the old pipe out, but not sure about soldering the new one in – biostatrat Oct 7 '18 at 16:53
  • Be sure to take the nut with you because a new part would have to work with that nut. If a new cone comes with and requires a new nut, then the threads would have to be the same to match those on the valve body. There is a learning curve on soldering copper tubing and brass fittings for water pipes. In a constricted space you can start a fire. – Jim Stewart Oct 7 '18 at 17:04
  • Well I could solder it on the pipe in another place and then put the whole assembly in- it is a tight space. I edited the post, it seems the company (central brass) is still selling a very similar model but I can't figure out their installation guide pioneerind.com/product/three-handle-tub-shower-set-2/#0868-Z – biostatrat Oct 7 '18 at 17:13

Well, I found a solution using the threads that were on the inside of the fitting- I blow torched it to take it off the old pipe and threaded it on a sharkbite adapter https://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBite-1-2-in-Brass-Push-to-Connect-x-Male-Pipe-Thread-Adapter-U120LFA/202270505.

Hopefully this will help someone in the future repairing their Central Brass shower and tub valve.

EDIT to add a picture of the final product. Not pretty but does not leak (so far)enter image description here

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  • Are you saying that you un-soldered the tubing from the conical fitting and there were threads inside the conical fitting? If so, I am amazed that the joint ever held water. AFIK such internal threads would only be intended for a threaded connection and not for soldering! That's AFIK, I am open to being enlightened. I hope you will send a picture of the final assembly. – Jim Stewart Oct 7 '18 at 22:48
  • Yeah I got the idea from the manufacturer's installation instructions at 3dhksy1fv51sk45om2xo5u10-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/… as you can see in step 3 (if you super zoom in on the picture) it says: for CXC connection (solder) or for IPS connection (threaded on a pipe using teflon tape). It must be some strange fitting that accepts either? – biostatrat Oct 7 '18 at 23:00
  • Also, I just clicked on your profile and it says you worked at the FDA- that's where I was just now over the summer- weird! It was really fun – biostatrat Oct 7 '18 at 23:07
  • So you reused the original conical fitting or got a new one? – Jim Stewart Oct 7 '18 at 23:07
  • I reused the old one- ordering a new one would probably mean having to wait a while. And plumbing supply stores are closed on sundays, unlike the big box stores – biostatrat Oct 7 '18 at 23:09

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