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P.S. New updates and follow-up questions in the bottom. Thank you guys!

this is my first post here and if there is anything against our community rules, please let me know and I would update it.

My goal is to seek your inputs or guidance on how to replace my old bathtub spouts. The spout should be super old with brand names Dialcet Moen on the diverter control panel and Pat No. /newline 1809567 /newline 2022875 on its spout. I would explain my current situation first and then my plan.

I bought my first old house a few years ago and the cost of living has been rising crazily recently. I decided to do some home improvement work myself. Replacing bathroom spouts, diverters, and shower heads is supposed to be one of them. For myself, I have been maintaining my car regularly (for example, valve gasket replacement for BMW E90s) and would consider myself a relatively experienced DIYer. However, I ran into some issue when I tried to remove my current old bathtub spouts. Here is the timeline regarding what I've done so far:

  1. I made some quick youtube search and got a rough idea of what I was supposed to do. Generally speaking, you are supposed to first identify whether your spout is threaded or slip-fit. Then you could either thread it out or unscrew accordingly. I checked my spouts and confirmed there is no screw on the surface of my spout. This suggests my spout should be threaded, which turns out to be not 100% accurate.
  2. I sprayed some WD40 and then tried to rotate my spout with pliers. Nothing happened. Too tight. Alright. I thought about it and grabbed my hair dryer. Heated it for a few minutes till it was hot. Tried again and nothing happened. I was a little bored and applied more force. It was moved a little by roughly 10 degrees. However, it is still very tight.
  3. Lastly, I cut the front part of the spout with my saw. This exposes the inner cross-section to me and it doesn't help much(you can check how I cut it in the attached images in the end). I then had a feeling that instead of unscrewing the spout, it is highly possible that I twisted my shower pipe inside the wall. This can be implied for a couple of reasons:
    • The spout isn't in a position that fits a regular angle.
    • Seeing from the very narrow gap between the spout and the wall, I notice that the pipe corroded very badly.
    • The spout is still super tight even if it was moved by 10%. If it is not the pipe got twisted, the spout is supposed to be unscrewed easily.

After realizing I might mess it up by twisting the shower pipe inside the wall. I stopped all my attempts and started researching. Here is my major finding:

  • My spout is really old. It has Moen patent number on it. Link to us patent (note the patent number isn't exactly the same as that in my spout but they are of the same series and look very similar). Here is an image from the patent page showing the parts.

I now face a big problem and would very much like to resolve it myself if possible. Hiring a plumber would probably cost $2,000 to $3,000 in the current market. Here is my plan and I am desperate for you guys' guidance:

  1. Step 1. Use my saw to cut more parts of the spout. This is going to be roughly around vertical line 2 in this image.
  2. Step 2. Try to remove remaining parts of the spout by pliers or any tools.
  3. Step 3. Hammer my bathroom tiles around the shower pipe inside the spout.
  4. Step 4. Replace the shower pipe.
  5. Step 5. Retile.
  6. Step 6. Install new spouts. Does that seem to be a feasible plan? When I replace the shower pipe, do you guys recommend copper, PVC or what type? I am totally newbie in plumbing. Thanks. Here are all images I took for a better understanding of the current spouts: Image folder in Imgur.

2021/11/23 UPDATE- new pictures after taking off the spout brutally: folder.

I managed to remove the tub spout but not in the perfect way. Eventually, I took too tiles off and used penetrating oil to take down the copper connecter + iron catridge + spout.

Here is what was going on: there is surely a copper shower pipe that direct waters from diverter to the tub spout. The copper shower pipe is connected to a 90-degree copper converter with some silver sealant(not thread for sure because I twisted it downward to remove the spout+connector). The other side of the copper converter is threaded with an iron bar, and the iron bar is then connected to my tub spout, which is a super old Dialcet Moen one.

For more clear illustration, see the new pictures I took in the new folder.

Now the remaining question is, what am I supposed to do next? Here is my plan:

  1. Buy a new copper connector and connect it to the shower pipe.
  2. Buy a new copper catridge similar to the corroded iron one and insert one side to the 90 degree copper connector.
  3. From the other side of the new copper catridge, buy a new spout and connect them.
  4. Seal the wall but how? LOL

I do have a few questions if anybody could provide some inputs:

  1. What kind of spout do you recommend in my situation?
  2. What would you recommend to put back the tiles? When I take them off, I had to take off some part of the drywall. So I am clueless regarding putting back the tiles.

Thank you again!

My location is in greater Seattle area. Mike

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    Your pic of the underside of the spout shows what looks like the head of a set-screw or grub-screw. Have you tried loosening it?
    – brhans
    Nov 23, 2021 at 13:42
  • @brhans, those two are waterdrops underneath the tub spout. The picture isn't very clear but if you zoom a little bit, it shows that they are waterdrops not set screws. According to the patent of this spout, there is no screw as well. Thank you so much for looking into the pictures. This bugs me a lot. Nov 24, 2021 at 0:06
  • @brhans, thank you for your information and I managed to make some progress. I updated the main post with new status and some follow-up questions as well. Thank you!!! Nov 24, 2021 at 7:38

2 Answers 2

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The spout you're trying to remove is a standard diverter type spout that is very common. It screws onto the stub coming out of the wall. Because of age and corrosion/calcification caused by the water the faucet may be difficult to remove.
Apparently, as indicated by @brhans, there is a set screw on yours which is evident in the picture and the schematic you provided. That screw will need to be loosened. It may make it easier if you spray some WD40 or another decalcifier on the screw and around the pipe/faucet connection. Let it sit for a few minutes. Once the set screw is loosened the faucet should turn in a counter-clockwise direction.
It may take some force to break the corrosion. Typically, the threaded pipe stub coming out of the wall will be threaded into a 90 degree elbow. As you turn the faucet the pipe may unscrew inside the wall in which case you can reinstall it using teflon tape or pipe dope after removing the faucet. It also could be a copper pipe with a threaded coupling sweated onto the tub end. If it is copper you'll want to be careful not to apply to much torque since it could crack the sweated fitting at the elbow.
You're on the right track - take your time and have patience.

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  • Thank you so much for your help. The bottom is two waterdrops not screws. But your answer gives me confidence and is really helpful. There is only one thing, I don't quite understand the meaning of your "90 degree elbow". Do you mean the pipe is vertical to the wall? Nov 24, 2021 at 0:09
  • First of all, usually the water supply line runs vertically up or down in the wall or laterally across at the head of the tub. There will then be a 90 degree elbow bringing the pipe stub out through the wall. That stub could be threaded on both ends or sweated copper with a threaded coupling sweated onto the tub end. If it's copper you'll want to be careful not to torque it with too much pressure since it could crack the sweated fitting at the elbow in the wall.If it's threaded galvanized pipe the only risk is that the pipe will unscrew at the elbow in the wall. Again, take your time with it.
    – HoneyDo
    Nov 24, 2021 at 0:28
  • Dear HoneyDo, I can't appreciate your help more! The details and explanation in your answers are super straightforward, right to the point, and reflects perfect understanding of the problem. Your information provides a thorough picture of the cause and effect relationship. I managed to take off them. When you got time, you could see my updates in the bottom of the main post. Note that the inner shower copper pipe is twisted because what I did before I post. I was right that I twisted the copper pipe and I shouldn't do it. Nov 24, 2021 at 7:32
  • I edited my answer to include my comments above.
    – HoneyDo
    Nov 24, 2021 at 16:19
  • Since this is not a discussion forum it's against SE policy to ask multiple questions in one post. You might want to come back and post your follow-up question separately re pipe and tile repair.
    – HoneyDo
    Nov 24, 2021 at 16:32
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With plumbing that old, and since you have already broken some tiles, I'd like to suggest a slightly more aggressive approach where you carefully cut out enough tiles to replace all the plumbing behind the wall: spout, valve, shower head, and if possible (depending on where it is and how it works) the drain popup too.

You don't have to worry about compatibility of parts ... just buy a whole new set and install it.

You're already going to have to do a little tiling and grouting ... may as well take this opportunity to do it right.

You won't get perfectly matching tiles ... the color and thickness will be different. Congrats on buying an old house .... this is your life!

To answer your question about how to repair the wall: Youtube is your friend. There are LOTS of tutorials on how to do a project like this. If you cut out a large rectangle, it'll be about 16 inches wide by 3 feet high, you will install backer board, then retile and regrout. Hopefully you have another bathroom to use while you do this.

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  • Thank you jay for being very kind and informative! The moment I read your first paragraph, I feel you are reading my mind and leading me like a patient knowledgeable teacher. I will do my research and understand your answer and finally make it a bigger but more efficient project in the long run. Nov 24, 2021 at 22:30
  • Thank you for your congrats and yes, old house is problematic and it is super expensive to hire contractors. Things are becoming more and more unaffordable. :( Nov 24, 2021 at 22:31
  • I did a lot of research and now have a much better understanding of your answer! I have a few follow-up questions regarding your suggestion. * What do you mean by "valve" in your recommended approach? I know spout, shower head for sure. Does your valve mean the diverter that is inside the wall and takes both hot and colder water and connects to a handle that is outside the wall? I draw a picture and uploaded it here for reference. In other words, do you prefer replacing the spout, shower head, diverter cover+handle, and diverter valve altogether? Nov 25, 2021 at 3:47
  • Yes, diverter/mixer, everything that you can access while limiting the damage to a few square feet of tile.
    – jay613
    Nov 25, 2021 at 12:41

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