I had shower valves replaced about a month ago, and ever since then now if you pull the shower knob it pulls out a great deal of pipe through the cut-out. I'm thinking the easiest solution to this would be to caulk the cut-outs, but I am not sure if there are any simpler solutions or negative impacts on doing such. Images below - what is the best way to handle this?

Rear View Front View

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    Caulking is only for sealing against water from getting into the wall. Those pipes would need to be anchored so they are stopped from moving.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 17:11
  • @crip659 - any recommendation on anchoring them? There is only the drywall cut-out that was removed (open area in the rear image) and the backside of the tub to anchor to....what would be the best method for anchoring in this scenario Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 17:14
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    TBH, since you paid a plumber to do this, I'd call him up and kindly request that he fix it. If necessary, work your way from a nice request to a strong demand at each additional phone call until you reach satisfaction. This strikes me as being pretty shoddy workmanship from a pro. Additionally, did your contract with him include patching the drywall, or was that explicitly to be on your?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 18:17
  • @FreeMan - yes a pro did this initially about 2 years ago, it was originally hidden and tucked away behind a medicine cabinet but since we are now remodeling the bathroom it has come to light. I have a pro coming tomorrow to do drywall repair so fingers crossed i'll be able to support the pipes preperly before then. The issue i have now run into is one of the screws is completely stripped so I'm having to google on how to remove a stripped screw before I can progress on this piece Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 18:29
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    waitaminute... From the question: "I had shower valves replaced about a month ago". From a comment: "a pro did this initially about 2 years ago". Which is it? Call the guy who was there a month ago and have him make it right...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 23, 2022 at 18:17

6 Answers 6


To expand on Jack's good answer:

There is approximately 3" from the inside of the drywall closest to the camera to the side of the plumbing closest to the camera.

It appears that the plumber used the pipe tape (the silver metal band with all the holes), to try to attach the fixture to the 2x6, then weakly attached the 2x6 to some 2x4 above and below.

  • I would remove the screws holding the pipe tape, then pull all that lumber out (if possible without causing significant drywall damage.
  • I would then reuse one of those pieces of lumber (if any are long enough) to lay horizontally behind the fixture so that it is snug between the studs either side.
  • I would then reuse the pipe tape to firmly attach the fixture to the selected piece of wood.
  • Then I'd pull that piece of wood toward me, pulling the escutcheons toward the wall on the other side and screw the horizontal piece into the studs.
    • Doing it this way (attach the pipe to the board, then the board to the studs) ensures you get the board attached to the studs in the right place for however tight or loose you made the pipe tape and ensures the escutcheons are snugly against the wall inside the tub.

To make this process easier, you'd want to cut the drywall back further on the left & right sides. You'll want to cut at least to the edge of each stud, if not to the center of the stud. You'll have to patch it anyway and this will provide more room for you to work, give you access to the studs in order to attach your horizontal board, and actually make the patch easier to execute. If you need more info on patching drywall, there are dozens of questions on this site - do a search then ask a new question if you're still left scratching your head.

  • so completely undo what is done....take the piece of wood that is already there, turn it horizontal, pull the pipes back as far as I can, attach to the horizontal piece of wood, then attach the horizontal wood to the stud that is cut (what the wood is currently attached to). Am i Understaning you correctly? If not, I am totally fine cutting more drywall to add in a new horizontal board, I'm just not clear on if I want to install it above or below or even behind the current piping (Behind meaning between the pipes and the shower) Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 18:07
  • Almost, @user2676140. Those 2 pieces of 2x4 on the flat (showing us their 4" face) don't look like they're doing a lick of good, plus they're in the wrong place to support the cross piece. I'd suggest connecting your horizontal piece to the actual house framing that's still tucked away to the left & right of the opening. Those studs will be very firmly held in place, and if you firmly connect the cross blocking to them, it won't move, thus your fixture won't move either.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 18:11
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    the support of the house is all the way in each corner, i'm not certain how this was originally set-up, but I agree it is def shoddy work, and i'm trying to make the best of it! Not sure how much more drywall I will need to cut (but I have a pro coming tomorrow to patch it for me) Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 18:28

That anchoring job looks pretty weak. You need to determine exactly where the movement's coming from. I think you need to install a 2x4 horizontally between the studs to the right and left of your valve and then clamp the valve to it. You will have to remove the jury rig that's there but it's not doing it's job anyway.

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    geez...i had a plumber come out and do this...i thought something wasn't right due to the amount of movement, but that's irritating as can be that I paid the amount I paid and it's not done right! When you say a 2x4 horizontal between the studs, do you mean run it between the shower wall and the back of the pipes, then screw the 2x4 into the studs, and brace the piping to the 2x4? I feel like that'll be a tight tight fit getting the 2x4 in there. Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 17:47
  • @user2676140 Yes, between the wall and either in front of, or in back of, or below the valve and screw to the studs. Hard to say which without knowing the clearances.... experiment. You could, and maybe should, get the plumber back to fix it.
    – JACK
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 18:31

This isn't rocket science, and you have many options. You just need to spread the load so that it isn't just a small area of drywall carrying the force of a pull. Don't go cutting drywall out. It's not at all necessary.

First, I'd try simple: Get some of the plumbing strapping like you have on that block. Loop it around the pipes and screw it to the back of the block. That alone might do it. If you angle the screws a bit you'll get good tension.

Or, fit some wood blocks between the pipes and the drywall as spacers, then screw additional blocks to connect those to the existing 2x6. Picture two hands with fingers wrapped around the pipes from the outside, and with palms resting on the 2x6.


I had shower valves replaced about a month ago, and ever since then now if you pull the shower knob it pulls out a great deal of pipe through the cut-out. I'm thinking the easiest solution to this would be to caulk the cut-outs, but I am not sure if there are any simpler solutions or negative impacts on doing such. Images below - what is the best way to handle this?

The easiest solution is to have the plumber that did the shoddy work come out and fix it properly. The contract has a requirement that the work be done in a "good and workmanlike manner". And along with that comes a warranty that it was so done.

That requirement/warranty is either express or implied. Express, if the contract contained that language; implied if the contract did not contain that language, in which case, the Common Law applies, and that holds that the quality of work requirement and warranty is implied.

A "good and workmanlike manner" means, generally, and depending on jurisdiction, that the work be done with

that degree of efficiency and knowledge which is possessed by those of ordinary skill, competency, and standing in a particular trade or business for which the contractor is employed.

Contact the plumber and have them make it right.


Simple fix is to place the 2x6 backing in front of the valve and use strap to fasten valve with 2 vertically.

In other words from the back you should see the brass valve body as well as the showerhead riser, then the 2x6 behind that, then strap as needed... not the way I would have done it in the first place (I'm a plumber 35 years)... but a relatively easy fix if you can't get them to fix it right.


With all due respect this is a very old shower valve and may need replacement in a few years. Personally, if it were mine, I would rip all this out and install a newer anti-scald, single handle valve which is safer and to code. In the process of doing this, you could install a more secure horizontal brace for the new valve. Luckily for you you have a large access to the rear, which makes your work easier. Any plumbing book can help you with this, or of course, you can ask more questions in this forum or at your hardware store in the future.

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