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I recently bought a house with 20 year old fixtures 3 bathrooms including a shower, shower/tub, and roman tub. The shower knobs say Harden on them and the tub/shower knob has a separate tub/shower lever and the shower knob has a volume control lever. The Roman tub I'm not sure who makes it, but the knobs on the tub match the shower knob so perhaps they are also Harden. What I'm what I'm wondering is:

  • Can I replace the spouts/knobs without replacing the valves (all of the valves are in walls with no access)?
  • Assuming yes, how can I find knobs/spouts that will work with the existing valves? (I'm not sure if removing the tub spout requires turning off the water so I haven't wanted to do it yet).

Roman tub:

Roman Tub

Shower:

Shower

Shower / tub:

Shower / Tub

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    Why do you want to replace the valves? Are they leaking, squeaking, or something? Or are you wanting to change the aesthetic? – wallyk Jan 1 '15 at 7:02
  • @wallyk The change is desired for aesthetics. – Jonathan Jan 1 '15 at 15:59
  • I have the exact same assemblies from Harden and was able to find stems, etc., on Symmons sites. – Vanguri Jan 4 '17 at 17:59
  • So replacing the stems would require removing the trim, cutting the pipes, etc.? Or something else? – Jonathan Jan 4 '17 at 22:08
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Yes: Everything in your pictures falls into the realm of trim. If you remove the knobs, handles, and spouts, you will find valve and spout stubs. You should be able to remove all trim without shutting off the water.

Plumbing supply houses should be able to find compatible trim pieces.

  • Am I likely limited in what will fit on the existing valves? – Jonathan Jan 1 '15 at 17:59
  • Unless you find the exact model and specs of what's on there now you won't know until you take it off. For example, a lot of tub spouts just screw on to the bare pipe, but some require hardware behind the wall. And I've seen a lot of valve stem adapters that open up a wide variety of trim. – feetwet Jan 1 '15 at 19:29
  • I managed the get the tub knobs off pretty easily, but I'm not sure how to do the spout. There are no set screws anywhere. Is there risk in trying to unscrew it without knowing if that will work? FWIW, my sink faucets match the tub and I can see what they look like under those. Here's a pic (spout in the middle of pic). – Jonathan Jan 1 '15 at 23:39
  • Yep, especially since it's a roman tub spout, it's almost certainly secured from behind with a brass nut like you show on the sink. You'll have to get wrench access to remove it. At least you don't have to shut off your water, so long as you can ensure nobody will turn the faucets while the spouts are out. – feetwet Jan 2 '15 at 0:00
  • That's a bummer though since I don't have wrench access - the tub is all tiled in. If that's the case I may have to wait a few years for till I can take on retiling :( – Jonathan Jan 2 '15 at 0:01
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The good news is that you can tell these are both Harden kits. I have seen Harden on some older homes but don't know if they still make stuff or not - I certainly have never seen Harden stuff being sold at a plumbing store.

The easiest thing to do is remove all of the trim - anything that is brass. Take this trim to a local plumbing supply store (with pictures of valve under trim). They might not even need the trim to match it up with something else compatible but they might need some measurements.

Really there are two hard parts are the handle mechanism which is why they might need the trim there and the tub spout on the wall which might need some slight plumbing alteration - I would take a picture of this and measure your pipe length from wall too.

  • My concern would be removing the trim and having to shut the water off while I look and wait for suitable replacements. Also, I'm not sure how to remove the roman tub spout since there are no obvious set screws. – Jonathan Jan 1 '15 at 23:41
  • I am thinking you pop the top off of the handles for the tub and you will see screw underneath. Also you don't need to shut off water when taking off the trim. – DMoore Jan 4 '15 at 19:39
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Try unscrewing the tub faucet itself. I am replacing old brass trim also and couldn't figure out how to remove the faucet from the roman tub. It has no set screw. I had a plumber take a look and he finally twisted the entire faucet counter clockwise and it unscrewed. My problem now is that underneath the faucet is a 3/4" pipe (valve?) that the new trim needs to screw onto. The faucet trim I bought doesn't screw on. It is the new kind of connection that just slides on and has a set screw. I'm looking for a chrome faucet that will screw on because to replace the rough in valve I will have to remove all the tile to get access.

  • You don't have to turn the water off to remove the faucet spout, but do not turn the hot/cold handles on without the spout in place or you'll have a water fountain that will shoot to the ceiling. I picked up a 3/4" cap for the spout to prevent any accidents while I had the spout off. – kate Jan 18 '15 at 13:15

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