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residential service
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I came across a Gerber 2 handle shower valve today that sat idle in an occupied house for 7 years. The hot side works fine but I'm pretty sure I have massive hardwater deposits obstucting flow somewhere in between the point at which the stem washer meets the seat and the point in the valve body that water could enter the shower riser from the cold side. I only get a drip from the cold side. I have water to the point of the stem/seat.

Anybody ever dealt with this. I'd prefer to not cut the adjacent wall open because it will be exposed (not in a closet).

Option A - Cut the wall. Cut the shower riser. Pull the valve out where I can work on it. Now what? Somehow get the deposits cleaned out.

Option B - (I have no idea if this will work since I've never tried it and only thought of it this afternoon). Isolate the valve via 2 globe valves in the basement. Pull the hot stem to drain the shower riser. Replace hot stem and close. Turn shower arm up with shower head off. Fill shower riser (and consequently valve body) with vinegar or other mild acid. Let sit for how long? Drain vinegar. Open hot side iso vlv and back flush through cold side (cold stem removed and shower riser capped).

Option C - replace vlv.

Any other ideas? Anybody ever tried option B?
 

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Hey smells, I think I would average the cost of replacement to the cost of repair and the time you spend trying to make it usable again and without the guarantee it will seal once you do this. If the option is to go ahead with the repair, there is an item called Clover lapping compound, I have used it in applications for metalwork in the past and it does an awesome job to help maintain sealing surfaces.
 

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Always Something
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If the hard water deposits are that big...vinager isn't gonna help. MAAYBE clr not diluted. Sounds like a lot of work for that. Isolating it and doing a flush IMO is a 50/50 at that stage. Hot side working and not cold (odd) me thinks is debris....maybe not calcium carbonate. Pill that stem and use some solder to try and break it free if you can. Sounds like the hot water heater got just hot enough for a shower, so no need for cold....over time the cold path gets locked up with calcium. I have taken little nuggets of calcium and put them in a bowl of CLR and watched nothing happen. That stuff works well for minor deposits, but once it gets too big.....well, I don't know of anything that will simply dissolve it down....Good Luck
 

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WILLPLUMB4$
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I came across a Gerber 2 handle shower valve today that sat idle in an occupied house for 7 years. The hot side works fine but I'm pretty sure I have massive hardwater deposits obstucting flow somewhere in between the point at which the stem washer meets the seat and the point in the valve body that water could enter the shower riser from the cold side. I only get a drip from the cold side. I have water to the point of the stem/seat.

Anybody ever dealt with this. I'd prefer to not cut the adjacent wall open because it will be exposed (not in a closet).

Option A - Cut the wall. Cut the shower riser. Pull the valve out where I can work on it. Now what? Somehow get the deposits cleaned out.

Option B - (I have no idea if this will work since I've never tried it and only thought of it this afternoon). Isolate the valve via 2 globe valves in the basement. Pull the hot stem to drain the shower riser. Replace hot stem and close. Turn shower arm up with shower head off. Fill shower riser (and consequently valve body) with vinegar or other mild acid. Let sit for how long? Drain vinegar. Open hot side iso vlv and back flush through cold side (cold stem removed and shower riser capped).

Option C - replace vlv.

Any other ideas? Anybody ever tried option B?
If you can't fix it in less than 1 hr. I'ld say your better off installing a new valve. Problem with that is here it has to be Pressure Balanced, so you either put in a pressure balance valve-- can't think of any 2 handle PB valves off the top of my head or you'll need to install valve w/ smitty plate or 2 handle + seperate PB spool.
Might want to try Calci- Solve like you use on urinals... Be sure to flush the heck out of it when your done.
 

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residential service
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Discussion Starter #7
She chose option D. Wait. A lot of times this means "I'm not going to have you do the work" and that may be the case here but I really got the impression that she just didn't have the money at that point. The variety of tasks I performed that day came to $8XX.XX (I don't remember the exact amount) and I just think she was tapped out at that point. I think what I finally suggested was that I could just replace her valve body and reuse her stems (one of which was new anyway because I had already replaced it) and trim. This gave her a price roughly 1/2 of what I originally quoted her to simply replace the faucet. I get the feeling she may call in a few weeks but I don't know for sure. She seemed to be otherwise happy with everything that was done.

Unfortunately in this business it sometimes feels like I'm riding atop of a locomotive. We try very hard to follow up with people but sometimes if a customer gets off at a stop and doesn't get right back on (schedule the next appointment) they get left at the station. I literally could spend a couple of hours of my day (that's me the certified plumber/service tech) every day on the phone talking to clients. This slaughters my productivity and is why I got my wife to start handling calls both in and out. The train can't loiter though. It makes frequent stops but it starts right back down the line.
 

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Unfortunately in this business it sometimes feels like I'm riding atop of a locomotive. We try very hard to follow up with people but sometimes if a customer gets off at a stop and doesn't get right back on (schedule the next appointment) they get left at the station. I literally could spend a couple of hours of my day (that's me the certified plumber/service tech) every day on the phone talking to clients. This slaughters my productivity and is why I got my wife to start handling calls both in and out. The train can't loiter though. It makes frequent stops but it starts right back down the line.
WOW!!! This is exactly the way I feel. I have a list of people to get back to and can not find time to do it. Don't like to bother people at night or Sundays and it seems like that is only time for phone calls. New calls come in everyday, so I take care of those and can't seem to get back to those on list.
 

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WILLPLUMB4$
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This sounds like a good thing Gent's.. Sounds like it's time to grow. Either hire someone or increase your own personal efficiencies, since I've read alot you two have posted, you both sound pretty proffesional, sounds like growth is it...
You can't work ON your buissness when your working IN your bussiness..
 

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residential service
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Discussion Starter #10
I'm interviewing now. Nothing but slugs so far, well one guy wasn't a slug but he just isn't the right guy, plus something doesn't add up about what he told me. He said he was "laid off" last Tuesday but that it had something to do with making a customer mad (big red flag). I interviewed him last Thursday and today I see an ad in the classifieds from his old company looking for a plumber. I hate to say it but I really don't think I want anyone from that company anyway. I'm not sure anyone there could sell ice water in the Sahara. I really don't understand how they can still be in business to begin with based on what they charge (or at least what they say they charge).
 

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( smells ,that sounds like a bald headed guy from BF he likes the ladies sometimes too much lol) --- today I need a 2 handle valve body (body only for a 2 handle gerber shower ,I looked thru all my saved scrap, found other styles 3 handle etc but no 2 handles LAST NIGHT i COULD HAVE SWORE I HAD SEVERAL, MY SCRAP( helper) MUST HAVE SOLD THEM anyone got 1 in scrap pile if so give me a ring ( even the gerber factory doesnt sell just the body, everything else, I googled it and smells story came up lol) eddie 205 229 7443
 

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( smells ,that sounds like a bald headed guy from BF he likes the ladies sometimes too much lol) --- today I need a 2 handle valve body (body only for a 2 handle gerber shower ,I looked thru all my saved scrap, found other styles 3 handle etc but no 2 handles LAST NIGHT i COULD HAVE SWORE I HAD SEVERAL, MY SCRAP( helper) MUST HAVE SOLD THEM anyone got 1 in scrap pile if so give me a ring ( even the gerber factory doesnt sell just the body, everything else, I googled it and smells story came up lol) eddie 205 229 7443
I found some price pfister 2 valve tub/shower valves and I found this Briggs/sayco 2 valve shower faucet.
http://www.briggsstore.com/category-detail.aspx?Cid=377
Here is a gerber 2 valve but its damn high!
http://www.decorisland.com/details....hroom_Faucets_Shower_Faucet_Kits_Tub_&_Shower
 

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Smells, If you do end up going back I'd be willing to bet its not a mineral build up like you are thinking, but rather an old chunk of washer...

I'd try adapting a garden hose to the shower arm and back flush it before anything else...
 

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smells and TM I am changing it out to a delta single lever next week, smells was I right ? about( the guy you talked to twice) the bald guy who worked for BoS UNTIL HE DIED?? then to harry corley) for real if you want to know more about him call me I screwed up so many times when Iwas younger hoping every plumber I wanted to work for me would treat my customers just like I would . It never happened, Please dont make my mistakes hire someone, we all aint perfect like ourselves(lol me inclued) find a halfway perfect plumber then straigen him out eddie
 

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residential service
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Discussion Starter #15
smells and TM I am changing it out to a delta single lever next week, smells was I right ? about( the guy you talked to twice) the bald guy who worked for BoS UNTIL HE DIED?? then to harry corley) for real if you want to know more about him call me I screwed up so many times when Iwas younger hoping every plumber I wanted to work for me would treat my customers just like I would . It never happened, Please dont make my mistakes hire someone, we all aint perfect like ourselves(lol me inclued) find a halfway perfect plumber then straigen him out eddie
Don't know baldy, that wasn't him. I certainly would expect anyone from BF to be able to sell though. This was a kid from Trinity. Last I heard they were t&m charging $75 per hour. I don't believe it though. They must be marking up materials 1000%. Anyway I wound up hiring someone else last May. He definitely is NOT perfect, although he has his moments. You might know him. Little feller (what I sometimes call him, either that or, the ugliest woman on planet Earth) he's an ace on a back hoe (too bad we don't dig that often) but has a lot to learn about repair plumbing. I never call him this but he had a nickname that came up from the fact that he has worked for so many different companies, they call him "the plumbing whore".
 
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