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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 21801
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Townhome 30 years old, two upstairs baths with common wall

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Townhome 30 years old, two upstairs baths with common wall containing plumbing, both sides tiled. All fixtures work well except bathtub faucets in one bath. Has separate hot and cold faucets for tub, appear to be cartridge type but not known for sure. Very low flow into tub from either hot or cold, flow drops to dribble from shower head when diverter pulled.

Rick :

Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help with your issue

Customer:

Thanks. Not my home.king for a friend.

Rick :

It's possible the valve may need to be replaced. But before resorting to that I'd try flushing out the valve

Rick :

You can do this by pulling the stems (what the handles are attached to) one at a time then turn the water back on to flush it out

Customer:

You mean the diverter valve? Flow to tub spout is low even with diverter open.

Rick :

I assume the diverter is on the spout?

Rick :

or is it in the valve?

Customer:

Yes

Customer:

On spout

Rick :

If it's on the spout then all you can do to flush this out is pull the stems out of the valve one at a time

Rick :

But if the clog is in the valve body between the stems this won't help

Customer:

Problem--only shutoff I can find is on the street

Rick :

What ever fix you try you'll have to shut the water off wherever you can. If this means killing the water to other units then the best option is to just install a new valve/faucet

Customer:

I was afraid of that. Water service is to only one townhome, but I hate to work on plumbing in tiled wall. What do you think my chances are for finding new cartridges at a good hardware store after I pull out old ones?

Rick :

I doubt just replacing the stems will help and the chances of finding parts for a 30 year old valve are slim to none. None if you don't know the brand and model. If you replace the valve you don't have to rip the wall open. We routinely replace valves (the "faucet" is the valve) by cutting a hole just big enough to work in which is covered up by a specially designed cover plate. The new single control valve goes in the hole in the middle of the plate.

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Customer:

Yes, but don't remember screws in plate. Unfortunately, I am not at home in question right now.

Rick :

I'm not sure what you're getting at. The method I just described works anywhere as long as the tile is in decent shape. What's in there now doesn't matter. This plate is designed to cover the holes in the tile made by any old 2 or 3 handle valve

Customer:

Whoops-missed the text in your last post. Okay, I'll talk to owner about fix. Thanks for your help.

Rick :

You're welcome. Keep in mind that attempting to fix what's there could result in no water anywhere in the house if anything goes wrong. With a new valve it's over and done.

Customer:

Okay.

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