Surprise setbackL Tub/shower valve advice
Hi, We thought we would do a bathroom update but leave the tub and surround alone. The bathroom at this point is finished, except for a new concern.
We had talked through the job ahead of time with the plumber (who was amazing for the kitchen remodel), and thought it would work out.
But...IRL is always different. The tub seemed to have a very slight slow drip when off. I actually did not notice it until I was painting the room. I had put newspaper and plastic in the bottom of the dry tub and noticed at the end of the day that parts of the paper and plastic were a little wet. So I watched and, every few minutes there is a single drip. I added it to his to-do list figuring it was a washer or something.
The plumber told me that the valve was a Valley sold by Sears and he could no longer get parts for it. While the current drip may not be a big problem, eventually this valve will fail, he said. He wouldn't predict how long that would take. He opened it up, and said that we have a lot of extra support beams in there because of the proximity of the stairs on the other side (we are in a tri-level). And he doesn't think he could get his favorite smaller Delta valve in there and fit a dummy plate over it. We would need to remove the basic tub surround, cut open the wall for him, and then replace it all and him come back to finish up the facing plates....
He looked at doing an emergency shutoff on the other side of the wall, but again, the framing of the house/stairs prevents that.
I am thinking we need to do this...how much time do you think before this valve fails? And I realize once it does, I am turning off the whole-house water and in an emergency situation.
How many hours of plumbing labor do you think I'm in for? Any other suggestions? As far as the other work, we can demo and install a new surround ourselves. But I suppose then we ought to get the latest waterproof sheetrock for tub/showers? I am seeing this project potentially going up in costs by another 50 percent. Hopefully I'm wrong.
Your advice greatly appreciated, as always!