Faucet replacement for cast iron tub

Discussion in 'Showers and Tubs' started by Reillydog, Apr 10, 2019.

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  1. Apr 10, 2019 #1

    Reillydog

    Reillydog

    Reillydog

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    The faucet on the clawfoot tub in our old home is old, corroded and leaking. I need to order the part online and would appreciate some guidance.

    I have attached a photo of our old faucet. I know that the distance between the faucet holes in the tub is 3 3/8" and this is found on several of the replacements that I have found online from different suppliers. The size of the handles and the height of the faucet seem cosmetic and so are not important to me in terms of functionality. But there are two other specs that might be more important and I would like to understand better before order this part.

    I need some clarification on how to understand the connection between the faucet and my plumbing. I have attached a photo of the schematic of a replacement faucet, where the connection is described as "1 inch 14 NPSM." I measured the pipe protruding on the outside of the tub from where the current faucet is attached, and it is 1 inch. So - should this work for me? Or is this not a critical thing. I have seen other faucets available online with a 3/4" connection and wonder if there are adapters available that could make them work. Or not.

    The other spec is flow rate - I have no idea what I have now. The rate on the faucet in my schematic is 7 GPM. But I have seen other models which are 4 GPM. I do not know how to consider these rates relative to my needs. Our tub faucet is not used for bathing but rather is rigged up to a hand-held shower. Yes, this is an old house and primitive designs, but we are making due for now.

    I would appreciate any insight folks on this forum may be able to give to me. Thanks!
     

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  2. Apr 11, 2019 #2

    CT18

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    As long as you have the center to center of the opening for the faucet correct then you need to know if it connects to 1/2" pipe or something larger. The connection on the backside of the tub is also important. How is your current faucet connected. GPM is gallons per minute, the higher the number the stronger the flow.
     
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  3. Apr 11, 2019 #3

    bbp

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    unfortunately the faucet in your schematic does not meet code. The spout must be above the flood rim of the tub,period. There are many faucets available where the spout arcs above the rim, also available with a shower riser.
     
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  4. Apr 13, 2019 #4
  5. Apr 13, 2019 #5

    wood4d

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    The Tub faucet either has 1/2" or 3/4 connections on the back. The flow rates are maximum but are partially determined by what you are hooking it up to. If you have high water pressure you are going get higher "flow". 7 gpms sounds better to me than 4 for a tub
     
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  6. Apr 13, 2019 #6

    frodo

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    post a picture of the pipe connection on the backside of the tub

    Most likely. Assuming

    you have a union on the backside of the valve, OR. It is hooked up with copper tubing

    will let you know how to hook it up to the existing plumbing after you post a picture
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  7. Apr 14, 2019 #7

    Reillydog

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    Thank you all for your responses. I have ordered a couple of replacement faucets in the hope that the connection part of one of them will work for me. I will have a better idea of how it all fits together once they arrive. I have added a couple of photos of the backside of the tub. Yes, it is old and unsightly, but part of the renovations that we are doing to our home. The blue piping that you see is new plumbing coming to the tub from the basement (there is also one for the hot water that is out of view from the photo).
     

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  8. Apr 14, 2019 #8

    Geofd

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    the only other suggestion I would make is to get rid of the older bass connections you can connect to the new tub valve with regular pex faucet connections then all the older water connections would be removed maybe a couple of isolation valves also it would make you life easier
     
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  9. Apr 14, 2019 #9

    frodo

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    save those nuts and washers holding the faucet to tub
     
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  10. Apr 15, 2019 #10

    Reillydog

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    Thank you again for your responses. I recently moved into our family home - built in 1899 and in need of upgrades of many sorts. I am learning as I go along and am grateful that I found this forum and the willingness of members to help.

    I would like to get some clarification on a point made earlier - that the tub faucet replacement that I had in mind, and which is an exact replica of my original faucet, does not meet the codes of today. The reason being that the spout is below the rim of the tub. I had no idea and am glad to know that now. So I am not challenging the code but would like to understand it better.

    My google search tells me that the concern is backflow into the spout which could contaminate the potable water supply, which would be hazardous to health (and very unpleasant). So I will get myself a gooseneck style - so that the spout is above the rim of the tub.

    I have questions in two areas that I hope someone could answer for me - in plain terms.

    (1) specifically, what is the danger in the case of my clawfoot tub? Is it that if the tub fills with contaminated water due to a mishap and reaches above the level of the spout, there is risk that it could get suctioned into the submerged spout? What could be the source of the contaminated water - used water from somewhere in the system, even sewage?

    (2) my spout is not free/open - but is hooked to PVC tubing which runs to shower height and is attached to a shower head. Does this still violate plumbing codes? And does this reduce the risk at all of a mishap with back flow? (My tub is only 21 inches wide and so cannot be used for bathing, so the only way it is used is with this shower which we have rigged up).

    I am surprised that so many online sources (home stores, plumbing supply) are selling these faucets given that they do not meet the plumbing codes. I live in an old part of the country (SE Mass) and many of us still have this obsolete configuration. Surely folks like myself are unaware that there is an issue. Or is there another way to bypass this problem?

    For me it will be one upgrade at a time - first the faucet and eventually a normal shower. Thanks for our help in the meantime.
     
  11. Apr 15, 2019 #11

    frodo

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    Here is what it would take for your water to siphon back into your spout
    1] the sewer would have to be backed up, so that the water in the tub would not drain out of the overflow
    on the tub.
    2] toilet rim height is 15'' , vintage tub over flow is 16'' The tub will drain out overflow with the sewer full and backed up
    3] while this is going on, the city would have to be working on a water main down hill from your sewer elevation
    in order to pull a siphon
    The shower head needs a built in vacuum breaker to keep it from back siphoning if left in the toilet

    the way the code is written, sense their is a chance that 1,2,3 could happen [million to freaking one]
    the valve is not legal
     
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