Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Keep the water inside the pipes, tanks, and sinks
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Kentuckian
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Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

When doing a pre-trip checkup on our 1993 B190, I noticed a water drip from inside the shower faucet housing. Upon inspection I found a crack in one of the valve stem bodies. I decided to upgrade the shower hardware while making the repair.

We installed a brass manifold faucet instead of plastic and also selected one that had a spigot in addition to the shower hose fitting. While I was at it. I also installed a shower line shut off valve at the faucet manifold so we could fully cut off water flow to the shower head to save on water while bathing.
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This is a photo of the 1993 B190 factory shower faucet.
This is a photo of the 1993 B190 factory shower faucet.
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1993 Airstream B190
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

This is a photo of the new shower faucet with spigot and shower hose cut off.
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1993 Airstream B190
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

The following is a step by step of how to replace the shower faucet.

Preparation:
1. Turn off the water pump. If connected to city water, turn off the city water valve. Release water pressure in the B190 pipes and drain water out of the shower head and shower spigot assembly. I opened the shower faucet (hot & cold) and also the main waterline system drains to drain the pipes at the back of the B190.

2. Close the propane system main valve at the propane tank. You are getting ready to remove the stove in order to get to the back side of the shower faucet to take it loose.

3. Grip both left and right sides of the stainless surface of the range and sharply pull straight up to remove the stainless top from its spring latches.
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

4. Remove four screws using a Philips screwdriver on each side of the range top (two screws on the left side and two screws on the right side). The red arrows in the below photo point to the location on the left side.
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

5. Disconnect the propane line at the range top burner manifold. Use one box wrench to hold the fitting secure (right side wrench of this photo) in order to prevent the fitting from turning so as not to introduce stress on the joints on the stove side of the gas line joint. Use a second box wrench to turn the nut on the copper gas line (left side wrench of this photo) until the gas line is free of the stove.
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Stove removal gas line.jpg
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Last edited by Kentuckian on Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

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6. Open the stove door and remove two screws (one left side and one right side) that secure the bottom of the stove to the cabinet frame. Refer to the red arrow in following photo pointing to the location of the screw.
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

7. Now you can slide the stove out of the cabinet to remove it. There is nothing on the right side of the stove cabinet opening. The left side has the gas line and the access to the hot and cold lines to the shower.

8. Once the stove has been removed, remove the hot and cold water lines from the back of the shower faucet. (Red circled areas in below photo). Then remove the bolts that secure the faucet pipes to the cabinet wall.
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Stove removed shower water lines.jpg
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Last edited by Kentuckian on Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

9. After you complete the above steps you may remove the shower faucet assembly from the shower wall.

10. Install your new shower faucet by following the above steps in reverse.

I recommend that you take care about three particular points.
a. Check the bushings inside the factory water lines and make sure the bushings are in good shape. Mine had deep score marks and some cracking so I replaced them with new ones before reconnecting the water lines to the new faucet assembly.

b. Once you have your new shower faucet installed in the shower wall and before you reinstall the stove, close all the water valves, restore water pressure to your water lines and test the shower water system. Do this before you re-install the stove. You want to be able to see the back side of the faucet to make sure no leaks there.

c. Once you have reinstalled the stove and hooked up the gas line, use soapy water and check for any propane leaks on the gas line fitting and gas line joints where you were working. Turn on the propane pressure at the bottle and look for any bubbles. No bubbles?? Good job! Put the top back on the range and you are all done!


Materials that we used:
a. Phoenix PF213332 4in Diverter with D Spud Tub and Shower Faucet, Brass
(Phoenix also make the same faucet for half the price with plastic manifold. I sent two of those back with problems right out of the box. Go for the brass manifold one.)
b. Shut-Off Shower Valve, Chrome
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by skater »

Nice writeup! I always figured that's how that faucet came out but never checked it.
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by barsip »

Good job, Jim.

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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Rugster »

Thank you for this clear explanation. I just replaced my shower valve assembly, and your instructions made the whole process much easier. One slight complication for me, was that the right angle brass fitting that connects to the back of the faucet on the hot side had a damaged gasket, and could not be reused. I installed new connectors on both hot and cold sides, connected short lengths of PEX to each, and then used PEX to polybutylene adapters to connect to the existing polybutylene piping. A good side to cutting off part of the polybutylene piping, was that I got to look inside it and verify that it seems to be in good shape, with no visible deterioration (picture below). This makes me feel good about leaving the existing polybutylene piping largely in place.

I've been dancing around the issue of how to work on the existing plumbing for a while now. The very helpful feller at my local Ace Hardware, sold me a rather pricey pex crimp tool. (Good crimp tools for anything often seem a bit pricey.) That was like a gateway drug for me :D Now that I have the crimp tool and have figured out how to work with PEX, I am already planning the replacement of the kitchen faucet, and feel happy in the knowledge I can fix any plumbing issue that comes up in the future.

Also, I was previously reticent to work on anything to do with the propane system. Thanks to your clear instructions, I had no problem disconnecting and later reconnecting the stove (with no leaks).

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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

Great job, Rugster! Glad the instructions helped.
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Van »

do you know what "thread" is on the faucet in the tub. Trying to connect another handheld shower. We are in Cecilia, Ky. Robert gottshall
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Re: Shower faucet replacement & upgrade

Post by Kentuckian »

Hello fellow Kentuckian!

My B190 now lives with my brother in another state, so I can't go check. My memory is that the thread is the same as what is sold for household handheld shower attachments. So you can use pretty much any of the handheld shower attachments sold at Lowes, Home Depot etc.

I would suggest getting a shower head with a lower flow rate and a cutoff valve to help you save on fresh water.
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