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Shower Problems <Knob won't turn, boss!!>

An-DAn-D EnthusiastAshevilleRegistered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So, in my crappy little apartment-house-thing, I've recently run into a problem with the knobs in my shower. The precious hot-water one in particular.

The nub-thing behind the knob is broken and stripped, making it very difficult to get water running effectively.

Spoiler for gross shower...post removing knobs.

bath004.jpg

bath005.jpg

bath006.jpg


Cold water is mostly fine, but hot water is not. So how do I go about fixing this? It seems like it should be an easy fix, but of course, looks can be deceiving. Should I just get a plumber/landlord in here? I'd like to get this taken care of rather quickly...the pliers I use to take showers now just put undue stress on the little nub that remains...and it likely won't hold out for much longer.

Any plumbing advice would be extremely awesome!

An-D on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    do you have some vice grips? Might make for a temporary way to grab that so you can turn it on and off.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Oh no!

    What remained of the nub broke when my roommate took a shower this morning! Can someone just tell me what those nub things are called so I can describe the problem to a plumber/landlord/Home Depot?

    An-D on
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    vytroxvytrox Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    It's not a complicated repair, but you do need to turn the water off, and if done incorrectly you will have water leaking everywhere.

    http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/plumbing/faucet/washer/replace.htm
    http://www.accuratebuilding.com/publications/recipes/plumbing/bathtub_shower_valve_chp74.pdf

    As far as getting replacement parts, it is always best to bring the old one with you. Meaning no water while you do this.

    Not a bad idea to get a plumber.

    vytrox on
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    ErandusErandus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    If you rent, you need to hit up your landlord for a fix on this. They should be buying the parts and paying for the service, especially if you inherited the apartment in that condition, or close to it.

    Get them to get you some new fixtures. And apparently a new goddamn bathroom, if those pictures are any indicator.

    Erandus on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    PulvaanPulvaan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Jeez, thats a horrendous looking bathroom. Where do you live?!

    You should have contacted the landlord before you executed any repairs. after working for a rental housing company, I'm telling you right now that it can just piss them off. They need to shut the water off before you repair anything.

    I would say they are responsible for making the repairs/paying for them. But seeing the job they did with the rest of the plumbing, i dunno......

    Pulvaan on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    lol - i doubt the LL is going to care if you fixed his stuff, going by looks. Mind the water being off, and the good news is that whole assembly costs about 7 bucks, super easy to install with a pipewrench. When I did it, the instructions were on the package. I went into Home Depot with the broken one and buddy helped me out.

    Sarcastro on
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    clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    No, he won't care, unless you cause a water leak, in which case he will hold you liable for damages. Even if you cause no leak, he probably won't comp you for parts because you didn't bring it to his attention and chose to do it yourself instead.

    clsCorwin on
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    PulvaanPulvaan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    seriously dude just think about moving out. i have this feeling that the whole house is going to fall down on you.

    Pulvaan on
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The rest of the house is really A-okay. Its pretty solid...but its like when the guy was building the house, he ran out of money when he got to the bathroom...because the bathroom just blows. I've done everything possible to make the bathroom nice (fancy shower curtains, nice carpet, cool maps on the wall etc etc), but yeah....the shower blows and I'm not sure what to do about it.

    I have no shortage of money and I hate dealing with the landlord (SBI agent, and whenever he's over I feel like he's looking for a reason to arrest me. So shady)...but the lease isn't up until May, so I'm not going anywhere. So doing whatever I can on my own to make things better is my main strategy.


    [edit]
    NEW DILEMMA!

    Chain in the toliet broke....like...I can't reattach it.

    Landlord called, plumber coming tomorrow.

    An-D on
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    PulvaanPulvaan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    like, where is it broken?

    Maybe you can still tie something like a string between the broken parts. Or you could flush it manually, just hold up the diaphragm.

    Pulvaan on
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    Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    An-D wrote: »

    Chain in the toliet broke....like...I can't reattach it.

    Landlord called, plumber coming tomorrow.

    paper clip.

    Monolithic_Dome on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    DaemonionDaemonion Mountain Man USARegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Dude, that shower is epic.


    For the toilet, try some copper wiring or a paper clip.

    [edit] Oops, didn't see the post above mine.

    Daemonion on
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yeah, flushing it manually is possible....


    But much like the shower, the inside of the toliet (not the bowl, I keep that clean) is gross and yucky. And the chain broke from the plug-diaphragm thing. Like, where it was smoldered to it. If that makes sense.


    Anyone have any ideas how I can make my shower pretty and not gross-looking?

    An-D on
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    DaemonionDaemonion Mountain Man USARegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    An-D wrote: »
    Anyone have any ideas how I can make my shower pretty and not gross-looking?


    Acid. Or nuke it.


    I'll get back to you about the toilet ..

    Daemonion on
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Whomever plumbed that shower valve should be stripped of his license. Though in all honesty, it probably wasn't a licensed plumber at all, but some "handyman" type that the LL knows.

    You (well, the plumber who's coming in to fix it) have two options, basically.

    1) The core can be replaced. That dealy-that-the-knob-attaches-to is part of the "core," which is all the intricate parts of the faucet--washers, seals, threads, etc. One even better situation is simply replacing the stem, which is a quick and cheap fix. The likelyhood of this happening is fair--there's no way to tell what the brand is, and there's no all-in-one stem/core assembly. But any decent plumber will have an assortment of cores on their truck, so you might get lucky.

    2) The entire valve has to be replaced. This is definitely much more serious, costlier, and will take a day or two to complete. And you'll have an open hole in the wall on the other side from the valve until you can get a drywall patch in there. Replacing the entire valve will require opening said hole in the wall, shutting off the water main, draining the pipes down to that level, tearing out the old valve and installing the new one. Further complications can arise if the pipes are galvanized steel--if that's the case, he'll have to open the entire wall to find the nearest joint to connect to, as well as re-doing the pipe to the shower head. Parts and labor could run up to $1000, and depending on how things are laid out inside the wall (as well as how efficient the plumber is), your shower might be out of commission for an evening if he has to roll it over for the next day.

    Fortunately, option #2 is a last-ditch effort after it becomes apparent that option #1 is just not feasible. I don't mean to scare you, just let you know what you may be in for.

    As far as beautification goes... for the mildew stains, scouring powder and elbow grease are the best way. It can also get a bit of the water stains off of the chrome, too. But all that caulking shit around the handles is atrocious. You can hop down to the Home Depot (or the Apartment Depot) and get a couple of 3/4" escutcheons ("ess-KUTCH-un") and a tube of plumber's caulk. Plumber's caulk typically comes in a squeeze tube, so no gun required. It's also 100% water-soluble until it dries, so mistakes can be easily wiped clean.

    Chip all that gross shit out of there, slide the escutcheons over the handles (with the knobs off, of course), and run a bead of plumber's caulk around their perimeters and around the spout. Use a damp rag--lukewarm water--to smooth the bead out, leaving a thin line between the lip of the escutcheon and the wall; be damn sure to leave no gaps. Let it set for, oh, 24 hours and it'll be beautiful.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Wow, that sounds very do-able.

    The landlord is paying for/sending in a plumber tomorrow morning...so hopefully he'll be able to fix the core without much problem. I'm assuming the chain will be a quick fix.

    But the beautification part....I can do that sometime this weekend. Once everything else is fixed.

    That gray ugly thing that makes up the rest of my shower....the wall-part. Its hanging off in a lot of places. Can I just caulk that back into place?

    An-D on
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    Sir Headless VIISir Headless VII Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    For the toilet if it is what happened to me a couple weeks ago where the connection from the flapper, the bit that prevents/allows the water to drain out of the bottom of the tank, to the chain broke all you have to do is but a new chain/flapper bit and replace the whole assembly. It shouldn't be expensive at all and shouldn't take more than 15 minutes (most of which will be finding the place where you turn off the water to the toilet) and there should be instructions on the packaging of your new flapper. Of course if a plumber is coming he should be able to fix it in 5 min as long as he has the part.

    Sir Headless VII on
    Steam - Backpack - Bnet: SirHeadless #1154
    7KEFduI.jpg
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The tub surround? Well, there's a specific adhesive for that which comes in a caulking-gun tube, but new surrounds are actually hung via a two-sided tape around the edges until the adhesive dries. Depending on how pliable the hanging parts are, you'd likely have to hold it all it place until it sets. But you can't use the same type of caulk--it's pretty impractical, and the latex-based plumber's caulk isn't adhesive enough to hold.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    For the toilet if it is what happened to me a couple weeks ago where the connection from the flapper, the bit that prevents/allows the water to drain out of the bottom of the tank, to the chain broke all you have to do is but a new chain/flapper bit and replace the whole assembly. It shouldn't be expensive at all and shouldn't take more than 15 minutes (most of which will be finding the place where you turn off the water to the toilet) and there should be instructions on the packaging of your new flapper. Of course if a plumber is coming he should be able to fix it in 5 min as long as he has the part.
    Hell, you don't even have to turn the water off. It's just water.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I'm going to leave the toilet to the plumber.

    The gray-wall thing in the shower is super easy to move. Its like a giant sheet of semi-hard plastic. If I remember tomorrow, I'll take a picture of my entire gross shower so you can see what I have to deal with.

    Hopefully within a week I can have some glorious before and after shots. :winky:

    An-D on
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    ErandusErandus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    CLR is fucking awesome for removing stains in bathroom fixtures.

    clr_calcium_lime_rust_remover_enhanced_reviews_90126_raw.jpg

    Erandus on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    CLR is great. Wear gloves when using it though and try to ventilate the room well.

    DeShadowC on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    That isn't the worst shower I've seen, but, man.

    You should be aware that it's pretty easy to quickly get in over your head on a project like this (trust me.) All this stuff you're talking about doing, rough plumbing, resealing the walls of your shower, whatever mess you have going on with your toilet... these are not jobs for a tenant. No matter how creepy the landlord is, there's no reason you should be spending your money and time fixing crap like this.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Dyscord wrote: »
    That isn't the worst shower I've seen, but, man.

    You should be aware that it's pretty easy to quickly get in over your head on a project like this (trust me.) All this stuff you're talking about doing, rough plumbing, resealing the walls of your shower, whatever mess you have going on with your toilet... these are not jobs for a tenant. No matter how creepy the landlord is, there's no reason you should be spending your money and time fixing crap like this.
    The toilet fix is incredibly easy--a $5 part and five minutes of time--and there's a plumber coming out today to do that heavy shit. But I agree, as a tenant there is no way that one should foot this bill.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
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    ErandusErandus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Dyscord wrote: »
    That isn't the worst shower I've seen, but, man.

    You should be aware that it's pretty easy to quickly get in over your head on a project like this (trust me.) All this stuff you're talking about doing, rough plumbing, resealing the walls of your shower, whatever mess you have going on with your toilet... these are not jobs for a tenant. No matter how creepy the landlord is, there's no reason you should be spending your money and time fixing crap like this.

    I second this. I believe, though, that in most states if you bring these sort of issues to your landlord, and they don't do something about it after a certain amount of time, you're within your rights to fix the problem yourself and deduct the expense from your rent.

    That should be researched before you do anything crazy though. :D

    EDIT: Google gave me this page without much of a fight. Apparently "Repair and deduct" laws exist in most places, but local laws stipulate a lot of the circumstances where you're allowed to take this sort of action, what's covered, and the amount of money that can be involved.

    You can call your city hall and probably get directed to the proper people to ask, if you want to go that route. I would, if you were going to be sinking any moderate amount of money into this at all.

    Erandus on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Just as a...news update, I guess. Plumber has been here since 11am. I got out of classes for my lunch at 12:30 and went back home to check up on things.

    He was heading to Home Depot because he wasn't aware there were "like 20 different sizes" of cores, and had to take one from the house.

    /facepalm



    And I've (helped) built a house before and have caulked stuff (just wasn't sure if it would be the best stuff to use for a bathroom). I have no doubt I could get it done in relative quick order and it wouldn't really cost me that much. If things start looking complicated/expensive, I'll give shady landlord a call but I like to think that I have things under control right now.

    An-D on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    An-D wrote: »
    Just as a...news update, I guess. Plumber has been here since 11am. I got out of classes for my lunch at 12:30 and went back home to check up on things.

    He was heading to Home Depot because he wasn't aware there were "like 20 different sizes" of cores, and had to take one from the house.

    /facepalm



    And I've (helped) built a house before and have caulked stuff (just wasn't sure if it would be the best stuff to use for a bathroom). I have no doubt I could get it done in relative quick order and it wouldn't really cost me that much. If things start looking complicated/expensive, I'll give shady landlord a call but I like to think that I have things under control right now.

    Wow. Did he learn from Bob Vila? [tiny](I kid, Bob's cool, just sounds like he's a DIYTV plumber)[/tiny]

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Ask to see his license. There's no way anyone would go through a five-year apprenticeship without learning about fucking valve cores.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    So basically, I feel asleep (long day, I took a nap, sue me) while the 'guy' was here. Not going to call him a plumber, because he obviously isn't. So he's a 'guy.'

    He took the core out of the hot-water, and than...left.

    I have not seen him since. I figured he called it a night and was going to come back this morning...but...nothing. Gonna call the landlord in a bit and figure out what the hell is going on. The 'guy' still has a house-key.

    An-D on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    An-D wrote: »
    So basically, I feel asleep (long day, I took a nap, sue me) while the 'guy' was here. Not going to call him a plumber, because he obviously isn't. So he's a 'guy.'

    He took the core out of the hot-water, and than...left.

    I have not seen him since. I figured he called it a night and was going to come back this morning...but...nothing. Gonna call the landlord in a bit and figure out what the hell is going on. The 'guy' still has a house-key.

    He was given a house key? That's really bad.

    I cannot stress this enough, especially in this situation, make sure you have renter's insurance and make sure everything you own is covered.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Handyman Joe is the main dude that the landlord sends to fix the duplex-thing I live in. I wouldn't be surprised if he already had keys. But I'm going to bring it up next time I talk to him...get that thing back.

    Also, I should have a *real* plumber calling me in the morning. Get all this taken care of. I'm sick of cold showers.

    An-D on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    An-D wrote: »
    Handyman Joe is the main dude that the landlord sends to fix the duplex-thing I live in. I wouldn't be surprised if he already had keys. But I'm going to bring it up next time I talk to him...get that thing back.

    Also, I should have a *real* plumber calling me in the morning. Get all this taken care of. I'm sick of cold showers.

    Tell me about it, our power's been out for two days.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    So, you all know the timeline of events so far (or they're listed sorta in this thread). Anyway, the plumber was suppose to come this morning and fix the shower. We were all ready for him and whatnot. Around 10:30-11am, I call him because I hadn't heard from him (I just figured stereotypical plumber). The plumber had no been able to get in contact with our landlord to work out payment. I call the landlord after that and it sounds as though his phone had been disconnected (or maybe busy? It didn't sound like the typical busy-tone).

    So at this point, I'm annoyed, I call the plumber and schedule for Wednesday with my own money. He says at most, it'll cost $1000 (apparently the crappy shower construction resulted in damage to the wall, so that has to be replaced).

    I'm looking at the lease, and here is my responsibility:

    c. keep the Premises, including but not limited to all plumbing fixtures, facilities and appliances, in a clean and safe condition.

    ...

    g. use in a proper and reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, if any, furnished as part of the Premises.

    ...

    i. be responsible for and liable to the Landlord for all damage to, defacement of, or removal of property from the Premises whatever the cause, except such damage, defacement or removal caused by ordinary wear and tear, acts of the Landlord, his agent, or of third parties not invitees of the Tenant, and natural forces.

    Those are the ones I find applicable in the lease, and I've kept up with him. Here are the Landlord's obligations.
    a. comply with the applicable building and housing codes to the extent required by such buildling and housing codes.

    b. make all repairs to the Premises as may be necessary to keep the Premises in a fit and habitable condition; provided, however, in accordance with Additional Provision 1(h) and (i) above, the Tenant shall be liable to the Landlord for any repairs necessitated by te the Tenant's intentional or negligent misuse of the Premises.
    (h. in my obligations is just not destroy anything in the house on purpose)
    ...

    d. promptly repair all facilities and appliances, if any, as may be furnished by the Landlord as part of the Premises, including electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, provided that the Landlord, except in emergency situations, actually receives notification from the Tenant in writing of the needed repairs. In accordance with Additional Provisions 1(h) and (i) above, the Tenant shall be liable to the Landlord for any repairs to any facility or appliance necessitated by the Tenant's intentional or negligent misuse or improper operation of them.


    So...he's totally in breach of this lease, right?

    An-D on
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yes, he is. My advice is shifting from "throw a few quick fixes up there until the professional arrives" to "get the fuck out of dodge."

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Makershot wrote: »
    Yes, he is. My advice is shifting from "throw a few quick fixes up there until the professional arrives" to "get the fuck out of dodge."


    That idea has occurred, and while its perfectly feasible for me, its not feasible for my roommate/friend. I'd rather not just leave him out to dry. Also, I go to college and I'm willing to bet every other apartment within 5 miles of my campus has a body in it (it being the middle of the semester and all). I really can't see leaving as an acceptable option right now.

    After (if) I pay (still hoping landlord comes back and deals with it), should I just not pay rent until he pays me back? Which the best legal way to get my money back for fixing the landlord's shoddy bathroom?

    An-D on
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    PulvaanPulvaan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I think you can subtract it from your rent. I think it depends on where you live?

    Pulvaan on
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    EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Pulvaan wrote: »
    I think you can subtract it from your rent. I think it depends on where you live?

    I was under the same impression. Keep your receipts, write a letter to the Landlord to go with what would be your next months rent explaining what happened, include copies of the receipts.

    Hope everything goes well, I too would think about moving.

    Everywhereasign on
    "What are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the goddamn Batman!"
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    DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Pulvaan wrote: »
    I think you can subtract it from your rent. I think it depends on where you live?

    I was under the same impression. Keep your receipts, write a letter to the Landlord to go with what would be your next months rent explaining what happened, include copies of the receipts.

    Hope everything goes well, I too would think about moving.

    Its going to depend on local laws but it would be iffy to do it this way. This is why this is directly written in my lease agreement, that in case of an emergency and something needs fixed and I'm unable to make contact with my landlord or property manager to fix the solution and then I can either deduct the total, with a receipt, from my rent or have a check written, whichever I prefer.

    DeShadowC on
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well, plumber came and I kinda gave up on the landlord. Gonna send him rent this month with a receipt for the plumber and probably a note with a giant :( on it.


    Anyway.
    Shit is gettin' tore up, cap'um!


    shitgottoreup001.jpg


    shitgottoreup002.jpg


    shitgottoreup003.jpg

    An-D on
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Whew, fortunately you have copper pipes in there, so it's an easy fix for the plumber.... except you're going to have to get someone to throw up some bathroom drywall before you can install the tub surround.

    Seattle Thread on
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