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  1. #1
    Fireside Member Flyn2high's Avatar
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    Temperature Controled Shower Faucet

    A well know problem when boondocking and taking Navy showers is when the shower is turned off using the button valve you get a blast of cold water when it is turned back on. Not only is this uncomfortable but it wastes precious water. One solution is to turn off both faucets at the same time but then there is the fiddling to get the temperature right again. Another way is to install a one way valve on the hot water pipe just before it connects to the faucet. I thought this might reduce the hot water pressure lower than it already is.

    The solution I choose is to use a thermostatically controlled shower faucet. It would maintain the set temperature and there is one knob to turn off both the hot and cold water eliminating the cold blast. As it turned out it was a little more challenging to install than it first appeared. Below is how I went about it.

    In my 2020 Solitude 310GK the plastic shower faucet has two long 1/2” male straight pipe threaded stems for the hot and cold connections. The stem goes through the fiberglass and is secured with thick plastic jam nuts. There is enough of the threaded stem so that a pex swivel elbow can connect. Inside the swivel nut is a rubber washer to make the seal. The threaded stem is long enough so that even with the 1/8” fiberglass shower stall, the thick nut and the long threaded swivel nut that it can seat on the internal rubber washer before it bottoms out against the plastic nut.

    Here are the issues with the new faucet. The 1/2” male fittings provided are so short that the existing pex fittings will nearly bottom out before it is attached to anything. I was not able to find any adapters or longer replacement fitting that would work. In addition the center to center spacing of the hot and cold ports are adjustable but at the narrowest position they are about an inch wider than then the original faucet.

    My solution was to mount the faucet on a 3/32” thick aluminum plate with thinner jam nuts and then use new pex elbows that had a shorter threaded coupling. Then mount the faucet to the wall of the shower with stainless steel flat had screws and locking nuts from the other side.

    Fortunatly the other side of the wall where the shower faucet is mounted is the pantry. Grand Design installed a removeable panel between two shelves that gives great access to the back of the shower faucet and plumbing. Removal is easy with a helper on the other side of the wall.

    The list of materials with links to Amazon are as follows. I did not own a pex crimper so I bought one that worked very well.

    Thermostatically controlled faucet. Click here

    Brass Jam Nuts. Click here

    3/32” x 12” x 12 “Aluminum Plate. Click here

    Pex Crimping tool. Click here

    Pex Swivel Elbow. Click here

    I prepared the aluminum plate by cutting it to shape, drilling and counter sinking the mounting holes, and adding the clearance holes for the hot and cold pipe fittings. Then sanding it with 150 grit paper in one direction to make a bushed finish. To keep it from tarnishing, I sprayed clear semi gloss paint with a spray can. I thought of using stainless steel but that would be very hard to work with and I figured the clear spray would keep it looking just as good.

    After attaching the brass threaded fittings and dress flanges to the faucet I mounted it to the aluminum plate with the thin brass jam nuts.

    The new holes I made in the fiberglass stall had to be large enough to clear the brass jam nuts. I used a hole saw to get it close and a dremmel sanding disk to get it to the correct size. I made sure the faucet and back plate assy fit flush and then marked the location of the mounting holes. I used #10 stainless steel flat head screws with stainless locking nuts that I bought from Lowes.

    I used clear silicone bathroom sealant on the back of the mounting plate and with the help of my wife on the other side of the wall screwed the faucet in place.

    To remove the original pex elbow I cut the retaining ring off and used a heat gun to make the old fitting come off easier and installed the new ones. The pipe is just long enough to reach so I could not cut the old fitting off.

    Observations:

    I tried to cut the original pex swivel nut so it would not bottom out but it was very difficult even with a hobby micro saw. I was able to place a second rubber washer in the original swivel nut and it was water tight. I decided not to do that because if it ever leaked I would not know about it until there was a flood in the basement.

    I thought of using sheet-metal screws to attach the plate but they are not going to hold as well as screws and nuts in fiberglass.

    The flexible shower hose connects fine to the fitting on the new faucet. The only thing is that it is on the bottom where the original faucet is on the top (unless you mount it upside down but then the hot and cold lines are reversed). This effectively make the hose a bit shorter. I don’t think it is problem but I may change it to a longer hose if needed.

    Sorry I did not take photos as I went along but hopefully my description will make it clear. If you have any questions please post them below and I am happy to get back to you.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Flyn2high; 04-23-2021 at 08:08 AM. Reason: fixed link
    Best regards,
    Lou & Diane Cetrangelo, Saint James, NY

    2019 Ford F350 Lariat | Dually | Diesel | 4x4 | Super Cab | 8' Bed | B&W Goose Ball
    2020 Solitude 310GK | Reese 20k Goosebox |850 Watts of Solar | Victron 3000 Watt Inverter/Charger | 3 Battleborn 100 AH Batteries | Disk Brakes (Stop Your Trailer) | MorRide IS

  2. #2
    Site Team D2Reid's Avatar
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    A very excellent write up. Thank you for sharing.
    Dallas
    2017 Momentum 376TH, 2019 Ford F450, Dual Rear Wheel, 4x4, diesel.
    2015 Harley-Davidson Street, XG750

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