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Replacing a Waltec 12

12/28/06

Permalink 03:31:43 pm, by Ritchie Annand Email , 622 words   English (CA)
Categories: Journal

Replacing a Waltec 12

When our bathroom spigot started dripping a little, we were slightly nervous. When it started dripping a lot, we got anxious.

After all, we do not yet have a good relationship with a plumber.

That said, we have some minor D-I-Y capability here, so the hunt was on.

First, we decided that we would get a fancy replacement. You know, modernize the whole thing. When we dug the pieces out of the box, not only was something missing in the box (the silver faceplate), but taking a look at the shower area again made us realize that it was likely to be beyond our skills as well. So we took it back and went hunting for a replacement.

Turns out that there are hardly any replacements for units like the Waltec, that just come straight out of the wall as a bath spigot. Well, at least not in Rona. Has there been so much modernization that this style is just hardly ever sold any more?

It turns out that there were a couple of modern Waltec models available in the store, only one of which covered the same sort of area: Delta's Waltec 14F525 (less elegant a name, I must say). So, my wife cracked open the box today, and proceeded on a plumbing adventure.

...

Oh boy, you'll be treated to more of my horrible hand drawings now!

No instructions ever come with these boxes, so I was very glad that a thorough search on Waltec 12s came found someone's (rmcouat) very good advice.

So here we pass it on in graphical form. It's a little less difficult than we had imagined, but it's certainly nerve-wracking and a little bit disgusting (isn't all maintenance plumbing? :) ) if you've never done it before.

Disassembling the main unit:

Diagram of Waltec 12

#1: Remove faucet covers and unscrew

Surprisingly, the 'hot' and 'cold' plastic covers in the center of the taps will pop off with a flat-head screwdriver or a kitchen knife. You then unscrew the screw until it comes out.

#2: Pull faucet handles straight out

The hot and cold handles themselves should now have nothing holding them in, and should slide directly out with a good tug.

#3: Remove end of the plunger

It should twist off counter-clockwise.

#4: Unscrew chrome rings

These rings are under the taps, and they do make it look as though they are part of the whole assembly, but they are not; they are keeping the whole faucet assembly on there. If they don't come off by twisting them counter-clockwise by hand, you may need a big wrench to help get it started (as we did).

#5: Pull the whole assembly out

Sometimes, there is some silicone or maybe even adhesive holding things to the wall. You may need to scrape this away a little. Otherwise, you should now be able to yank the whole metallic-looking section off, leaving just what is referred to as the faucet "cartridge".

Further removal

#6: Undo nuts

The whole "lefty-loosy-righty-tighty" rule might have you think that you ought to rotate the nuts counterclockwise like everything else, but this is now from the point of view of the pipes. Rotate them clockwise before you start wondering why you're cranking so hard.

#7: Pull cartridge straight out

There you go!

Now one thing we would have liked to do, but could not figure out how, is how to actually remove the nuts, so that we could replace them with the shiny new ones that came with the box. This, we were unable to figure out how to do. *sigh* Maybe next adventure.

Putting in the new unit was pretty much exactly everything in reverse.

No dripping from the faucet any more, though it did run on a little at the shower head (which has since stopped).

Yay!

28 comments

Comment from: Al Goeblein [Visitor] Email
Al GoebleinOkay, I too have one of these Waltec 12 taps. So what did you replace it with? Or put it another way, my shower goes hot to freezing in 3 seconds or less and then it scalds me. Please dont tell me its my water system, as my other shower works fine. By the way I did replace the hot water washer, & it only took 5 months before it dripped again, substantially less than the 28 years the factory installed washer lasted.
01/21/07 @ 02:39
Comment from: Ritchie Annand [Member] Email
Ritchie AnnandHey there, Al. We replaced it with a Waltec 14F525 - that was actually our only option when we went looking. Fortunately, it assembles pretty much exactly like the Waltec 12.

I don't know what would be causing your shower woes. I've encountered showers like that, and found it particularly odd that some of them are in the basement, where you wouldn't normally expect pressure problems and the like. If you have somewhat uneven municipal water pressure, or you get it from a well, a low-flow shower head or minerals in the pipe can cause pretty bad swings like that. Not sure what else you can do apart from getting someone to diagnose any pressure problems you've got and/or shelling out for a thermostatic mixing valve or the cheaper, but less satisfactory (basically, it's on or it's off pressure-balanced shower valve).

I guess that's the very small upside of us having a single bathroom in the place: less plumbing to go wrong.

Best of luck, Al :)
01/22/07 @ 23:12
Comment from: Ritchie Annand [Member] Email
Ritchie AnnandI hope it helps, Jac'y! I can't tell you how long we tried to ignore our drippy faucet whilst muttering under our breath.

We couldn't replace the nuts on ours, unfortunately, but the rest of the replacement went just fine. It's been a month and a half, and no dripping! The only complaint I have about the 14F525 that we replaced it with is that it's fairly sensitive... you can't get good temperature control with a low amount of water unless you're really dextrous (i.e. turning it a tiny bit gets you a lot of water)... but it's just fine with the amount of water for a shower.

Please let us know how it goes! Fingers crossed for you :)
02/10/07 @ 17:09
Comment from: Mark [Visitor] Email
MarkA million thank-you's are in order.

My Waltec 12 had problems with the shower diverter where water was coming out both the faucet and shower head. I was very hesitant to tackle this possible repair/replacement job on my own, I was even thinking of bringing in a plumber. After seeing this article, I decided to do the job myself. This article was such a great help and guided me every step of the way. After removing the parts and inspecting the diverter, I decided to replace the entire component. Reason being, the replacement diverter was $20 and an entirely new faucet on cost me $88.

Once again, thanks a whole bunch and it was worth taking the chance to fix it myself.
02/27/07 @ 22:40
Comment from: Ritchie Annand [Member] Email
Ritchie AnnandI'm really glad it helped out, Mike!

Goodness knows why the 14F525 comes with no instructions (ours didn't, either). It's a good thing that it is such a straight-across replacement.

I wish they would do a little more with the design as well. It seems that your only other real option is with the full shower kits, but that looked at first glance to involve carving up your tile to put the shower in, and then filling back in the space that the Waltec 12 took up. As it stood, that was what we were going to do, albeit unhappily, but there turned out to be a defect in the parts for the kit, so we took it back and picked up the 525.

Thanks for a little bit of backstory and some information on the nuts. The 525 seems to come with nuts, and we were looking and tweaked a little to see whether the nuts would come off easily. I am glad now that we did not crank on them, or we could have had a major adventure on our hands.

Those spigots ended up in a lot of houses and, quite frankly, the trend of the past many years (at least up here) has been apartment-to-condo conversion, so a lot more people are going to be faced with these aging things.

Delta really could do a lot more with them if they wanted to. I was hoping for some sort of single-handle set-up to set the ideal running water temperature at, or maybe an antique-style spigot or some such. The 525 looks nice but feels a bit cheap with the silver plastic.

I wonder how widespread a frustration this is... :)
04/30/07 @ 16:01
Comment from: Al Goeblein [Visitor] Email
Al GoebleinI eventually found a 14F525, it is still a commercial unit as was the Waltec 12. I have subsequently found out that the extreme hot/cold variance was due to the diverter and no cure would be found in simply replacing the washers. If you want to keep your old Waltec 12 unit until such time as you freeze/burn with a dead diverter you can stop the drips by not only replacing the O-rings, but by also replacing the seats. If you do not replace the seats, your tap is guaranteed to drip in 5 months. For those of you replacing the Waltec 12, keep the old shower head as the the new shower head which comes with the 14F525 is a mere dribble on your shoulder as compared to the old shower head. Be sure to thoroughly clean the old shower head in CLR or Oxyclean before reinstalling it. If you just compare the uncleaned old showerhead to the new showerhead, you will think I am pulling your leg. This also gets rid of the problem of poor control of the temperature when water pressure is low.
One more thing, if your Waltec 12 was plumbed for a tub-surround and you now have cermic tile, you will find the replacement to be a real tight fit. This will probably only become apparent when you try to attach the shower diverter knob and find you can not. What you have to do is tighten the brass nuts a little more without stripping them, and then finding a same thread but longer screw to attach the diverter knob. Be sure to insert a ferrule on the screw or the knob will feel loose but will bind with faucet and you cannot turn off the shower
Thank you Ritchie for your terrific notes on the replacement as well as the info on the 14F525.
07/26/07 @ 02:00
Comment from: Ritchie Annand [Member] Email
Ritchie AnnandI'm glad you finally figured out the trouble, Al, and thank you for posting on the diverter issue.

We didn't know about the sad state of the 14F525's shower heads, since part of our project was to install a shower head with a flexible hose and all that, so we didn't even touch the shower head that came with the kit.

Thanks for the excellent feedback and further instructions for people, Al. We get a constant trickle of searches for the Waltec issue here, and if they are in the more dire straits that you describe, your tips will really help!
08/05/07 @ 15:30
Comment from: Christopher Taylor [Visitor] Email
Christopher TaylorYour clear instructions made replacement of the Waltec 12 for the 4F525 extremely simple. Thing is, I did the replacement because the shower would not stop running even when the diverter is pushed in. Now, with the new unit installed, the diverter is still not working. Help?
01/12/08 @ 15:20
Comment from: Ritchie Annand [Member] Email
Ritchie AnnandSounds like you have the opposite problem of a lot of folk. If someone has encountered this, they can perhaps respond, but I think you would have a lot more luck with a response over somewhere like Ridgid Forum's "Ask The Plumbing Experts" forum.

This post is from the opposite problem you have, but it describes getting into the diverter pieces. I've seen the warning many times, though, "don't remove the packing nut".

It's also possible that there's some sediment or other blockage. Some folks recommend cleaning things out with a bottle brush or just running the faucet without a diverter to see whether something comes out or whether you can tell there's any blockage.

Probably be a whole before someone with some diverter mojo encounters us here, but if they do, I hope they can help.

Conversely, if you find the answer to your problem, please post it here :)
01/27/08 @ 00:30
Comment from: Aki Gabino [Visitor] Email
Aki GabinoThank you to all the contributors above.
With your sage advice, I have resurrected
my Waltec 12. I replaced the nicked seat
with a Moen MO128 (Waltec 16392) seat part
and the worn washer with a 1/4" flat Bibb
washer from Master Plumber (ULN 616;
comes in a 6-pack). The parts were
purchased from Home Depot in Vancouver,
Canada. I did buy a faucet seat wrench
though. I thought about cheaping out
with a giant Allen key but $8.50 wasn't
gonna break the bank. I do still have the
receipt, hmmm.....
07/07/08 @ 23:16
Comment from: Reg [Visitor]
RegRe: Dripping from a Waltec 12
To resurrect the shower portion why not just replace the 3 O-rings?
The Seats and the 9/16" washers are a no brainer.
07/24/08 @ 15:32
Comment from: Beth [Visitor]
BethHi, John Baldwin.
I found the Waltec 12 stuff at Amre Supply in Canada. Searching didn't always bring up what I needed but the person who answered the phone - Shannon - was very helpful with answering my questions and giving me the stock numbers I needed to search for specific items. And, yes...they actually answer the phone there. In Canada, the toll-free is 1-800-387-3131.

Sure glad I stumbled onto this conversation. Thanks, everyone for answering all my questions and more about the Waltec 12.
10/03/08 @ 16:49
Comment from: CC [Visitor]
CCthe replacments for the Wealtec can be found in Home Depot.
10/05/08 @ 02:27
Comment from: Inquiring mind [Visitor] Email
Inquiring mindI am having trouble finding a replacement for my bath/shower tub handles. I just replaced the hot water cartridge and now the handle won't grip the cartridge because the old handle is stripped. The brand is Waltec and the taps say "Waltec 30' on them. Is this available on the market anymore, and if not, how can I replace the taps so that a full faucet replacement (and with it the tub surround) is not required?
01/02/09 @ 17:14
Comment from: Chris [Visitor]
ChrisThank you! Thank you! Thank you. I couldn't have done it without this article. I am a single mom with 8 kids and you just saved me hundreds of dollars. I was going to call a plumber but because of your instructions, I had no trouble replacing my old Waltec 12 faucet.
03/23/09 @ 17:32
Comment from: mon asi [Visitor]
mon  asimy waltec shower head 11/2 years old
is not functioning correctly. the
problem is when i pull the diverter
to switch to the shower head the
water continues to flow out of
the spout and the shower head at the same time. a plumber looked at it
but was not able to fix it. he is refusing to believe the diverter assembly needs to be replaced.
do you have any suggestions. please advise. thankyou kindly.
09/15/09 @ 23:06
Comment from: KellyP [Visitor] Email
KellyPHi there, I'm not sure if anyone is still watching this thread but I thought I'd post anyways.
I too have a (drippy) Waltec 12. I'm not very handy so I'm wondering if I can just change the cartridge or the washers if that's even possible, forgive me for my ignorance!
In our bathroom the taps just stick out of the wall & we have a ceramic tile surround. We don't have the skill to replace it or the money to have someone come in.
I'd like to change the handles & faucet but if I can just fix the drippiness I'd be thrilled!
02/26/10 @ 20:04
Comment from: Bob [Visitor]
BobI need hot & cold valves
for a Waltec 40 - tub/shower taps.
02/28/10 @ 00:01
Comment from: ROSS DAVISON [Visitor]
ROSS DAVISONwe have a waltec 12 in our tub shower combo wanted to replace rubber washers and found the seat on the hot water very rough, can not see how the seat is replacable appears to be a solid unit. Am i going to have the whole unit. Is there possibly a tool for regrinding the seat assembly any information would be appreciated. Ross
09/04/10 @ 16:44
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
DougThank you for reasearhing the replacement Waltec 14F525.
Is it possible to get it in a brushed nickle instead of chrome? Of course I have changed all of my other bathroom faucets over to that.
03/12/11 @ 21:17
Comment from: Tharan [Visitor] Email
TharanHi guys,

Does anyone know the hot water cartridge part no. for the waltec 12? Would the cartridge for a 14F525 suffice? Any input is appreciated.

Thanks!
05/09/11 @ 10:57
Comment from: Peter [Visitor]
PeterMillions of thanks !
Your sketches are more than good to follow
09/08/11 @ 12:52
Comment from: Colin V [Visitor]
Colin VThanks for the great diagram and all the follow up comments. I had a seat that had began to corrode, thinking I would have to replace the entire system until I saw the comment about the seat being removeable. Got out my Allen set and a 5/16 size later, had the bad part in my hand and off to Home Depot. Thanks again.
12/13/11 @ 19:56
Comment from: Jay [Visitor]
JayMy Waltec 12 was eating flat washers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had to replace the hot cartridge twice prior to today.

Finally took a trip to Homeless Depo and finally realized that I could repalce the seats. (What a thought!) So, new seats, a plumbing alan key, two new cartridges and some ring washers and home I went.

Where did all those chewed up flat washers go? Why to the diverter of course. I must have pulled enough rubber out of the diverter holes to make 6 washers. BUT, in removing the diverter, I destroyed one of the ring washers on the diverter.

I'm close... but not done just yet. YES, you can save some $$$ on DIY, just ask questions.

Thanks for the diagrams way, way above... Very accurate. Wish I had seen it before.
02/18/12 @ 15:43
Comment from: Leon B [Visitor]
Leon BWhat tool do you need to replace the seat on a Waltec 12 shower unit?
10/20/12 @ 17:43
Comment from: quintillion [Visitor]
quintillionI'm a 72 year old lady who has don DIY stuff before but was stumped until I saw your diagrams and instructions. Thanks very much.
From Vancouver Island
11/05/12 @ 16:32
Comment from: John Seaurse [Visitor]
John SeaurseWaltec 12 . Taps had to be shut off very very tight. Replaced washers with 1/4R, and seems to be OK. However the diverter does leak, but I will live with that for now.
06/08/13 @ 16:57
Comment from: roy [Visitor] Email
royHELP....
I have the Waltec 12
Waltec 14F625-1 this the chrome body. My issue is the shower head I am getting more cold than hot, can't seem to adjust it wondering if diverter is shot?, also when diverter is pulled still getting water out of taps. does this mean I need to replace??
It does look that hard I have replaced cartridges 2 in 8 yrs on it but wondering if it is time
08/07/13 @ 13:35