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Question DetailsAsked on 2/24/2017

How much does it cost to take the side of a tub off in order to replace a hot side valve?

My bath tub faucet will not shut off. What started as a slight drip is now a steady stream of hot water that runs all day ans night. The plumber says the hot side valves has to be replaced. However, I have to pay someone else to take the side of the tub off, so he can gain access. What is the typical price to take it off and put it back on? Also, what type of professional do I call to do this job- a general contractor?

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You can't "take the side of a tub off" - unless it is a jacuzzi or such with access panel to get to the pump and hoses and jets and such, in which case the plumber should have been able to remove it himself in a minute or three.

If ther faucet had been fixed when it started dripping it could probably have just been rebuilt - replacement of the inner parts with a replacement kit, for typically about $200 complete for individual faucets (like it sounds like you have) or $250-800 with single-handle valves depending on brand and accessibility. That might or might not work now - but that is where I would start - taking it apart and checking to see if the seats are too worn to fix in place. Commonly, if not badly eroded from the cavitation of constant leakage, they can be resurfaced with a faucet seat boring tool - a 2-5 minute job to resurface the seat, then reassemble with new seals and rubber washers and such - commonly a 1/2-1 hour job so about minimum trip charge of $75-300 (around $150 commonly) plus about $10-30 for the rebuild kit for a single (hot or cold, not both) faucet.

Normally, if an entire faucet needs replacing, it he cannot get at it adequately through the hole behind the valve stem escutcheon or decorative cover plate (though usually can only do that with single-handle faucets), then you come in through the wall behind it (which may already have a metal or plastic access hatch) or rarely from underneath through the underlying ceiling. Or sometimes, to minimize other damage, bore a larger hole around the stem through the wall and then cover it up with a larger cover plate- they come up to at least 10 inches in diameter. Very rarely, if the tub/shower wall is less valuable than the surfaces or areas behind or below it or you cannot get access (like is in a neighbor's condo say), a larger hole in the tub wall will be made (usually tiles can be salvaged by a tile contractor in advance), then repaired/replaced afterwards.

But saying you have to go through the side of the tub - sounds like he does not know plumbing and I would say time for another plumber, because the water pipes come up through the wall at the head of the tub, between the studs - not under the tub. I have NEVER seen a tub (other than jacuzzi's installed backwards so the access panel is against the back wall) where you had to get in under it or inside the outside surface to work on the water pipes. Even if the faucet pipes come up through the head of the tub, that is an overhang - the pipes below the hole in the tub are actually outside the tub itself.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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