Plumbers skilled in working with vintage fixtures

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    • #277547
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      Hello –

      I am a design consultant who works with clients who want to restore bathrooms and kitchens in their older homes. Many of them want to use original fixtures (1940s and earlier, some as old as 1890s), but I have a very hard time helping them find plumbers who will work with them and, more importantly, know how to deal with these older fixtures. Most plumbers will tell me to throw out “that junk” and go to Big Box Home Store for a cheap replacement fixture, which is the wrong answer.

      Anyway, I’m trying to compile a list of plumbing professionals nationwide who have verifiable ability to install and repair vintage plumbing (by verifiable, I mean a client list with references I can check). If anyone out there has these skills and is interested in being included in my resource list, please reply with your email and I’ll be in touch. Thanks very much.

    • #296528
      CincinnatiPlumbing
      Participant

      Hey Lisa,

      drop me a line. dale@cincinnatiplumbing.com
      While not all vintage fixtures are salvagable, we do work on, rebuild and reinstall them if the customer wishes.

    • #296529
      Retired plbg1
      Participant

      http://www.deabath.com/Original/Or_restorations/or_restorations.htm
      Here is site for old fix. and parts.



      Art retired plbg

    • #296530
      PLUMBILL
      Participant

      Lisa,

      Most of the old plumbing fixtures and fittings you want a plumber to install does not meet today’s health, sanitary and safety codes also requires approval by the local inspector before installing. You are asking the plumber to put his license and reputation on the line which is not professional.

      Today, many reproduction products are on the market some of these items meet code however; many do not and require costly backfolw protection.

      It’s great to make a dollar but you should know the basic plumbing codes before you start asking plumbers todo somthing that is not legal.

      » This message has been edited by PLUMBILL on 03 March 2005

    • #296531
      AKPlumber
      Participant

      You can buy and install just about anything in “grandfathered” structures, provided no extreme altering of the existing plumbing is done and the replacement fixture is near or at identical to the original.

      On most remodels, and of course new construction, this is NOT the case.

    • #296532
      PLUMBILL
      Participant

      Not true AKplumber, if it can create a health or saftey hazard it cannot be installed no matter what the age is of the house.

      Example; Toilet flush valves, faucet spouts below the flood rim can cause sawage to backflow into the drinking water. Ornate water heaters w/sidearms and no temp. & pressure valves can blowup.

      Not permitted, no way!

      » This message has been edited by PLUMBILL on 04 March 2005

    • #296533
      Phil_H
      Participant

      Lisa,
      I wish you success in your quest to find qualified plumbers to repair or restore vintage fixtures. I was suprised when you said that most plumbers suggested that you pick out your own retro fixtures at the big box.

      My suggestion would be to find a very qualified plumber as a consultant. Once you find this expert, he can provide any necessary details or technical assistance to the plumbers on the job. He can help you find qualified plumbers willing to work on vintage fixtures.

      To the others:
      I wanted to say that quite often there is a way to provide backflow prevention for a fixture that was not initially designed with this incorporated into the fixture. I am not saying that it will be inexpensive nor cost effective. But it is possible. People with a passion for old things are quite often willing to pay the price (just look at vintage cars or find the going price for a Corvair or a restored LaSalle).

      There is a bigger dilemma than backflow protection: water conservation for water closets. Some juristictions require water conserving toilets when a house is sold.

    • #296534
      AKPlumber
      Participant

      Bill, I have worked on many “grandfathered” structures in my vicinity, and I have talked with the inspectors over this matter numerous times, and they have all repeatedly assured me that as long as the building is wavered due to extreme age, or “grandfathered”, it is perfectly OK to install, for just one example out of hundreds, a non-pressure balanced shower valve such as an old style “claw-foot” valve may be permitted to be installed in an older building for purposes of “repair” or “maintenance”, wheras installing one of these in new construction or remodels would most definitely violate Municipal codes. That was my point, and it IS perfectly legal here, perhaps it is different where you are.

    • #296535
      AKPlumber
      Participant

      Also, to further clarify my last post, I should say that even here, of course certain old and/or outdated plumbing practices, techniques, fittings, etc etc cannot be used even in grandfathered structures, such as your examples (though I’m not sure about the flush valves) or old waste line runs with just 90’s where sweeps should be, wiping lead, etc, should’nt be done again that way just on general principle much less code requirements. But with ceratin fixtures such as faucets, toilets, sinks, etc, it is perfectly fine to install original replacements as long as the job is NOT a remodel or new construction.
      Then, Phil’s suggestion of retrofitting old fixtures to comply is also another option.

    • #296536
      PLUMBILL
      Participant

      Your right, about certian area’s and alot lot is left up to the local inspector in our state is very clear about re-installing old fixtures that do not meet code.

      » This message has been edited by PLUMBILL on 18 March 2005

    • #296537
      PLUMBILL
      Participant

      Phil,

      Wih vintage cars you can always drive around and beep at your neighbors but, don’t try that sitting on the throne in a vintage bathroom.

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