Better to shower the people you love with… water

It’s been a long time coming, but FINALLY we have all the parts to turn our clawfoot tub into a shower.  Every plumber I talked to… every plumbing supply place I went too… every ‘expert’ […]

It’s been a long time coming, but FINALLY we have all the parts to turn our clawfoot tub into a shower.  Every plumber I talked to… every plumbing supply place I went too… every ‘expert’ I talked to in Home Depot… they all told me this piece didn’t exist.  Well, it does – but apparently it was supposed to come with the swing arm couplers that I bought from Barclay.  Who knew?  Anywho… here they are all hooked up with some pretty pink teflon tape. Here is the old filler with the old swing arms.  They worked up until the end, although the cold swing arm had sprung a leak that required us to turn off the water when we weren’t using the tub.  I guess this stuff was meant to last 100 years… but not 105?

The Barclay 4031-CP shower/faucet and and the 4501-CP swing arms together in all their glory!  For you tub history buffs out there, the standard borings (trust me… this is very interesting) for clawfoot tub supply line holes are 3 and 3/8″.  My tub has 5″ centered holes – which means the standard faucet won’t line up with the water connectors.  That’s where the swing arms come in.  From the back of the swing arms is the every elusive threaded reducer coupling which has a 1/2″ male threaded end to connect to the bank of the swing arms and a 3/4″ threaded male end on the other side to attach to the water supplies (I got some very pretty ones made by Randolph Morris).  Trust me when I tell you that you cannot replicate that piece (that comes with swing arms!) by piecing together bits of threaded pipe fittings.  You can’t.  It won’t work.  Don’t try.  

It’s an old fashioned looking three handle system.  Hot, cold and a diverter to switch from tub to shower.

This is all polished chrome… so there’s really no good way to attach them without doing some minor scratching with the wrench.

And boom – shower.  The set up also includes another Barclay part for the shower ring (4152-CP)… but that’s a story for another day.

About Ryan

Ryan is an attorney, father, husband and tinkerer.