/ Plumbing: what is this? (it's a shower mixer)
I want to replace this thermostatic (I think) shower mixer as it is badly scaled and no longer works correctly (the thermostatic cartridge has presumbly scaled up as the temperature is now just 100% hot water, which is bearable as we have our hot water at 40). However, I don't know what brand it is or what models it would be interchangeable with, I can't see anything very like it online. I asked one plumber and they just wanted to replace it with an entirely different style (the bar type) which would be a hassle and also leave a big hole in the tiles. The pipes enter from behind through the wall. It has no branding that I can see.
have you checked to see if it has a replaceable cartridge?
I can't figure out how to get it apart and have been cautioned against doing so unless I'm prepared to replace it if it falls to bits.
i suspect you unscrew the the levers from the body ...these will be locking the chrome body caps over the brass gubbins underneath. the chrome caps will slide off and the brass vale unit will then be accessible.
but yes I feel your fear!
Ours is fairly new and has the same style. Unhelpfully, I don't know where we got it, but they do exist still!
If you want to replace with a similar type (built-in valve) then it shouldn't be too difficult to fit something more modern https://www.mirashowers.co.uk/showers/mixer-showers/products/?installation-type=bir-built-in-rigid
Can you get access to the supply pipes and the valve?
Looks like the third one to me?
Given the tiling you may be better taking it to pieces, I can't see how you'd replace it without having to re-tile.
It may he possible to get a cartridge if you can identify it.
Or take it to bits and soak it all in vinegar.
Grohe do some similar shaped valves and they are good quality.
Your plumber went for the cheap and easy option in my opinion.
looking closely at it the handles may unscrew and if they unscrew the shroud will probably pop off - although likely held on with significant amount of cruddage.
Alternatively, you might find the end cap is literally just that - a cap that pops off and reveals a screw. are there any signs of a join ?
The front handle unscrews, and beneath is a tiny bolt with hex key head, exactly the type of thing you would use to keep a slide-on ring in place... but loosening it doesn't result in any movement. The back handle doesn't appear to unscrew. It rotates a little but not in a way that suggests it's going to unscrew. I'm not risking taking the only shower in the house out of action - my wife would kill me!
It's very similar to the one linked by marsbar... and yes I can access the back, it's in a cupboard. The pipes are run through a very sturdy bit of plywood behind which I assume are some sizeable holes in the wall.
If the back is in a cupboard then that makes life much easier and there would be no reason whatsoever to replace with a bar.
I suspect the hex bolt needs to come out completely. However I don't think you should upset your wife.
As an aside beware of having your hot water at 40, it's too low to ensure there isn't buildup of the likes of Legionella. I believe 65 is recommended as it is hot enough to prevent this.
It's a combi system so there's no storage of hot water, but HSE still seems to recommend 50 even in this case... not viable until I've fixed the shower.
Yep, once fixed you should probably still up it a bit. It can still develop in pipework, heat exchanger etc.
Re your original question, there are plenty of round ones on the market, if the cartridge isn't replaceable just swap the whole thing (plumbing skill or a plumber required). As I have a modulating boiler (all newish ones are; they reduce the gas flow if the water flow reduces so the output hot water is always at the specified temperature) I can't be bothered with a thermostatic one, the boiler prevents the water ending up scalding if the bog gets flushed.
though it's a little pricey, if you shop around you'll certainly find one a lot cheaper. Actually looks like that might be the same one!
Before starting to dismantle, cover the waste pipe in the shower tray with masking tape or similar. Saves a whole lot of hassle should a grub screw go "plop".
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