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 Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: hemmerling (Non-US)

Hello,

Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" = 15.24cm ?

Background
The delicate bathtub armature, which should be exchanged by a new item, was installed in 1971 in a German bathing room. The distance between the coldwater and hotwater tubes, i.e. the middle of the red and the blue rotary knob,is 6" = 15,24 cm ( I measured with a folding rule ). So this was standard in 1971.

Any bathtub armature available at German stores, both for private people and professionals, has a distance of 15 cm, nowadays, and probably since 30-40 years...

So the question is, as USA, Canada and UK are still more linked to non-metric measures:
Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature still 6" = 15.24cm ?





Background #2:
Usually you can install bathtub armatures with "any" distance of the rotary knobs, by turning the 2 interface tubes ( in German language "S-Winkel" due to its S-shape ) which are between bathtub armature and the water pipes.
In the concrete case, the screw threads of the interface tubes are rusty, so that its position and so the distance between the tubes can´t be adapted. Especially the removal of the rust would require to break up the wall.

So it was possible to repair the bathtub armature by exchanging the 2 screw threads within the armature - which are behind the red and the blue rotary knob -, so that the bathtub armature is not water-dropping anymore, but not to exchange the whole bathtub armature....

The only hope for exchange would be to order a US or UK 6" bathtub armature, if such is still standard and available...

Sincerely
Rolf



Edited 4 times.

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: packy (MA)

one picture is worth 1000 words..

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: hj (AZ)

The U.S. standard is 8", but several faucets, such as the Chicago 444/445 can go between 4" and almost 12"

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: hemmerling (Non-US)

Thanks alot for the answers and for the photos.

1.
What is the name of that interface part?
In German this are "S-Winkel" (??? S-bracket ??? )

Any 15cm armature in Germany is shippled with such S-Winkel, but we are unable to screw the 2 old S-Winkels out, due to rusty screw threads, and cleaning the edge of the screw thread where it is mounted in the water pipe, and cleaning that area with a steel brush or steel wool, and let flow in rust remover, to make it removable ** which is against the culture of German plummers, but I know this from mechanical repair of bicycles ect **, needs to break down the tile, i.e. part of the wall.

Feedback for the photo: Our "S-Winkel" are much less curved, as you might see on my second photo....

2.
And yes even if the distance would be 6" of US armatures still available, I am shure I would fail to replace my 6" armature with a US 6" armature..... as JUST the size of tubes is measured by inches, all other aspects of German tubes are metric.

2.1 the outer size of the screw nut ist metric, I need a "30" spanner.
2.2 the screw thread might be metric.... I am not shure ( as thats the well-known real difference and barrier between metric and non-metric world )????
2.3 from the photo, I can´t guess if the tube size of the US armature is identical to that of a German armature...

This is the technical description of a 15cm replacement.



So the screw thread tube is "G1/2" = 1/2"....

Any further comment on my opinion, that a US armature won´t help me anyhow?
Might it be different in UK / Canada / Australia?

Sincerely
Rolf



Edited 4 times.

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: bernabeu (SC)

as per the picture you HAVE offsets buried IN THE TILE


you WILL need to do tile repair / replacement to change the faucet



if you can not match the tile, make a decorative / contrasting 'tile frame' for the new faucet


ps. the offsets come with the faucet (the threads are proprietary) and are installed EXPOSED

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: hemmerling (Non-US)

Hello,
thanks for giving me the word "offsets" for the curved interface tubes ( in Germann plummer's language "S-Winkel" ).

I described that the exchange of the rusty "offset" is so risky after 50 years,
2 plumber companies refused to do so, the second offered instead the creative solution to repair the armature instead of replacing it...

The problem with the tiles:
Both German plumber companies refused to do mason work, they were unable to provide a combined work with a mason company, and unwilling.
With my contract order wish, I accepted that the original tiles might get broken, and therefore would be replaced by tiles of same size, but slightly different colors.
It did not help to get a bid by the plumber companies...

So the technical problem is, that putting a maximum force to turn the rusty screw threads out of the water pipes, would first deform the water pipes in the wall, and then even break them...
and the use of rust remover is not acceptable measure for German plumber companies...


So to find an armature with exactly 6" in non-metric countries USA, Canada, UK would have been the easy and final solution smile, but so I have to give up...

# offsets come with the faucet (the threads are proprietary)
Thanks for this feedback to the US market situation.
For EU/Germany market, the threads are not proprietary ( the screw threads would have fit ), just the distance between the tubes changed from 1971 to 2021...
So all armatures you can buy in German stores, come with SAME set of offsets ( German "S-Winkel" ).

And look at the photo, the armature is almost directly mounted at the tiles of the wall, not much space between, though a standard offset ( German "S-Winkel" ) was used 50 years ago.

---

So thanks for all here who answered me, immediately,
so the quality of this forum is proved, by the quality of the audience smile, and many Internet sources about plumbing pointed to this forum.
And 2nd. proof, a forum technically on the standard of 1994, is still good in 2021, due to its audience smile.
Sincerely
Rolf



Edited 6 times.

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: bernabeu (SC)

the threads on the 'wall side' of the offsets are standard plumbing pipe threads (in the US they are called NPT)

BUT

the 'straight' mechanical threads attaching the offset to the faucet are USUALLY propietary and not interchangeable between faucet brands

THEREFOR

you can replace the entire assembly including offsets with the faucet brand of your choice but need an identical faucet (or brand) to mount on existing offsets left in place



The sequence to replacing is:

Have plumber remove existing faucet AND offsets, install/modify piping as necessary to fit new faucet offsets (usually a female fitting flush with finished wall) - install capped nipples sticking out from wall - have wall tiled around nipples - have plumber remove nipples and install new faucet.

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: hj (AZ)

YOu hace "eccentric" couplings which have a limited amount of adjustment, but are short and NOT buried in the wall but just slightly recessed and will unscrew very easily.

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: hemmerling (Non-US)

Thanks for your new answers

# Have plumber remove existing faucet AND offsets, install/modify piping as necessary to fit new faucet offsets (usually a female fitting flush with finished wall) - install capped nipples sticking out from wall - have wall tiled around nipples - have plumber remove nipples and install new faucet.

1. In Europe/Germany, a plumber refuses to do "sub-operation", additionaly a plumber refuses to use spare parts not provided by himself. So "mixed work" as you suggest, is not accepted.

2. The removing of the faucet/armature is easy, I even succeeded ( while testing if a armature bought at a doit-yourself-market fits, it did not due to 6" vs. 15cm ). I got the proper "30" open-end wrench from my extended bicycle repair set. We have a separate gate valve for each flat, so no disturbance of the other flats. The diameter of the implemented rusty offsets is identical to the offset provided with the armature.

3. The removal of the offset was refused by 2 companies, and the doit-yourself market salesman agreeed as the 2 companies, that it would be VERY VERY risky to deform or even break the wall pipe...

4. Of course I might have broken the tiles, using steal wool and steal brush to clean the zone where the wall pipe meets the interface, use rust remover several times a week, and then hope that the interface might be threw out of the wall pipe with little force.
But I would have done this with my own risk... nobody ( well who? ) might help me in case of some accident with the pipses ( deformation or even break )...

I also explain this here, so that you understand the European plumber market.
I am unsure if you were familiar with (3)...

Sincerely
Rolf

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 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: hemmerling (Non-US)

See my answer in the other sub-thread.
Sincerely
Rolf

Post Reply

 Re: Is the standard distance of the tubes of a US bathtub armature 6" ?
Author: bernabeu (SC)

not 'mixed work'

same plumber - two trips - break for tile man inbetween trips

OR


DIY

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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