What Is an Escutcheon?

Posted By The Eco Plumbers

13 Jul. 2017

An escutcheon is a type of plumbing supply typically made of metal that hides the unsightly hole in the wall that pipes usually come through. People can also refer to them as flanges or cover plates. For example, you can find them on the wall or ceiling around a shower arm, under a sink where the faucet supplies are, and by the toilet next to the shutoff of the toilet’s water supply.

While the escutcheon is merely a decorative piece, occasionally they do need to be replaced. An escutcheon has one job, making your home look livable. Without them, the bathroom or sink would look unfinished, with big gaping holes in the wall around your pipes. When they get rusted or tarnished, it’s incredibly easy to get them replaced.

Escutcheon come in all shapes and sizes, so you can shop around to find one that suits your bathroom’s aesthetic. They are available at most commercial hardware store and tend to cost less than $10.

Most of the escutcheons are easy to remove. With a shower arm escutcheon, for example, it slips over the shower and fits snugly against the wall. To remove one, you would need to remove the shower head and slide the old escutcheon off.

Harder to reach escutcheons, such as those behind the toilet, are a little harder to deal with. Some might have a shut off valve in the way. This valve will need to be removed to get the escutcheon replaced. Before removing the valve, make sure that you shut off the water in your house and drain the water out of the lines by turning on the faucets until they run dry. Have towels, a dish pan, or a bucket there to catch any water that may come out of the line.

Removing the valve itself can be tricky. A threaded-on shutoff valve can be taken off with a good pair of pliers; however, make sure to use a soft cloth to keep the pliers from damaging the valve. A soldered-on shutoff valve might be more of a problem, depending on your level of plumbing experience. If you are familiar with this type of fitting, you’re likely comfortable enough to remove it yourself. If not, you might need to take out some shears, tin snips, or other tool that can handle cutting stamped metal to cut away the old escutcheon.

If you removed the shutoff valve, just slip on the new escutcheon and replace the valve. If you cut off the escutcheon, you can carefully cut a new escutcheon and angle the cut so it is not easily visible. Alternately, you can use a hinged escutcheon, which is more easily slipped on.

If you need help installing an escutcheon, don’t hesitate to call us. Our skilled Columbus plumbers are happy to help you with any plumbing project. We’re available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact us at (614) 401-4777 or fill out our online form to schedule a service today!

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