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  • tub faucet construction confusion

    Hi folks. I've done a lot of plumbing work as an amateur over the years, but this one is a new one (I think...it's been a lot of years).

    I set out to repair a dripping tub faucet tonight (first mistake. always start these things very early on a Sat morning so you have plenty of time to get to the hardware store later). It's a three-valve tub, with hot, cold and shower/spout changer. The hot valve I assumed was dripping because of a worn seat washer and sure enough, it was worn and I replaced it.

    When I reinstalled the stem assembly, the faucet shut off very nicely without a single drip, but a little water leaked out around the stem when the faucet was on. So I removed the stem again to beef up the packing washer and use pipe thread compound instead of teflon tape.

    When I reinstalled the stem, the stem just turned round and round and would not shut off the water. So I took things apart again and this time, a cylinder with a few holes in it was attached to the end of the stem when I pulled it out of the wall. This cylinder has threads on its inner surface to match the stem threads (the ones that turn off and on the faucet.) So this cylinder seems like it's the seat, because it's what the stem washer bears up against. I can see how it would function that way if there were something to keep it secured inside the pipe. Yet it has no means of being secured inside the pipe - there are no outer threads on it - it's just smooth on its outer surface. It's not what you typically think of when you talk about removable seats - I know (or I think I know) what those look like. This thing is about 2" long. There seems to be nothing to keep it from just turning when you turn the faucet stem - which is apparently what's now happening.

    What is this thing and how do I make it stay put and act like it's supposed to? And/or what did I do wrong?!

    Thanks for any help -

  • #2
    Re: tub faucet construction confusion

    sounds like an older american standard or kohler fixture.

    without a picture, i'm guessing.

    typically this seat is held in place by the stem, via a brass heavy washer that seats the seat

    some of the newer replacement seats have a o-ring to seat it and not a metal to metal contact.

    please post the photo for proper i.d.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: tub faucet construction confusion

      Of course - a picture!

      The quality's not great, but I think you can get the idea.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: tub faucet construction confusion

        american standard with the original brass to brass seal.

        replace with newer seat that has an o-ring.

        looks like the packing nut is missing too.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: tub faucet construction confusion

          Wow. Thanks, man. The only thing I don't show in the photo is the bonnet, which has male threads that go into the female threads on the outer stem assembly. The bonnet covers everything, with its bottom flush against the wall. I don't think I lost anything.

          But how was this seat supposed to keep from turning inside the pipe? Is that what the o-ring does? Could I have lost an o-ring here?

          If there's not enough info here to say, I'll just get the new seat. thanks again, you kept me from goin crazy here!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: tub faucet construction confusion

            from the looks of the old seat, i would replace it to the newer one with the o-ring at the tapered end.

            the stem has a thick brass washer that forces the seat into the tapered base that makes a seal.

            the bonnet you speak of is actually the packing nut that needs to be properly tightened to keep from dripping from the stem when turned on. also clean the stem and apply plumbers grease to the coarse threads and stem where the packing rides/ rubs.

            rick.

            you're not up still with the water off to the house, are you

            it's sunday there and you better have it fixed for your bath on sunday
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: tub faucet construction confusion

              I'm a plumber in MA, ten to one thats a Central or a Gerber...old school 3 handle valve/diverter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                hah hah, yes the hot is still off. won't be able to go to the hardware store til I freshen up and can't freshen up until I get that seat from the hardware store.

                brass washer? does that mean I lost it somewhere, or it finally disintigrated? yeah, duckbutter, it is old, i shoulda said, the house was built around 1953, original plumbing.

                there is a brass washer, not so thick, between the coarse stem threads and the stem nut (I'm not sure if that's what you call it, but the thing inboard from the bonnet).

                so I probably woulda been alright if i'd have just tightened up that bonnet after i first replaced the stem washer. I had been foolin around testing the open/close of the handle without the bonnet on. wouldn'a seen any leak, woulda gone to bed dumb and happy.

                ah, well, now i'm educated

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                  You might consider swapping it out to a single handle with a chrome goof plate..Symmons is the big name here (pressure balancing so there are no hot or cold surges when someone opens a faucet during a shower)...they're made in Braintree.
                  It's a matter of time before the valve body gives on that 3 handle.
                  On that note...it's a wee past my bedtime and the mrs will strangle me if she wakes up...night all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                    thanks guys, I really appreciate it. ..especially if there are no more screams from the shower like "don't use the hot water!!" ouch.

                    g'night

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                      Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                      I'm a plumber in MA, ten to one thats a Central or a Gerber...old school 3 handle valve/diverter.
                      i'll take that bet.

                      so that means if i'm right, i'll get ten milk shakes.

                      and if i'm wrong, you'll get 1/10th of a milk shake.

                      you better bring the cow, cause i'm thirsty

                      rick.

                      any other sucker bets out here
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                        spudtu,hopefully this helps.


                        Sorry Duck, it does seem to be American Standard. I hate it when he is right too
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by MrsSeatDown; 05-18-2008, 03:45 AM.
                        I love my plumber

                        "My Hero"

                        Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                          Ducky, you need glasses

                          Was anyone going to mention just buy a whole new stem/seat assembly and be done with it for the next twenty years?

                          No one warned him the barrel seats come left or right hand thread

                          Cross handle faucets take 2 hot barrels (2 lines on barrel); lever handles take 1 of each

                          Hard to tell from the pic but that looks like a newer barrel missing the O ring and not the old style with the brass nose

                          Why does his barrel have triangle holes?
                          Last edited by plumberscrack; 05-18-2008, 07:48 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                            How many of you guys actually spend the time to work on old compression style faucets? If something is this old I typically tell the homeowner it is not worth my time and the expense to fix faucets like these, typically they leak even more when I get done with them. I will usually just give an estimate to replace with another three handle faucet, and an estimated cost to convert to a pressure-balanced single handle
                            Distractions are everywhere, don't lose sight of your dream.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: tub faucet construction confusion

                              Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                              Ducky, you need glasses

                              Was anyone going to mention just buy a whole new stem/seat assembly and be done with it for the next twenty years?

                              No one warned him the barrel seats come left or right hand thread

                              Cross handle faucets take 2 hot barrels (2 lines on barrel); lever handles take 1 of each

                              Hard to tell from the pic but that looks like a newer barrel missing the O ring and not the old style with the brass nose

                              Why does his barrel have triangle holes?
                              Right on Crack!!!!

                              Comment

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