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  • Tub/shower valve leaking problem

    My tub/shower valve has been leaking for a couple of years now. Not just a drip, but a constant stream. A few months ago I replaced both stems and the diverter, and all the seats. It still leaked. As far as I can tell it's the cold side leaking, because the water is always cold. Yesterday, I replaced the cold stem and seat again. This time I put Teflon tape on the seat threads, and silicone grease on the stem o-ring and washer. When I was done, the leak had slowed to a very slow drip. But this morning, it's leaking a steady stream again, even though it hadn't been touched overnight. Any ideas what could cause this?

    I'm so frustrated, I'm thinking about replacing the whole valve. As far as I can tell, it's a Sayco valve, but Price Pfister makes one that looks very similar. It's a tile shower, but the wall behind it is in a closet, so I can cut a hole in the wall for access. Will the old valve have unions on it, or could it be sweated in? I've sweated pipes before, but that would obviously be a much bigger job.
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  • #2
    Re: Tub/shower valve leaking problem

    Your stems are sayco.

    Although not required, I do wrap just about 1 1/2 turn of teflon tape on seat threads, being careful to remove the excess.

    You have done pretty much all the steps. It is possible that the body has a ding in it where the seat seal, or an actual crack. Neither is readily repairable. I have installed seats using JB Weld....but you have to be aware that is a non-reversible step and if it works...fine, but if it doesn't you are cooked, and you can never replace the seat again....so think twice about that.


    Since you have access behind the wall, installing a new one ( single handle recommended) it is not a bad job.

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    • #3
      Re: Tub/shower valve leaking problem

      Originally posted by lovetheUSA View Post
      Your stems are sayco.

      Although not required, I do wrap just about 1 1/2 turn of teflon tape on seat threads, being careful to remove the excess.

      You have done pretty much all the steps. It is possible that the body has a ding in it where the seat seal, or an actual crack. Neither is readily repairable. I have installed seats using JB Weld....but you have to be aware that is a non-reversible step and if it works...fine, but if it doesn't you are cooked, and you can never replace the seat again....so think twice about that.


      Since you have access behind the wall, installing a new one ( single handle recommended) it is not a bad job.
      Yeah, I did put Teflon tape on the seat, but it didn't help. I think I am going to replace it. If the old one is sweated in, do you think I can use Sharkbite fittings to install the new one? I used them on my water heater, and they're pretty slick. Also, why do you recommend replacing it with a single handle valve? If I did that, can I get a wide enough cover plate to hide the outside holes?

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      • #4
        Re: Tub/shower valve leaking problem

        Sometimes a complete rebuild of the valve just does not fix the problem. as already stated, cracks in the seat thread area, pits and erosion in the valve body. Swapping out the valve body is the only solution.

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        • #5
          Re: Tub/shower valve leaking problem

          Originally posted by qquake View Post
          Yeah, I did put Teflon tape on the seat, but it didn't help. I think I am going to replace it. If the old one is sweated in, do you think I can use Sharkbite fittings to install the new one? I used them on my water heater, and they're pretty slick. Also, why do you recommend replacing it with a single handle valve? If I did that, can I get a wide enough cover plate to hide the outside holes?
          You can use sharkbite fittings but that gets real pricey real fast...the single handle is recommended for several reasons: pressure balanced, anti-scald and if you get a delta...real easy to maintain..delta also makes a remodelers plate to cover the two hole installation of your old valve...
          Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
          You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

          Derek

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          • #6
            Re: Tub/shower valve leaking problem

            You have taken all the right steps, I normally use teflon pipe dope, Instead of the tape, I'm wondering If the threads on the seat or the valve body are chewed up just enough to let some water pass through
            Rockwood Excavating
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