Bathtub Compression Faucet


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Old 01-30-07, 09:33 PM
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Bathtub Compression Faucet

We had a showeer/bathtub faucet that dripped. Eventually it somehow managed to come all the way unscrewed and the valve came out in my hand. We replaced o-rings and washers but noticed that the screw to hold the washer in was missing. We put it back in and it didn't fix it.

We bought a completely new valve stem assembly and tried that. Still dripped. Then I started actually looking into where the valve screws into. When i looked in, there was a very rusty screw (that looked like it belonged) that was going through the part that the washer pushes against (i'm going to call this the compression base since i have no idea what the technical term is). I thought that it was supposed to be there so i started to try to unscrew it but couldn't get it to come out. Eventually, the screw went all the way through the compression base.

Does this screw belong? I think it might be what held the washer in but Im not sure.

If it doesn't belong, how do I get it out from in between where the water comes out of the pipe and what the compression base? I could not figure out how to get base piece out - even though I have replacement ones that came with the o-ring so I am assuming it is possible. I am nervous about taking the cold one apart to see what it looks like because I am afraid I won't be able to get it back together without a drip...

As far as i can tell, it is a no-name generic brand (we haven't replaced anything since we bought the house) and the valve looks like its original (built in 79).

Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 01-31-07, 04:27 AM
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You are probably right in that it is the screw that originally held the washer on the end of the first stem. Since it is brass, it is not magnetic, so using a pair of hemostats will help. If it doesn't work, place a dab of bubble gum on the end of a pencil and pick it out. You could always flush it out with water, but it may be messy, and it would be best to have walkie talkies to communicate between the person who is handling the water shut off, and the person in harms way in the shower area.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 07:47 AM
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I believe the item you are calling a "compression base" is the faucet seat.This is removed with a special tool called a "seat wrench" available at any hardware store for around $5.00 or so.If the screw holding the washer on was pushed into and through it then it is likely damaged and should be replaced.They do commonly come with stems these days.The wrench is a large "L" shaped tool that fits the center hole and then you unscrew the seat.

If the screw you saw actually was "rusty" then it may be steel...a very big no-no but it does happen.It would them be magnetic so that might be worth exploring.It should be brass though.
 
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Old 02-05-07, 07:29 PM
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fixed!

Thank you both very much!
We got the faucet seat and screw out and the valve stem re-installed. Our last little snag was that when we put the whole valve stem back in it still kind of wiggled and leaked when on. We eventuallyu figured out that the second hex nut tightened/loosened around the stem (yea, we're newbies to plumbing/house repairs - it seems kind of obvious now) and once we got that tightened satisfactorily its all working well now.

Thanks again!
 
 

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