Shower faucet won't turn off and doesn't stop turning

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-20-11, 07:34 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: US
Posts: 7
Shower faucet won't turn off and doesn't stop turning

My hot water shower faucet won't turn off. When I attempt to turn it off the knob never stops turning. As you're turning the knob to turn the water off the water pressure becomes lower until it gets to a point where you hear a click and then the water pressure increases again. If you continue to turn it the same thing repeats (water pressure gets lower, click, then suddenly increases). If I turn it to the point where the water coming out is at the lowest pressure I can get it to and then use my hand to push the knob in and hold it, the water will stop flowing but as soon as I release the pressure it starts flowing again.

Is this something that I have to go behind the faucet to repair or can this be fixed from the outside? And how would I go about it? I'm a complete novice when it comes to plumbing but I can follow directions.

Here are pics of the faucet with the hot water knob removed. It's a Kohler. Faucet Pics
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-20-11, 08:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 671
The shower

From what you describe, it sounds like the threads are stripped hopefully on the faucet stem. If indeed that's the case, you have to buy a new stem. Try a local hdw store, some of them are very helpfull. Actually you will have to get the stem out so you can match it up, unless you still have the paperwork. If you're so inclined, you have to shut off the supply, and unscrew the nut that is around the stem, it is easiestly done with a socket, probably a deep one. Hdw stores sell sets of wrenches for that. Good luck.
Sid
 
  #3  
Old 04-20-11, 08:51 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: US
Posts: 7
Sounds like that might be it. Just wanted to add that when I turn the stem directly (that is with the knob off) I get the same behavior. And I forgot to mention that in the ON direction the knob does come to a stop if you turn it all the way. It's only in the OFF direction where it doesn't stop turning.
 
  #4  
Old 04-20-11, 09:09 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,733
Likes Received: 3
Seems like the stem is stripped if it spins in a complete circle. This is a old, old Kohler faucet and has a poppit design hot and cold stems. The poppit usually fall apart.

They are easy to change and I recommend all new stems instead of rebuilding.

Turn off water to the home and open a faucet to relieve the pressure.
Those chrome trim rings behind the handles unscrew CCW. This will give you access to the stems.
The stems simply unscrew CCW. Make sure you get all the debris out of the body after you remove the stems.
Make sure you put the hot and cold stems in the proper position.

I am not finding a place to get or a pic. We used to carry these on our trucks. I am 90% sure its the poppit design. It does not have a washer but a type of rubber boot or hat.

I will look around.

Mike NJ
 
  #5  
Old 04-20-11, 06:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: US
Posts: 7
Thanks Mike. I haven't taken the stem out yet but I went down to the local home depot to see what they had. All the stems I saw looked too small in diameter to match the style I have. They had a book there with a whole bunch of stems from Danco for ordering I suppose.

I did a search online for Kohler poppit stems and just poppit stems in general. Unfortunately, neither turned up much. Is there another name that these might've been called? I did find this website 700 faucet stems and seats in stock to repair your faucet but I didn't go through all the Kohler stems yet. If you can find any information on that stem for me that would be great. Tomorrow I'm planning to remove the stem and go down to the local Ace and home depot to see if they can help me find it.

I did remove the chrome rings and noticed that the space between the tile and the stem has been filled with something that doesn't seem hard enough to be grout or soft enough to be caulk. I think I've usually seen this space left open. Here's a pic of what it looks like.


What you see on the tile is a small bead of caulking I had run around the rings to try to prevent any water from getting back there. Should I refill this space between tile and stem when I replace the stem?

When you say all new stems do you mean to change both the hot and cold at the same time? And is it possible to just turn off the shutoff valves to the shower and then opening the shower faucets to release the pressure instead of turning off the main shutoff to the home?
 
  #6  
Old 04-20-11, 08:18 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,733
Likes Received: 3
My memory fails me at times and this is one of them. The poppit style was old American Standard, not Kohler. I think its a valvet

Those stems may have regular washers that are easy to replace. The trouble you may have is matching up the seats.

Now old Kohlers Valvets had a barrel and I believe eliminated seats but still used a washer inside the barral. This was first attempts at cartridge style stems I think.

I recognize the two flats for the stem removal. Plus the square handles tell me its older. 70's????

But again my memory fails me. Looking up old kohler stems is not easy. Some had a hat washer on the bottom of the stem but this was of the newer variety with ceramic, but the barral type may have it also.

Here is what I could find as pics go for you to match it up.

This is what I think it is.



These are actual Kohler #'s If you could match it.

Kohler

http://www.barrywalter.com/CatalogPdf/KOHLER.pdf

Not sure if you will find it at the home stores.



Mike NJ
 
  #7  
Old 04-21-11, 05:21 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: US
Posts: 7
I've decided to put off pulling the stem until after the weekend. I have family coming over for Easter and I don't wanna take the chance and not have the shower working. Will let you guys know how it goes then.
 
  #8  
Old 04-21-11, 02:14 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,733
Likes Received: 3
Yes let us know. The suspense is killing me.

Mike NJ
 
  #9  
Old 04-21-11, 02:56 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
nannitegat,

Your call on waiting until after the weekend to tackle the valve. On the one hand, that's hot water that is just running down the drain until you get it fixed. That would have me fixing it now. But on the other hand, fixing it means shutting the water to the entire house off, and it will be off until the valve is fixed (or put back in the condition that it is now).

What I would do is shut the water off for now and pull the stem. That appears to be caulking or possibly plumbers putty in the way of getting to the nut to remove it. Should chip out very easily. Take the stem with you to HD, Lowe's, or a good hardware store and see if they can match it. If they can, put the new one in and your troubles are over. They MAY have to order a new one, in which case you reinstall the old one for now so you can get the water turned back on.
 
  #10  
Old 04-21-11, 06:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: US
Posts: 7
lefty,
Fortunately I have easy access to the shower shutoffs so I keep them off until someone needs to take a shower. Bit of a pain but it works. That's why I was asking if turning these off would suffice instead of the main when replacing the stem. My wife's been planning this Easter weekend for months and if people can't take a shower for any reason it's gonna be my a$$. Think Murphy's Law. But definitely if the water was just running I would've had to fix it right away.
 
  #11  
Old 04-25-11, 08:42 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: US
Posts: 7
Pulled the stem this morning. lawrosa, looks like you had it spot on except mine has a plastic "sleeve" (or whatever the correct term is). I'm surprised to see metal and plastic put together in this way. Inside the plastic sleeve I can see some of the grooves have broken down. Hopefully the replacement stem (if I find one) is all metal like you have pictured.

Now off to the hardware store to see what I can find.

Btw I chipped out all that plumber's putty looking thing and turns out I didn't have to. Gotta have a sense of humor about these things.

Here are the pics: Pulled Stem Pics
 
  #12  
Old 04-25-11, 10:05 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,733
Likes Received: 3
Good job. Now let us know if you find that part. And where? That dont look like a home store item.

Mike NJ
 
  #13  
Old 04-26-11, 05:11 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: US
Posts: 7
So yesterday I took a trip down to the local Ace and the guy found a match for me right on the shelf. I actually couldn't believe my luck at the time. As it turns out it wasn't a 100% match but it was close enough. I installed the hot water stem without any problems. The cold water stem (I figured I would just replace both) didn't go quite as well. I got a leak at that point where the stem pokes through the brass fitting (bonnet?). The cold water brass fitting had a washer embedded inside the tunnel where the stem comes through. I think the replacement stem I got was just not wide enough to fill the space completely even though when I looked at them side by side I couldn't see any difference. There was also noticeable play in the tip of stem which would cause either more or less water to leak out. Anyway I just put the existing cold water stem back in place and all is well. Thanks to all on this forum who helped me out with this. You really saved me a few bucks here.

These are stems I got:
Hot STEM KOHLER 6N-2H - Ace hardware Store NY
Cold STEM KOHLER 6N-2C ACE - Ace hardware Store NY
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes