Drip drip drip drip....that's my tub faucet...drip drip drip


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Old 11-13-07, 11:30 AM
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Drip drip drip drip....that's my tub faucet...drip drip drip

My tub faucet is dripping constantly. This has been going on for months now, but I have finally realized it is dripping hot water (which I pay to heat) so it has become a concern now that the price of heating oil & gas are skyrocketing!

I have an "old school" system, with 3 handles (hot, cold, and "shower activator" in the center). It's a one-piece tub/shower fiberglass enclosure, and no access to it from the backside (although if I have to cut a hole in the bedroom wall to get to the pipes, I will.)

I have taken the front of the handles off and the nuts inside are totally green and corroded. Even with some Blaster, I doubt they will give up without a fight.

How complicated would this be to fix? Is it safe to assume this is a sealing problem in the hot water handle?

Thanks in advance for the help.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 03:23 PM
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goldilox123,

You will at the very least need to replace the washers.
It would be better however to replace the complete cartridge.

You need the correct sized and type of wrench to remove the cartridge which has the stem and washer attached.

When you remove it you will need to look inside the opening and make sure the seat does not have any grooves in it which is possible if it has been leaking awhile.
There is a tool called a faucet reamer that will allow you to clean up the seat.


Here
is a link to more faucet repair info.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 03:29 PM
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What Greg said, but his terminology is not quite correct. You can remove the whole valvestem by removing the handle and probably the round decorative chrome tube(unscrews-lefty loosey). Nothing needs holes in the walls or such. Home/hardware stores have a variety of new valvestems, but yours needs to match EXACTLY. If there is a brand name anywhere on the fuacet you are way ahead.
 
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Old 11-14-07, 06:07 AM
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Hi:
I had similar issue like yours, due to old 'three' handle bath-tub faucet, but luckily fixed completely because of an accurate response/help I got on this board.

One thing I learned through this, fixing the old three handle bath-tub faucet is NOT easy and pretty complicated due to a way they designed, ... just my view tho'. We, the family spent a lot of time to fix this problem. First, not easy to take off a whole valvestem due to corrotion inside and the like.

In my opinion, .... if possible, buying a whole valvestem of cold or hot is easier for you to fix. Because, not only washer also packing might be bad. If you're NOT familiar to fix this, it's very frustrating and make you very nervous.

Also, washer that is 1/4, but there are several 1/4 washer. Even 'regular 1/4,' one of them didn't fix. Another 1/4 from Home Depot did the job. Then, it's very tricky.

Most of time, we want to buy only washer for this, because a whole valvestem does not come cheap. But, in the end you may need to spend more time and money, because of complicity of old-fashioned bath-tub faucet.

This is through my very first-hand experience in fixing old three handle tab-faucet.
 
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Old 11-14-07, 09:20 AM
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Just to add my two cents. If this is an older style valve, it most likely will not have a cartridge. It is quite likely a compression faucet. They are a simple design and fairly easy to repair - assuming the valve body and seat area are OK.

Remove the handle and remove the packing nut with a wrench (lefty loosey). Once the packing nut is off pull the stem assembly out of the valve body. You may have to rotate it CCW to get it out. At the end of the valve stem assembly there will be a thick tapered washer held in place with a screw. This is usually the culprit. Replacements are avaialble at plumbing stores and big boxes. Before replacing the assembly make sure to inspect the seating area. Look into the valve body where the washer seals. The metal surface should be clean without scratches or erosion. If there are some light scratches you can buy an inexpensive lapping tool to clean it up. Some seats are replaceable. you can unscfrew them from the valve body and buy a replacement.

This is a fairly easy DIY job. Jump right in.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I have done some plumbing stuff before but this makes me nervous for some reason! I have changed 2 bathroom sink faucets out completely, and replaced a toilet and the various parts of that process.

At least if I mess up the water will be going down the drain instead of all over the floor.

I will do a bit of investigating before I take anything apart. I also have to figure out whether I am capable of replacing a faucet handle that goes to the cold water of my washing machine. It is totally corroded and I just got a new washer and they were not able to get the old hose off of it because it is basically welded on there with green crap....so they left the old hose and hooked up to the new machine. But he did suggest I might want to fix that.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 08:04 PM
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The guy that installed your washer was absolutely right. If a washer hose bursts while you're away, you'll be looking at a real mess when you get home. Most washer valves are threaded on so you may be able to cut the hose and remove the faucet with a wrench. Just don't forget to shut off the supply.

If your washer hose is one of the old rubber ones you might be able to get the corroded fitting off without messing with the valve. The end fittings on those things are pretty cheesy. I've never seen one that I couldn't get off with slip joint pliers. Give it a spray first with some sort of penetrating oil. If the pliers don't work a hacksaw blade will.
 
 

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