Price-Pfister tub/shower diverter faucet leaks hot water when diverter shower on

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Old 09-24-13, 10:45 AM
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Price-Pfister tub/shower diverter faucet leaks hot water when diverter shower on

Hi everyone,

I have another problem where I installed a new tub faucet with a shower diverter valve several years ago probably 7 or 8 years ago - where you have Hot and Cold and the shower diverter valve in the middle. Worked pretty good for several years.
When the shower is engaged now, I've started to get a good bit of the hot water stream still coming out the faucet. At first I though I could just get a rubber stopper of some kind and stick it in the tub faucet outlet to get all the hot water to come out of the shower.
I've had an idea and wondered if it might work as a less expensive alternative to purchasing/installing another 3-valve tub faucet.
Before I use to have a faucet that had the diverter built-in to the body of the faucet - I had one where you'd pull up on a knob that was located near the external tub faucet where it opened into the tub and the water would come out of the shower...
I'm wondering if that would work here by first lifting up on the faucet-diverter and then quickly turning the shower faucet valve to the shower position?
Sure the faucet with the diverter wore out too, but it was a lot cheaper to replace the external faucet (which at the time cost about $12) than the ($80-$100) cost of replacing the whole tub/shower faucet and valves.

I just wondered if someone else had tried that and if you it worked.
Also, any recommendations for Brand/Make of faucet with external shower diverter would be great and appreciated.
Thank you all,
Greynold99
 
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Old 09-24-13, 11:15 AM
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I'm wondering if that would work here by first lifting up on the faucet-diverter and then quickly turning the shower faucet valve to the shower position?
Yes I saw that a few times and it does work.

But why not just replace the stem??? The washer is probably shot.

$40 bucks at the home store..

PartsmasterPro Tub and Shower Rebuild Kit for Price Pfister - Verve-58529 at The Home Depot
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 09-25-13 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 09-25-13, 08:57 AM
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Thanks Mike

Guess I over-thought this one...

First thing I should do is disassemble and see if there's a 'washer' that can be replaced. I got it in my mind that the faucet/shower valve was a different type mechanism that didn't use an old fashioned 'washer'.
thanks,
greynold99
 
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Old 09-30-13, 08:56 AM
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Update on diverter valve

Mike,
Since my last post, I dug up the install/repair guide for the shower faucet and it turned out to be installed 10 years ago...
But the diverter valve parts assembly guide showed a washer in it. I took it apart and found a 1/2" flat washer which had gotten indented pretty bad, leaving a lot of water escaping out the faucet when knob turned to shower position.
Anyway, I thought Why would they use a flat-washer and put in a half-round or quarter-round 1/2" washer - it's not quite conical but has a slight rise in the washer upto the center-hole.
There as a plastic or nylon flat washer 'behind' the washer cup that was broken and small piece was missing that I guess was keep you from screwing-out the valve too far against the stem base. I put in a small O-ring rubber washer that was about the same diameter.
Put it back together, jumped in and voila - No leaking faucet when taking a shower.

One last question...
On the Price-Pfister 801 shower faucet parts schematic where it shows the faucet all broken down. It appears to show a small piece with an approx. 3/8" square opening fitted into the back of the main faucet assembly and on which the diverter valve washer seats. Indicates you use a tool designated "part. X" square rod to remove the piece to replace (tool is not supplied with the faucet)... When I looked at the inside of the diverter tube (where the valve goes) very closely with a flashlight, it looks like it had worn away a while ago, I could vaguely make out the remnants of a square-opening - but additionally, the indentation on the old flat washer was clearly round. My question is: What is that piece in back for?

Anyway, I'm real happy with this fix as that was a lot of wasted hot water and very little water pressure at the shower head - especially when you're on 50# psi well system...
Thanks for the help,
Greynold99
 
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Old 09-30-13, 10:33 AM
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There as a plastic or nylon flat washer 'behind' the washer cup that was broken and small piece was missing that I guess was keep you from screwing-out the valve too far against the stem base. I put in a small O-ring rubber washer that was about the same diameter.
Thats the washer that was the case of your issue.... If the O ring worked then fine, but not sure it will last.


My question is: What is that piece in back for?
Thats the seat. The washer seats against it.. They get grooved and worn out. Sometimes I remove and sand them down if I dont have replacements.

Here is a good vid...

<div><object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://cdn-i.dmdentertainment.com/DMVideoPlayer/player.swf" id="player" height="349" width="620" ><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="movie" value="http://cdn-i.dmdentertainment.com/DMVideoPlayer/player.swf" /><param name="flashVars" value="demand_site_id=EHWGUK&demand_show_embed=1&overlayAdPartner=ScanScout&adPartner=Adap&video_title=Removing%20the%20Stem%20Seat%20from%20a%20Leaky%20Bathtub%20Faucet&ss_progId=4d94c0888205a&key=demandmediaehowukcom&id=fb758cb1-1003-4c2c-b242-0f2be4fb5428&source=http%3A//cdn-viper.demandvideo.com/media/bb56e62a-2cc8-489d-8acf-729b99644ef1/flash/fb758cb1-1003-4c2c-b242-0f2be4fb5428.flv&categories=homegarden&demand_autoplay=0&demand_content_id=fb758cb1-1003-4c2c-b242-0f2be4fb5428&demand_page_url=http%3A//www.ehow.co.uk/video_4420374_removing-seat-leaky-bathtub-faucet.html&demand_uihex=ffffff&demand_studio_id=fb758cb1-1003-4c2c-b242-0f2be4fb5428&v=4.0.8c&demand_fb=false&skin=http%3A//cdn-i.dmdentertainment.com/DMVideoPlayer/playerskin.swf&sitename=www.ehow.co.uk&wa_vemb=1" /></object><br><a href="http://www.ehow.co.uk/video_4420374_removing-seat-leaky-bathtub-faucet.html">Removing the Stem Seat from a Leaky Bathtub Faucet</a> -- powered by www.ehow.co.uk</div>
 
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Old 10-01-13, 09:02 AM
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Just noticed something about the diverter valve I hadn't thought about

BTW, that was an excellent video explaining the valve seat removal...

Anyway, I'm taking my shower this morning and it suddenly dawns on me that I had been thinking the diverter valve works opposite of what I thought.

That is, to get water upto the shower head, I'm actually having to Left-turn (loosening) the valve stem off of the seat. And to get the water out to the tub faucet - I'm actually tightening down by Right-turning the knob.

Somewhere, I had it in my mind that it should work the opposite way. And in fact, would actually try to Right-turn the knob when I took a shower to get the water up to the shower head before realizing that that was the wrong way.
Now, I'm confused how that design works and was the purpose of that flat-nylon washer in back of the diverter-stem washer-cup to seal off water from the faucet...?
greynold99
 
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Old 10-01-13, 09:15 AM
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Now, I'm confused how that design works and was the purpose of that flat-nylon washer in back of the diverter-stem washer-cup to seal off water from the faucet...?

Yes........ As I stated here...

There as a plastic or nylon flat washer 'behind' the washer cup that was broken and small piece was missing that I guess was keep you from screwing-out the valve too far against the stem base. I put in a small O-ring rubber washer that was about the same diameter.

Thats the washer that was the cause of your issue.... If the O ring worked then fine, but not sure it will last.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 10:22 PM
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Pfister tub/shower diverter faucet tub spout leaks water when taking shower

Perhaps I can clarify things and prompt additional comments on the two washer and O-ring solution. My opinions are based at maintaining at least two dozen baths with the 1960 vintage three handle Price Pfister tub/shower valves.

If you can view the attached image, you see the nylon "ring" washer as well as a black (or green) flat washer. When the diverter value is rotated clock-wise, the black washer is pushed up against a seat, the water to the shower is blocked, and all the water comes out the tub spout. When the diverter value is rotated counter clock-wise, the nylon "ring" washer is pressed between the cone on the shaft and the pathway to the tub spout, forcing most of the water up to the shower head. In my experience, the nylon "ring" washer does not make a completely water tight seal even when brand new because it must withstand the pressure of: (1) the three foot column of water to the shower head, and (2) the back pressure from common shower head flow-restricting inserts. If a user tries to stop the water from flowing out of the tub spout by turning the diverter value really hard in the counter clockwise direction, the cone stretches the diameter of the nylon "ring" washer and over time it breaks. Once broken, lots of water will flow out of the tub spout even when the diverter is in the shower position.

I've found that replacing the nylon "ring" washer does not by-itself always restore "like-new" operation because of junk getting caught between the nylon "ring" washer and its seat. The junk is often pieces of washers that have broken off either the hot or cold water valves. To assume the best possible operation, the diverter valve may have to be flushed several times until mixer pipes are clean of debris.

My solution for preventing hot & cold water washer pieces from migrating into the diverter value is to replace the classic Pfister washer value with a Pfister ceramic value; it has no washer, so nothing can break apart and get into the diverter. It is a screw in replacement. I've installed about a dozen so far over the past year, and not one has leaked. I have bought generic "Pfister replacements" from several suppliers, but subtle differences make the OEM Price Pfister version easier to install. (Disclosure: I have no economic interest in Price Pfister.)

One poster mention substituting an O-ring for the nylon "ring" washer. I'd be interested in learning if others have had success with that approach, and what size (diameter and thickness) o-ring they used.

As for Price Pfister cooperating on telephone line, I've found them to be very cooperative when working on units currently in production.
 
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Old 12-08-15, 09:03 PM
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late to join this thread but... i tried and its not working

what am i doing incorrectly? i tried everything possible as suggested in this and other threads and now when i turn the knob on my diverter counter-clockwise to the point where anything comes out of shower head the diverter begins to unscrew from the seat behind the wall. if i turn the knob clockwise it cuts off water completely- nothing coming out of shower head or tub filler. i turn the knob about 20 degrees counter-clockwise and i get a good flow of water from bathtub filler. i go further counter-clockwise and i get a decreased flow out of bathtub and drips from shower head... but any further the entire stem begins to unscrew and i have major leakage between stem assembly and seat behind wall.

my home was a foreclosure and never had diverter stem or knob. the hot and cold are corroded into the seat assembly so after much trial and error i found the correct size and thread for this diverter but it still isnt working correctly, the knob will only turn about 33 degrees counter-clockwise before it begins to unscrew.Name:  IMG_6020-1.jpg
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the entire valve assembly is past its prime and needs to be replaced- i know. however we need a shower to use for at least the next 2 months since our entire master bed and bath is gutted and in the early stages of renovation.

what in the world am i doing wrong? is it possible this is still not the correct diverter assembly? i have tried three different models (the only 3 with correct connection size and thread) that i can find and the result is always the same. the hot and cold knobs are universal replacements with an inside adaptor so i have no way of determining the original make and model.... ANY SUGGESTIONS ARE APPRECIATED- I AM AT MY WITS END!!!!
 
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Old 12-09-15, 03:32 AM
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the hot and cold are corroded into the seat assembly
Do you have a shower valve wrench? I'm not addressing the diverter yet, only valve identification.

The valves are made of brass and should release no matter what. Try some penetrating oil spray, not WD-40. Let the oil sit for awhile and try to remove the valves again.

If this is indeed a Price Pfister valve body, you can buy a complete rebuild kit complete with all valves and trim, available at the big stores.

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Just a note: From my experience, the diverter doesn't work because that back washer is too thick (on some replacements). See post 8. Try to find a nylon washer that is about have the thickness.
 
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Old 12-09-15, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for your response- I am super hesitant to remove any more pieces, I removed a handle from hot water stem and the adapter was so corroded to the handle that after removing it i can no longer tighten it enough to hold securely without allowing knob to slip when turning. I feel like the more parts i remove, the problem will become bigger and bigger.
 
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Old 05-03-16, 10:22 PM
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diverter value doesn't stop spout from leaking

(1) I've serviced several dozen of the Pfister 3-handle mixer, and I always thought the original plumbers put them in backwards. It would make much more sense to have the conventional stem, seat and washer seal off path to tub spout and have the flimsy O-ring seal off path to the shower head. Anyone know why they did it as they did?

(2) Another writer suggested retrofitting Pfister ceramic stems 910-030 for the conventional compression washer valve. In an attempt to avoid having the replace washers yearly, I retrofitted ceramic stems in several apartment units. To date, I have had two of the valves break. What breaks is the plastic between the metal stem and the ceramic discs. When they break, the water can't be shut off, and the valve must be replaced. Anyone know why they are breaking?
 
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