Salvaging That Unreplaceable Faucet Stem

I have an outside shower that the family uses all summer long. The faucet stems are old and the flat ends (that support the washer) have broken and present a partial flat end thereby making it impossible to place even pressure on the washer and seat. Therefore the darned thing leaks no matter how often the washers are replaced and replaced and replaced! Drilling a hole in the middle of a penny (pennies are NOT considered legal tender, so this is a lawful act) and screwing the penny into the stem firmly, makes it easy to grind it on a grinding wheel to the appropriate size. I then use acid flux to sweat-solder the penny in position using a torch for heat. Use a steel screw to hold the penny in position for the soldering job. The solder won't hold to the screw so it will come out after the whole thing cools down. You can then use the typical brass screw to mount the washer.

This helpful article was provided by community member Walter Kast. If you are interested in sharing your do-it-yourself knowledge and know-how with the's community, click here for more details.