Can't find rubber seat washers....

Hi there! I was wondering if anyone has encountered the same problem I have with regard to seat washers for bathroom and kitchen faucets. You used to be able to get nice rubber ones years ago but now they seem to only be selling these hard-plastic-ish ones. Everywhere I go in search of the rubber ones I hear about how these new ones aren't as good as the old. Even plumbers are telling me this and I agree; I've run out of my stash of rubber ones and using the harder ones results always in both hot water faucets rapidly developing an annoying drip that I have to torque the faucet handle really hard to stop. Unfortunately, this gets harder on my hands the older I get.
So I suppose I have two questions for anyone out there who might know: (1) Where can I get 1/4" flat RUBBER seat washers and (2) why did the faucet manufacturers switch to this other stuff instead of the rubber if it works this poorly?
Thanks for any help/insight on this!
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DTDerekson wrote:

i thought the same thing.. i remember as a kid in the 50--60's that we never ever had to put in washers.. they fucets leaked a little and you tightened it and it stopped leaking.. now with the hard plastic washers you tighten it and it never gets any tighter.... i cant find any either.. even tried plumbing supply houses, not too many but two small ones who would have sold to me or anyone, some of the big supply houses will not sell to anyone retail unless you are in the plumbing business.. i bought a set of gasket cutters for automobile work and was thinking of cutting me some sheet rubber(you can get that at hadware stores/plumbing supply houses and to make my own rubber washers..... it is probably a cost factor, plastic is cheaper than rubber?? if guess this is the reason....
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On 22 Nov 2003 23:50:23 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (DTDerekson) wrote:

In my town there's a small (non-box) hardware store that always a small supply of obscure parts and owner/clerks knowledgable enough to lead you to them. Check with more plumbers, especially older ones with small businesses, and they might be able to direct you to the local equivalent of Beach Hardware.
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Is that 1/4 Large or Regular? Everytime I have to buy tap washers, I seethe with anger at the idiots who would purposely design and manufacture an item in two sizes and designate them both 1/4. Talk about stupidity! How did we ever put a man on the moon?
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snipped-for-privacy@995.ca wrote:

Did we?
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Naah, it was all a set in Burbank. I read that in Enquirer.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Never used to wonder about the moon landing but the older I get the more I question ;-)
On the washers, I didn't realize there were two sizes of 1/4. I'm going to assume regular because I bought some with a little "L" on them some years back and was told I'd bought the wrong ones (I'm assuming I got "L"arge?) I wondered back then if it had to do with the thickness of the washer, but I didn't dig into it.
Who would have thought getting the good stuff would become impossible? I too don't remember having to replace washers so frequently when I was growing up, and that was a whole household, not just one person using them.
Guess I'm going to start haunting the little out of the way hardware stores everywhere I go. And manufacturers need to stop "improving" their products!
Thanks all!
DT
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I often wonder... When did manufacturers start replacing good quality parts with cheap crap? Was it when we, consumers, started demanding lower prices?
Anyway. Once you've replaced that washer, see if you can train yourself to close faucets without torquing; those plastic washers will last a lot longer, you'll see :).
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A. Peterson wrote:

with

That's always frustrated me. I'm generally of a mind to have less stuff in my life but what I have like to be good, sturdy, reliable. I don't need or want fancy or faddish. If durable quality costs more, so be it and I'll wait to be able to afford it if need be and feasible. But I recognize my approach is atypical. So every time I see "new and improved" on something I generally assume it means improved profits for the company and not much else better.

you'll

You're not the first to tell me that (::sheepish shrug::) but I don't torque until the hot water starts dripping and then I have no choice but to torque to get it to stop dripping. I can certainly replace them more frequently, but I don't understand why they start dripping in the first place and why only the hot water? This wasn't a problem with the rubber ones, hence my quest....
Ah well, This is only a little "grain of sand in one's shoe". Just trying to get it out so I don't get arthritic down the road....
"It's not climbing the mountain that wears you down, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."
DT :-)
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