I have a problem with a leaky shower faucet that won't stay fixed.
Before I describe my problem, I should describe my faucet. The faucet
stem rotates inside a long metal sleeve that has internal threads which
matchup with the threads on the stem. The metal sleeve has a nut-like
shape on one end and external threads on the other. The metal sleeve is
inserted through a hole in the wall. The sleeve screws into the pipe
behind the wall. You can use a wrench on the nut-end to screw the
sleeve in tightly. Clockwise motion of the stem is stopped by the
washer hitting the seat. Clockwise motion can also be stopped by the
the faucet handle hitting the outside end of the sleeve that faces out
from the wall. Counter-clockwise motion is stopped by the stem threads
hitting the inside end of the sleeve that faces out from the wall.
My problem is that when I turn the stem counter-clockwise to turn the
water on, the stem threads hit the end of the sleeve, which then causes
the sleeve to move too! Since the sleeve moved, the whole assembly has
moved away from the seat. When I turn clockwise to turn the water off,
the faucet handle hits the stem before the washer hits the seat. So the
water leaks. I can turn the handle harder so the sleeve starts to screw
back in, but it only slows the leak, it doesn't stop it.
So I need some way to keep the sleeve from moving.
I cannot tightly screw the sleeve in all-the-way because it prevents the
stem from rotating at all. I can't turn the stem clockwise because the
washer is already hitting the seat. I can't turn the stem
counter-clockwise because the stem threads are hitting the end of the
sleeve. So to leave enough room for the stem to move in-and-out, I end
up having to unscrew the sleeve a little bit. But since the sleeve is
not screwed in tightly, it tends to move.
The odd thing is, if I remember correctly, the sleeve of the other
faucet is screwed all the way in. I tried swapping the sleeve and stem
from the other faucet, but that didn't help.
So to "fix" the leak, I'm always adjusting how far the sleeve is screwed
in. I make sure the stem moves in far enough to turn the water off and
I also make sure the stem can move out at least a little bit to turn the
water on. But since the sleeve doesn't stay in place, the next time
someone uses the faucet, the sleeve moves and I get the leak again.
Does anyone have some suggestions on how to fix the problem?
I find it hard to believe it's screwing into a "pipe" Clinton. More
likely it's screwing into the seat portion of a valve assembly, huh?
You haven't mentioned anything about the stem seals. Is there another
nut like thing at the back ends of that sleeve which compresses a seal
(or packing) around the shaft?
In what manner is it preventing the stem from moving? Is it because all
clearance is taken up, i.e. there is no longer any space for
longitudinal movement of the stem? Or is it because some (unmentioned)
shaft packing on the stem is being compressed so tightly that the stem
Has this problem been with you since you began owning or using those
faucets? If it has, probably some clod replaced some old worn parts with
incorrect sized ones and you are going to have to find the proper ones
or get someome to do a little lathe work on what you've got to make them
work. (I'd be happy to do that for you gratis, but you probably don't
want to be without your shower for the time it would take, unles you
happen to be in Red Sox country, near me.),
Any possibility a thinner washer could get you where you need to be? I
doubt it, but have a look.
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying."
When the sleeve is screwed in, it should be stopped by something other than
the washer contacting the seat. Be sure the stem is fully retracted in the
sleeve in the "on" direction when you screw it in. Then tighten the sleeve
securely. If this doesn't work you may need to remove the other side and
compare the dimensions. Always turn the faucet fully "on" while removing or
installing the stem and sleeve assembly into the valve.
Hope this helps, Don Young
In case anyone is interested:
I had a plumber come in to fix the leak. He had to replace the valve
seat and O-ring (I don't know what an O-ring is). He also said that
we really need to update our fixtures (they are all from 1951)since
you can't find replacement parts for them.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Clinton Bast) wrote in message
On O ring in the case of most plumbing is simple a gasket( piece of
rubberized plastic about 3/8 to 12 in. wide donut shaped with a hole i
the center that goes on the end of the faucet stem and is squeezed on to
the faucet seat to stop the flow of water.. the seat is what the washer
sits on when the water is shut off....
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