View Full Version : Shower head leak. While in off state.

10-22-2005, 03:26 PM
Hi all. Thanks for being here! we've got a shower head leak while the water valves are in the off position. Used to be, one could tighten the handles more and more and could stop the flow. It has progressed to the point that no matter how tightened they are, there is water coming out the shower head.The configuration is, separate water handles for hot and cold, plus the shower head. No bathtub fixtures present. Whats happening in there? Cant find a brand name on anything. Are parts universal??? What parts and tools are needed? I sure appreciate your help. Thanks much!

10-22-2005, 06:17 PM
Bib washers, bib screws, o-rings and packing glands are universal.
It's just which to use and how to get to them is what you have to do.

You at least need to change the washers and bib screw or make sure that the old screw holds tight. I always change the screw, but in a pinch you can bugger up the thread a little to make it hold tight.

Also you need to check real good the removable seats that are way back in the opening where you removed the stem assembly. Check for pitted or groves on the seating surface of that seat.. They are brass.

To take seats you will need a square, tapered seat wrench or a proper size Allen wrench. But you can, if you can see them and shine them with a proper length screwdriver.

You may or may not need a special bath tub wrench. Depends on if there is enough of the stem exposed after you take the handle and escutcheons off.

Is that enough to get you started?

10-22-2005, 10:14 PM
Thank you so much, for your reply. I need to ask these questions because I must transport the necessary tools with me to the house which I am not living in.When you refer to a "BIB" washer and screw, these are the ones at the end of the stem?And, I have an assortment of allen wrenches. Will the correct size do it or, will an allen wrench only work for some? And you say:(" You may or may not need a special bath tub wrench. Depends on if there is enough of the stem exposed after you take the handle and escutcheons off").
The special bath tub wrench, is this to place around the stem nut to turn and remove it? Sorry, so much clarification is needed. I have no experience with this. Thanks again!

10-23-2005, 09:12 AM
A tub wrench is basically a deep socket set to fit stems. The sizes are odd, measured in 32nds. A set should cost under $10. Allen wrenches not usually necessary, but take a set along. The handle most likely is held on by a screw. Take flat head and phillips. The handle can be stuck: an inexpensive handle puller is nice.

Bibb washers come in many sizes , but it is easy to carry an assortment. The one part you cannot guess at is the seat. This is a brass part that the washer seats against. They are replaceable, but are brand and model specific. There are dozens of different one. Almost guaranteed that the seat needs to be replaced. If you do not, the new washer will leak within a few days, if not immediately.

10-23-2005, 10:43 AM
Also in a pinch, if the seat is bad and you can get it out, take a metal file and rub the seat back and forth on the file to put a new flat surface it.

If it needs an Allen wrench, the wrench will need to be long enough to get all the way to the inside. If you use a seat wrench, be sure to rap the wrench with a hammer to set it into the brass seat. Turn it, it should come out.

If your faucet is what I think it is, a word of caution.
Be careful and if you need to use a socket wrench, notice if you can see one or two hex brass nuts on the steam assembly.

Be sure to unscrew from the one hex deepest to the inside of the wall. The hex closest to you will be a stem packing gland or in some cases it will be an o-ring stem seal.

And before you turn the wrench put the handle back on and turn the stem a little as if to open the the faucet, so as not to bind the stem to the seat. You want to keep the stem free from binding.

10-23-2005, 11:45 AM
Thank you both very much! I'm going to give it a shot with notes of our discussion in hand.Should I presume that, I have to turn off the water main for this?

10-23-2005, 02:12 PM
Yes, unless you want a hose bath :)

10-24-2005, 05:03 AM
Let us know how you made out............