10:08AM | 06/25/04
Member Since: 06/24/04
1 lifetime posts
Hi folks,

I am brand new to this forum and website, so I am still finding my way around. I did some looking for topics about similar problems but did not see anything. So here is the problem:

We have a tub/shower with three handles (separate hot, cold, and diverter). All three handles are hard to turn both on and off. This makes it difficult to get the water all the way off so the faucet and shower do not drip.

It also makes it difficult to get the water temp right since the hot and cold handles are so tight that they will move back slightly when turned. In other words: you turn the water on counter-clockwise to a position, when you let go, it will move back slightly clockwise.

Other than what I have been reading the last couple days, while researching this problem, I know very little (nothing) about the workings of faucets. So I am not sure where to even start. Is this a matter of taking the valve stem out and lubricating it? Has someone just tightened it too much? Do I need a new valve stem? Or is the problem as simple as replacing the handles (I doubt it)?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


09:37PM | 07/02/04
Member Since: 07/02/04
7 lifetime posts
There are many possible reasons.

If the faucet set is old it sounds like it needs replacing. You cannot lubricate a faucet.

It might be that you have a corrosion build up inside the faucet.

It might be that the rubber seals are all old & need replacement.

It could even be calcium build up if you are in a high calcium water area.

It doesn't sound as if you have plumbing experience so best leave it to a pro. A new faucet set can range from about $60 to $500 depending on how fancy you want them.

The is an option of only replacing the faucet bodies but if your diverter is all stiff too it sounds like the whole thing is getting old.

Best of luck!


06:38PM | 07/06/04
Member Since: 04/16/03
12 lifetime posts
If they're new, however, you might check to see if the valves were over-torqued. I had to replace a (fairly new) faucet valve recently. When I put the new one in and tightened per instructions, it was a lot looser than before. This is a lot simpler than replacement.

plumber Tom

08:13PM | 07/09/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
810 lifetime posts
Plumber's heat proof grease is what is used to lubricate stems and packings. I have to disagree with the poster who said faucets cannot be lubed. The telltale squeak you are hearing can be corrected. A re-washer job goes for much less then new faucets, so if it's not in your budget, simply ask your plumber to re-washer the tub stems and diverter. The only problem your plumber may run into is: the bibbs (the part or end of the the stem where the washer is screwed into) may be worn or cracked. You then have 2 options. New stems (if the brand name can be identified) or replace the entire unit.


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