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johnny kid

08:31AM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 07/08/03
4 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
Hello,

The hot and cold fixtures in my shower/tub are hard to turn to the right and left. Can anyone suggest to me how to fix this? I would like to fix this without ripping down a wall to get to the pipes. I have a three-valve diverter with shower head in my tub. Any help would be appreciated.

John

carl21l

09:30AM | 12/11/04
Member Since: 03/21/04
171 lifetime posts
remove the knobs, remove the stem covers, remove the stems, polish the brass stems with fine steel wool. replace the packing around the stems and reinstall everything. the stems tend to get calcium buildup or corrosion on them and if the packing nut has been tightened to tight to stop leakage you will experience binding.

JMHO

Carl

johnny kid

05:30PM | 12/14/04
Member Since: 07/08/03
4 lifetime posts
Carl,

Thanks for your recommendation. One question that I have is, You wrote "when you replace the packing around the stems". What do you mean by that? Also, Do I need to shut the water off? Thanks,

John

carl21l

06:39PM | 12/14/04
Member Since: 03/21/04
171 lifetime posts
yes, shut off the water unles you like working while wet LOL. the packing is the fiber or rubber filling around the stem that is held in place by the nut surrounding the shaft of the stem valve.

JMHO

Carl

Jim D

11:53PM | 12/14/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Johnny Kid - hi, Carl21l is on the mark here. I recently replaced a hot water handle stem in one bathroom and the cold water handle stem in my 2 bathrooms. I found none of the stems had packing material in them. I didn't install any when I did the replacement stems. So far, so good - no leaks, drips, etc., and the handles turn easily.

I took the old stems to the big box store (Home D-epot) and matched them up using their guide book and measurement jig. My fixtures had one name on them (Alston) but the replacement valves were American Standard (2K-2H and 2K-2C if I remember right). If I'd looked for Alston stems, I wouldn't have found them!

Good luck with the repairs...and be sure to turn off the water supply to the fixture BEFORE you start, as Carl21l said! Happy Holidays to all! Jim D/West Point, VA
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