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Jim D

12:08AM | 05/23/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
LonnythePlumber and Ray VinZant - good morning, guys! A few months back, I bought some American Standard replacement stems for my tub/shower fixtures. (Both fixtures are 2-handle with a tub spout diverter. They had the "Alston" name on them.) The originals didn't have any packing material in them. I'm not experiencing any water leakage through them, but they're fairly difficult to turn compared to the stems I didn't replace. I'd purchased some plumber's grease (sorry - no brand name available) and applied it to the threads before the stems went in, but it seemed to wear off fairly quickly. (The originals that turn easily also don't have any packing material in them.) Any expert recommendations, such as white lithium grease or reapplying liberal amounts of the plumber's grease, are welcomed.

Background on stem replacement: I bought the home last summer. During the inspection, we noticed the downstairs tub/shower fixture had poor cold water flow and the upstairs tub/shower fixture had poor hot water flow. The applicable stems were very difficult to turn off and on. The seller's agent had a local handyman company come out to inspect and fix things we specified in the contract. They said they couldn't fix the water flow problem. (They also said they fixed other stuff and we found they didn't, or they did such a poor job that I was fixing it myself a few weeks after we moved in...like using just duct tape to secure a downdraft stove vent pipe - I installed sheet metal screws and retaped using metallic duct tape. They also proclaimed a leaking pressure relief valve on the hot water heater fixed...they never touched it and I replaced it to stop the constant water leakage into my crawl space. I let the seller's agent know I felt ripped off and that she should recommend they be closely supervised in the future...at least I felt better.) Anyway - I removed the original valve stems/seats and replaced them with new ones I bought from H-ome D-epot. That fixed the water flow problems...but I'm noticing the valves are getting difficult to turn again.

Lonny - hope all's well with you, as I haven't seen you post in quite some time! Regards! Jim D/West Point, VA

RayVinZant

02:05PM | 05/28/05
Member Since: 08/29/04
227 lifetime posts
The thing you have to do is to remove the bonets and grease the stems where the oring or the packing is. Many times they come ungreased and the new packing and orings are not as soft as the older material. When you grease the stems it will last about 2 years before you will have to do it again. This problem is a defect in the newer material, it is so rubbery, it rubs off the grease, kinda moves it aside. As long as you are out, regrease the threads inside the body.

Good Luck

Raymond VinZant Plumbing Prof.

Jim D

03:40PM | 05/28/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
Ray - hi and thanks for the advice! I figured I was in for a small plumbing repair job this holiday weekend...I'll dig out the plumber's grease and get to it tomorrow.

Have you heard anything from Lonny? It's been ages since I've seen him post anything. I hope he's doing okay...

Be sure and thank a veteran you know this weekend! Regards! Jim D/West Point, VA
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