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dripping faucet repair

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: Aug 30 2003

In my second bathroom I have the original bathtub faucets (circa 1959). There is a slow drip in the bathtub. I assume the washers need to be replaced. There is a single screw in the center of each faucet handle. I thought that if I removed the screw (shutting the main water valve off first) the faucet handle would unscrew all the way and I could access the washer. That is not the case. The handle only turns counterclockwise about 3-4 rotations (with the screw removed, which came out easily) and then stops, and I cannot remove it. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has ever replaced the washers as to how they did it. Thanks.


1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo

Joined: Apr 2 2003

While you're waiting for one of the more experienced plumbers to respond...

I believe you are correct that the handle should separate from the shaft as you've anticipated. My guess is that a buildup of mineral deposits is holding the handle on.

I would suggest using some CLR (available at OSH or Home Depot, possibly even at your local grocery store in cleaning supplies). You might try just pouring some on slowly over the join and in the screwshaft cavity as a first attempt (never know, might be enough), then gently prying the handle from the shaft or covering handle with a cloth and using a locking pliers. Otherwise, you'll need to be creative about rigging up a way to soak it in the CLR.

One possible way might be to take a small to medium plastic margarine container and cut a slot(possibly two, depending on diameter of container) in the side to allow the container to be fitted up around the join. Pour the CLR slowly over the join as you fill the container.

Good luck.


eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Mar 20 2003

I leaned the hard way about faucet repair..

When you take the screw out of the hadle the handle should Slide off the end of the valve stem, it may have mineral deposits so it could be stuck on. Dont twist or beat it to much (I broke mine and never found the proper replacement)

Further down the valve stem shaft should be a Stem sleeve which holds the guts of the handle in. It should unscrew counterclockwise. Afterthat you will just back out the valve stem. Counterclockwise I believe and the whole unit should come out.

And at the end will be the bad washer secured with a small brass screw.

I found an article here that says basically the process. You should be looking at the section titled

"Repairing a Compression Faucet "

also the assebly you will be removing is shown in Figure B,2058,2934,00.html

All of this assuming I have the right type of valve configuration.

Joined: Mar 22 2003

Welcome back, Barry! We missed you...


Joined: Mar 20 2003

Hi Barry- Ditto what Cathye said. Lynn

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