Sunday, January 7, 2007

Shower faucet leak: nothing’s easy

As I’ve mentioned, the downstairs bathroom shower has been leaking into the basement. With the upstairs bathroom out of commission because of the remodeling, the downstairs shower is our primary shower so I need to get the leak fixed immediately.

The water dripping into the basement appeared to be coming from the hot water faucet of the downstairs shower. As most home improvement projects go around here, the shower faucet repair didn’t come easy. I’ve had experience rebuilding this type of shower faucet because the upstairs shower faucets were leaking last year. Since I’ve rebuilt these faucets before, this should have been a quick fix. However, I couldn’t get the compression faucet assembly out of the wall because someone before to me had rounded over the corners of the nut on the compression faucet. If the nut were in good shape, the shower faucet socket wrench shown to the right would easily remove the compression faucet assembly. With the nut rounded off, I couldn’t get the socket or wrench to grab.

This problem meant I had to make a trip to the hardware store to buy a set of Channel Lock adjustable pliers to remove the compression faucet assembly. Using an aggressive set of pliers like that on a brass faucet assembly is a big no-no because the teeth of the pliers dig in to the soft brass of the faucet assembly. However, I had little choice since someone else had already rendered the assembly nut useless to socket wrenches. Regardless of how hard I tried, every tool I tried to grip the nut with would slip off because of the rounded corners.
The good news is that I overcame this obstacle and now have the shower repaired. Next time I’ll go step-by-step through the process of fixing the shower’s compression faucet.

1 comment:

  1. Compression faucets are the most likely to drip. The washers or seals of compression faucets are repeatedly torqued down against the metal valve seats, so they eventually wear out.