Saturday, March 21, 2015

How to Replace Damaged Shower Faucet Seal

Fig.1 Shower wrenches
By Gary Boutin
Supplies and Tools: 
Phillip screwdriver
Hexadecimal shower wrenches
Hexadecimal wrench set-fold up
Small plumbing wrench
Shower seals kit
Stainless steel screw
Strap wrench with rubber strap

Michael works at Uncommon Good, a program teaching students green energy. His home is located in Upland, California, a beautiful neighborhood with mature trees in a rural setting. He had just purchased a century-old home and wanted to preserve its look. This time, the aging shower plumbing leaked water from the shower head and the faucet handle also leaked down the shower wall. This post addresses this problem.

This post shows the sixteen steps on how to replace a damaged shower faucet seal. 

Step 1: TURN OFF THE WATER FOR THE ENTIRE HOUSE. Showers and bathtubs do not have stop valves, the only way to repair these plumbing parts is to turn the water off for the entire house.
Step 2: Fig.1 shows the shower wrenches. These kits handle multiple sizes for different manufacturers.
Step 3: Fig.2 shows the shower seals that will be replaced. Fig.3 shows a flat scraper removing the decorative Hot or Cold plastic edge. Fig.4 shows the shower handle cap has been removed.
Fig.2 Shower handles
Fig.3 Removing handle cap
Fig.4 Plastic handle cap
Step 4: Fig.5 shows the handle side by side to the shower water stem. A Phillip screwdriver will be needed to remove this screw. In the plastic handle there is a stainless steel screw that will need to be removed to get into the water stem seal. Sometimes the screw gets damaged when removing it from the plastic handle, be assured this Phillip screw can be replaced and found in any hardware store that carries plumbing parts.
Fig.5 Side-by-side handle 
and water stem
Step 5: Fig.6 shows that once the handle is removed the handle the next step is to removed the square handle base. Fig.7 and fig.8 shows a close up shot of the handle base that will need to be removed from the water stem.
Fig.6 Handle base
Fig.7 Front view
Step 6: Fig.8 and fig.9 shows the handle base has an hex screw that will need to be loosen half way from the base of the stem. Fig.9 also shows the tool (Hex wrench set-fold up) that will remove the hex screw from the base. 
Fig.8 Hex
Fig.9 Hex tool
Step 7: Fig.10 shows the bronze decorative escutcheon. This escutcheon serves as an outer plate to prevent water from entering inside the shower wall. Fig.11 shows the removal of the escutcheon. This escutcheon is removed by unscrewing it from the stock tube. 
Fig.10 Decorative 
Fig.11 Remove escutcheon
Step 8: Fig.12 shows the stock tube assembly (white tube) that must be removed from the stem before the seal can be replaced.
Fig.12 Inside assembly
Step 9: Fig.13 shows the removal of the stock tube by unscrewing using a small plumbing wrench. Be careful not to strip the brass bushing edges. To unscrew the stock tube, pull the wrench toward you.
Fig.13 Unscrew the 
outer covering

Step 10: Fig.14 shows the stock tube side-by-side with shower stem. Fig.15 shows the water stem covering unscrewed from the brass bushing nut.
Fig.14 Side-by-side water brass 
stem  and stock tube
Fig.15 Outer 
covering removed
Step 11: Fig.16 through fig.18 shows the removal of the water stem by using shower valve socket wrench set. Use nut sizes 27mm and 32mm wrench. A Tommy Bar is included in the set but using a Phillip screwdriver with large handle will give the wrench more torque. The wrench below has two sets of holes in front and back to place the Tommy handle or screwdriver in the wrench. The wrench can accommodate two sizes, one on each side. be able to accommodate large brass bolts.
Fig.16 Installing shower wrench
Fig.17 Using 
a screwdriver
 for leverage
Step 12: Fig.19 shows the brass bushing nut is removed from the stem.

Note: Be careful not to loose the stem washer or Bonnet washer. Or if its broken replace it otherwise the water stem will leak in the wall.
Fig.19 Bushing nut
Step 13: Fig.20 shows a Phillip screwdriver removing a brass screw holding down a seat washer. Fig.21 shows a side view of the water stem and fig.22 shows a front view.
Fig.20 Removing seat washer
Fig.21 Side View
Fig.22 Front View
Step 14: Fig.23 shows the old seat washer. This seal needs to be replaced, notice the grooves in the rubber seal.
Fig.23 The old seal
Step 15: Fig.24 shows a plumbing seal kit. This kit has several different sizes for all types of plumbing stems. Fig.25 shows the new seal is in place in the water stem.
Fig.24 Several sized
Fig.25 New seal
Step 16: After the seal washer has been replaced, reverse all the steps above to return the faucet stem  to its original condition. Fig.26 shows the last step is to place the handle cap in place. This job is finished.

  1. From Fig.25 return all the parts to its original location. Replace the brass seal washer screw.
  2. Make sure the stem washer is in place before installing the water stem (usually cork or brown paper)
  3. Use the shower socket wrench and large Phillip screwdriver to re-install the water stem assembly.
  4. Replace stock tube onto brass bushing nut.
  5. Use a small plumbing wrench to re screw the stock tube onto the water stem, push the wrench away from you to tighten.
  6. Replace the stem on the shower bushing nut.
  7. Replace the metal stock tube base (metal) into the brass stem tip base.
  8. Re screw the hex screw back into the brass stem.
  9. Check the back of the escutcheon rubber seal and make sure its in good condition (prevent damages to shower wall).
  10. Replace bronze escutcheon by screwing it on the stem stock tube.
  11. Replace faucet handles.
  12. Re screw the Phillip screw in the middle of the handle into the metal base.
  13. Fig.26: Replace faucet cap either Hot or Cold.
  14. Turn on the water valves.
  15. Final check for leaks.
Fig.26 Handle cap

Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:
  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

No comments:

Post a Comment