Valve seat is stripped (bathrub cold water handle)

iwmtvSeptember 9, 2009

So I have a leaking handle in the bathtub (cold water). It's a gerber stem. I replaced the washer on the stem but it didn't do anything. Then I took a look at the seat and it's a little worn.

I tried to remove the seat using the seat wrench but the the threads are completely stripped, can't get a grip.

What's the best way to remove the seat? I'm wary of drilling it out, I don't want to damage the pipe which would turn a $3 problem into something that will require tile removal and welding a new pipe.

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They have a tool for that very problem. You must be careful with it. It will punch a hole out the back.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 11:59PM
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I don't understand what you mean by the threads being stripped. So the seat does turn, but won't come out?

Are you sure that you're not just stripping the square hole in the seat (making it into a useless rounded hole)? Because if that's the case, you might try a different seat wrench (for better fit), and gently tap it into the seat before trying to turn it out.

Note, while I've done this successfully, I am not a full time plumber with tons of experience. But I did have this problem using a beveled seat wrench, instead of one with the "steps" for each size seat, which was much better. I don't think my big box store carried the better one, either.

Hope you understand what I mean. Anyway, good luck.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 7:57AM
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Yes, I meant the square hole in the seat was stripped (rounded out) and therefore I couldn't use the stepped seat wrench I normally use.

I bought a tapered seat wrench this time. Gave it some strong taps with the hammer and some WD40 and the seat finally came out.

I wrapped some teflon tape around the new seat. Question, how tightly should I screw in the new seat?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 1:08PM
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Put a dab of plumber's grease on the threads, then insert it just snug, no more. And be careful you don't cross-thread the new one when you install it.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:39PM
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Thanks for that. Is Plumbers grease essentially silicone grease? I have a small tub of Danco Silicone Grease.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:51AM
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No idea if they're the same, so might just invest in a tube.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:08PM
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From wikipedia: (see third paragraph)

Use in industry

Silicone grease is commonly used for lubricating and preserving rubber parts, such as O-rings. Additionally, silicone grease does not swell or soften the rubber, which can be a problem with hydrocarbon based greases. It functions well as a corrosion-inhibitor and lubricant for purposes that require a thicker lubricant, such as the operating mechanism of the M1 Garand rifle.

Thermal grease often consists of a silicone grease base, along with added thermally conductive fillers. It is used for heat transfer abilities, rather than friction reduction.

Silicone grease is also used widely by the plumbing industry in faucets and seals, as well as dental equipment. Electrical utilities use silicone grease to lube separable elbows on lines which must endure high temperatures. Silicone greases generally have a temperature range of -40 to 400 ðC.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:11PM
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