Removing shower faucet valve seat

donk4kyvNovember 30, 2012

The cold water faucet in the shower drips. I tried replacing the rubber washer, but the drip didn't completely stop. Took it back apart, examined the brass valve seat and noticed a crack or chip. Tried to re-surface it with a tool made for that purpose, but the chip is apparently too deep.

I tried to remove the brass seat with a 1/4" square drive that fits into the hole in the middle of the seat, but it won't budge no matter what. I believe the square drive or the pipe would break first. I tried squirting it with PB Blaster but that didn't help. This plumbing is about 45 years old, so it doesn't surprise me that the seat would be stuck. The faucet is made by Gerber. I think replacement valve seats are still available, if I can just get the old one out.

Wonder if anyone might have any suggestions how this could be accomplished without removing the whole faucet, which would require ripping into the wall and unsoldering the copper pipes.

I have thought of trying heating the brass seat with a propane torch, and/or using an impact wrench/drill to break the brass seat loose enough to turn it. But I would be interested in any advice from someone who might have successfully removed one of those seats, before proceeding.


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First use a flashlight and check the seat carefully. Some are square drive and some are hex drive.

If it is square drive, make sure your square drive tool is long enough to reach all the way through the seat. If its only making a partway contact it could be causing the seat to bind.

I am assuming your using a square drive socket on a ratchet. If so, insert the square drive fully, then hold the ratchet by the head with the ratchet handle pointing up. Turn the ratchet until you have full firm contact with no slack in the drive, then rap the handle firmly with another tool. (I use a 12" crescent wrench to rap the handle). Generally it only takes about two or three good raps and the seat will free up so you can turn it.

DO NOT USE ANY PENETRATING OILS, remember that is potable water flowing through that valve and you do not want to risk getting chemicals into your potable water.

Once you have the seat out, take it to a True Value or Ace Hardware store and they will have replacements.

When selecting a replacement you will note that they have Brass, Monel Metal & Stainless Steel seats.

If your seat has what looks like a chip on the bottom side of the face, that is generally caused by water quality. I would strongly advise you to pay a bit more and get the Stainless Steel seat.

Also, after you install the seat, Make sure the stem is turned to the full open position before you screw it back into the faucet. If the stem happened to be in the closed position, as you make the final turns to tighten the stem body into the faucet it would push your new washer into the face of the washer and instantly distort and ruin your new washer.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:47PM
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