The faucet in my shower/bathtub has had a slow drip for several years and I am now trying to repair it, so the drip stops and I need some help. The drip happens when the hot and cold water is turned off and when the diverter valve is in either the up or down position. So, it drips from the spout in the down position and the shower head in the up position. Its a American Standard 3 handle faucet system, cold handle, diverter handle, hot handle with a spout below the handles and a shower head above, of course. The tub near the drain never gets dry and tends to get mildew faster than it should because it is constantly wet.
Here is what I have done:
1. I turned off the main water supply to the condo.
2. I removed the cold and hot water handles, they were corroded and stuck on, so I had to use a faucet handle puller tool to remove both handles. I then removed both valve stems to inspect them. Both stems had some corrosion and the rubber washers on the end of the stems were noticeably worn. The stems were screwed in tight, but I was able to remove them without any trouble.
3. I removed the cold water bibb seat, it was loose and it came out easily. The seat in the hot water is stuck and I am not able to remove it. When I insert my faucet seat wrench in the hot seat, the wrench spins and does not grab the seat, its stripped, its a hex head. How can I remove this stripped bibb seat? What tool(s) should I use to unscrew it without damaging the plumbing and threads? Any written instructions or photos or videos would be a great help.
4. I decided to replace the hot and cold valve stems, so I went to Lowes and found an exact match, its Danco Hot/Cold Stem 9C-23H/C. I installed the new cold seat and stem. I left the stripped hot seat in place and installed the hot stem. Hot is on the left and cold on the right. The drip is still happening.
New stem package
5. So, I removed both stems to take a second look. Everything looks good to me. I added some silicone plumbers grease to what I call the interior threads of the stems, the threads that open and close the stem valve. Not the threads that screw into the pipe in the wall, hopefully that makes sense. I read some where that I should install them with the stem in the open position, so I did that and the faucet still drips slowly.
6. I decided to remove the diverter valve and inspect it for damage. The diverter valve looks in very good condition, just a small amount of white corrosion that I cleaned off. It did not have a rubber washer at the end of it, it has a white plastic piece. I went to Lowes (a short drive, luckily) to find a replacement and compare to mine, but they did not have one in stock. I decided not to replace it at this time.
7. I then tried to remove the faucet spout to see if that was causing the problem, I don’t think it could, but maybe. I removed the caulk around it and the escutcheon. I could not remove the spout, I believe its the kind that unscrews and its on so tight I can’t remove it. There is no set screw on the spout. I tried to unscrew it by inserting the handle of my screw driver up the spout opening and turning to the left.
8. So, the only thing I can think of that is causing the drip is the old stripped seat in the hot stem, do you think that is the root cause of the drip? What else could it be? What else should I check? When I look at the seat with a flashlight I don’t see any damage on the end, its smooth and looks in good shape. I felt it with my finger and it feels smooth on the end where the rubber washer makes contact with it. I don’t feel any nicks or bumps.
9. I’m not 100% clear on how the stem works, does the water come in from behind the seat and when the stem is opened it lets water thru the seat and into the pipe and then the diverter sends it down to the spout or up to the shower head?
Please help! I want to stop this annoying drip. Thank you!
Sorry for the long post, just trying to describe as best I can.