I've been having a very hard time with an old leaking cold water shower compression faucet. We hired a plumber to fix the leak. As the handle on the old stem was frozen on the stem, it had to come off, which the plumber did by bending the stem while in the wall until it broke. This made me a bit nervous, thinking the torque could damage old interior pipes. To replace this cold water stem, I brought the hot water stem to a plumbing supply place where it was matched with a new stem . There was a little back and forth between home and the plumbing place as the new stem was longer than the original and some of the stem threads had to be ground off so the stem wouldn't "bottom out" as they called it. A new washer was put in place and stem put back. For a week or so it worked great, no drip. Then I had to tighten the faucet a lot more to get the drip to stop. Now, a month later, I have the drip back again.The plumber who did the work thought the seat looked fine. We've now spent $500 on fixing the dripping hot and cold water stems. They suggested putting a whole new shower assembly in but the bathroom is from the 1920's and they'd have to break the tiles and go into a terrible mess of pipes (which I can see from a small closet that gives access to some of the pipes). I was hoping it was a simple washer / seat repair. Is it a mistake to pursue this? It's so hard finding a plumber who seems to know what he's doing. This plumbing company was well recommended (and it's the 2nd one we've tried!) but I was surprised that the plumber didn't have a metal saw to saw through the stem and bent that solid metal. When he then couldn't get the packing nut off the bent stem he was going to put it back in the wall use a wrench and bend it back but I objected as I was afraid of damage. Suggestions??