American standard leaking shower cartridge.

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by hotrod, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. hotrod

    hotrod New Member

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    Dec 9, 2012
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    omaha,ne
    I have a single handle shower faucet that is leaking. about 12oz a minute I replaced cartridge and still having problem. whats next? Pressure Balancing Unit or new faucet?
    2012-12-09_18-28-49_244.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2015
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    The cartridge generally contains all of the wear parts of the valve, and replacing it, if it is installed correctly and is the right one, generally fixes the leak and restores normal operations. If you chose an aftermarket cartridge rather than an OEM one, that may be part of the problem as could it maybe being the wrong one. Also, there could be some crud in the lines from turning the water off and dislodging things - generally, it's a good idea to turn the water on with the cartridge out to flush the lines before installing the new one.

    If the body of the valve or cartridge is scratched or gouged up, it may never again seal well and would need to be replace in its entirety. It's also possible that an o-ring got dislodge when you inserted the new one. Make sure that it is lubricated with silicon plumber's grease. This will also make it easier to insert. You may have ruined the o-ring(s) if you didn't lubricate them (some come already lubricated, but not all).
     
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  4. hotrod

    hotrod New Member

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    thanks for input. cartridge is OEM. I went to a specialty shop and they ordered it in. The shop owner recomended to not put any grease on o-rings so I did not do that. I didn't give much consideration when I installed it. the 3 screws and cartridge seemed all very precise with no slop. the 0-rings barly protrude out of the cartridge.
    I will re-examine my installation procedure and repost on my findings.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    It is critical, if you do use grease that it be the right type or you'll potentially ruin the rubber in the o-ring(s). FWIW, on some I've dealt with, it was nearly imposible to insert the thing without some grease on it. A pinched, dislocated, or torn o-ring will usually allow it to leak.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF that unit has a separate balancing unit, then I have had situations where it has "separated" where the two sides are joined together causing a leak. Usually when that happens there is white residue along the seam where the crack is. In fact, I usually replace the balancing unit before considering whether the cartridge is defective.
     
  7. hotrod

    hotrod New Member

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    Dec 9, 2012
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  8. hotrod

    hotrod New Member

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    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    omaha,ne
    the first balancing unit I got was wrong part. I picked up the correct part on christmas eve. I decided to wait till day after christmas to install unit in case things didn't go well. that is today. I had a difficult time getting old unit. It ended up breaking apart while I tried to extract balancing unit. It took me about 1 hour to remove unit from plumbing. I installed new balancing unit and installed the new cartridge unit that was bought earlier. And then CRACK went the cartridge. I tightened screw a little bit to much. I still had old cartridge so I put it on. After water was turned on instead of a flow of about 12oz per minute I now have a drip of approx every 5 seconds. It appears the drip is coming where the cartridge meets the balancing unit. I am thinking I might want to take o-rings out of new cracked cartridge and put them into old cartridge.

    thanks to all that have posted here.
     
  9. Jack of Few

    Jack of Few Jack of Few Trades

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I've got a similar problem. My showerhead started dripping slowly but before long was up to a drip every couple of seconds. I tightened up the three cartridge screws to start with, which took to a drop every 5 seconds. Then I replaced the valve cartridge (American Standard 023529-0070A) and it slowed down to a drop every 10 seconds. After reading the posts above, I got a small tub of Oatey silicone grease, put it around the three 'rings', and it dropped slightly to a drop about every 12 seconds. I removed the three PBU screws and tried to wiggle it free while I had the cartridge out, but no luck. It's pretty firmly stuck, and I was afraid I'd crack if I put too much pressure on it in trying to loosen it. I ordered the matching PBU to the new cartridge and it should be here in 5-6 days. so my question is, now that I've got the leak as slowed down as far as it is, is it likely that the PBU is responsible for such a slow leak? I was thinking after reading the boards that a PBU leak would usually lose it faster than 5 drops a minute. If you think that's the correct next step, once the new PBU has arrived (I've learned not to do something like this without have the replacement in hand), what tips can you share as to best loosen it while doing the least amount of damage? I'm concerned about possible collateral damage to the base where the PBU mounts to.
     
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