Bathtub hot water faucet - no water comes out

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by LBrandt, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. LBrandt

    LBrandt New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Hello,

    I'm trying to help an elderly neighbor with a bathtub problem, and since I'm just an amateur when it comes to plumbing, I thought that someone here could help.

    My neighbor's tub and faucets are the original to the house (built in 1975). He has two bathtubs, but in one, no hot water comes out when he turns the handle. There is a separate handle for hot and cold. He gets hot water fine from the other tub and other faucets in the house.

    On this particular faucet, all that he gets is a small drip when he turns the handle.

    We removed the handle and looked at the knurled top of the stem, but we didn't remove the stem. From what I could tell, the handle may be "stripped" and unable to turn the stem, but we did turn the stem by hand and still no water came out.

    We haven't pulled the stem out yet, because I first wanted to see what others thought the problem might be. We thought that there may be a clog somewhere, but again, I'm just an amateur.

    I don't know what make the stem is, but I assume that even though it's almost forty years old, there is a replacement for it.

    Thanks,
    Louis
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can turn the water off, remove the stem and run it down to the hardware store for replacement.
    However, if you open the valve, and no water comes out, it could be old rusted galvanized pipes that are the problem.
    Anytime galvanized meets brass, the steel pipe loses the battle. It can close up where the two meet.
    1975 is right about when plumbers were bouncing between copper and galvanized pipes depending on the cost of copper.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,049
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The washer on the end of the stem may have come loose and is stuck on the faucet seat. You will have no idea what the problem is until you remove the stem.
  4. LBrandt

    LBrandt New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Louisiana
    That's exactly what the problem was. When we removed the stem, the washer was still in the seat. When we turned the hot water back on, the pressure blew the washer out into the tub. We replaced it with a new one, and everything was fine.

    Thanks,
    Louis
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