Help changing shower cartridge

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by theboneman21, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    Hi there.

    So I have a leaking faucet and it whistles when I turn it on part way; when open full blast whistling vanishes.

    I am going to check the washer and the seat as I suspect the seat might be worn and chewed through the washer.

    I took a very cursory stab at it this morning but I could not get the cartridge out. I tried a regular wrench and vice grips.

    I put some oomph in it but didn't want to come onto it too hard for fear of breaking something or stripping it totally.

    Is there a specialized wrench that would work for the cartridge and/or is there a way to loosen it up ?

    It is a waltec, not sure the model number, but it has two washers around it if that helps narrow it down.

    Thanks in advance for any and all tips
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,249
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I noise at partial flow usually indicates a worn washer with a "feather edge" acting like a reed in a musical insturment. Without seeing the faucet there is no way for use to tell you how to remove the stem.
  3. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    s
    Ok

    Turns out it is Waltec 76100

    32345741.jpg

    The only part that protrudes from the housing is the stem thing and the hexagonal face part.

    I have tried an adjustable wrench but admittedly I don't know how hard to come onto it. The house is 22 years old and I am not sure if these were ever changed so there could be rust and/or calcium buildups.

    Just wondering if there's a best set of tools to use and maybe some lubes like liquid wrench or something ?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    IL
    I don't know about your stem, and I don't know whether you want to turn clockwise or CCW -- I expect is the same way you turn the handle to turn on the water.

    However the best way to not strip a hex head is to use a 6-point socket or a 6-point closed-end (box) wrench. You would probably need a deep socket to clear that stem.
  5. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    It turns counter clockwise, and they can be pretty stiff. I can get them with a crescent wrench.
  6. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    Are any lube products worth a darn ?
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,249
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Are any lube products worth a darn ?

    I couldn't tell you because I have seldom used them in my 60+ years repairing faucets.
  8. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    Ok thanks

    I was just paranoid about coming onto it and stripping it. Lots of iron and calcium in this area and i have no idea how long they've been on there
  9. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    ok

    so it is still leaking slowly

    i replaced the cartridge and seat. i wrapped tape around the threads of the seat. the whistling sound is gone but the leak is still there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2014
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,759
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would not of used tape on those threads. It's too easy for a strand to get under the faucet seal.
  11. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    ok

    i will remove the tape and see what happens
  12. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    o so that seems to have kinda worked.

    it was dripping at a rate of about a drip per second. now it is every 10 seconds or so
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    While it is apart, you need to look at the valve seat (the part the washer pushes up against to seal the flow). If that is also worn or scratched, even a new washer won't seal it well. On many, that seat is also removable and replaceable, but it takes a (inexpensive) tool to remove it.

    FWIW, on straight threads, you never use tape to seal it...that is only used on tapered plumbing threads to fill in around the threads, creating the seal.
  14. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    i changed the seat too

    anything i might have done incorrectly? i realize that is a silly question since you cannot see
  15. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    there is a cold knob and a hot knob and the shower pull handle thing to send water from the spout (bath mode) to the shower. The things are all in line above the spout which is centered under the shower activation handle thing.

    the drip is from the spout
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    IL
    I am wondering if the remaining drip is not from the other side, or maybe even residual water draining from the shower for a good while.
  17. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    you may be right on one of those. i changed the hot and the drip is cold

    now i am guessing it is either the cold has a drip too or, like you said, it is residual so it is cool NOW.

    unless the leak is so minute it is cooling along he way

    i probably wont get a chance to check it until tomorrow; two showers plus a bath coming up for my family tonight.

    if it is still dripping when i get up tomorrow morning i will consider getting replacement parts for the cold side. even if it is not a cold water leak, the look of the seat in the hot water side that i changed tells me should probably change the cold anyway because the hot was pretty ratty
  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,759
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It takes 35 minutes for a tub spout to quit dripping after a shower.
  19. theboneman21

    theboneman21 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    then it definitely must be the cold leaking as its been over 1.5 hrs.

    so i will take a stab at it tomorrow, just need to find out what kind of cartridge i need for the cold
  20. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    IL
    Except that the threads that drive the washer may be the other way, don't you think it will look like the hot? I would suggest just changing the washer and maybe the seat, rather than getting a cartridge.
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