Leaking faucet handles

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by tostaky, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. tostaky

    tostaky New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Quebec
    Hi !

    I'm a newcomer on this forum who seems to have a lot of helpfull people !

    I have bathroom faucet handle that are leaking. I remove the cap but there's no way i can acces to retaining nut or anything that can allow me to change the catridge (if there's a catridge !). I don't know the brand of the faucet. You can see on my pictures that the brass thing that looks like a bell doesn't move at all.

    Can anyone help me with this ?

    Thanks ! DSC_1274.jpg DSC_1272.jpg
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    grab that dome and unscrew it
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,948
    Location:
    New England
    If you don't have enough strength to unscrew it, you can try a strap wrench (and some of those could damage things as well). Using most anything else is likely to damage the finish.
  4. tostaky

    tostaky New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Quebec
    When i try to unscrew it everything is movin with it including the pipe under the sink.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,943
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Then it may take two people. Somehow you have to hold the lower part under the lav firmly.
  6. tostaky

    tostaky New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Quebec
    Thanks for your answers.

    I try very hard with a strap wrench and a friend and that dome doesn't move. There's copper ring under the sink that i've slacked but doesn't change anything. Once again there's a picture of what it looks like.

    DSC_1279.jpg
  7. ckl111

    ckl111 Home Builder

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Ontario
    That's a Rubinet faucet. You have to loosen the dome. It is possible that the installer did not install the faucet correctly and screwed the dome to the valve stem first and then tightened from underneath. That results in the dome being pulled down onto the deck and making it hard to turn. The bell is only supposed to be snug to the deck. The upper washer and nut inside the dome is supposed to hold the stem firmly to the counter top, not the dome. The top of the dome also should not be scratched up like that. When installed properly, the handle should not rub on the dome.

    Use a basin wrench to loosen the nut from underneath. That will release the pressure between the dome and the countertop . Hopefully then you can also get a better grip on the base of the dome and turn counterclockwise to unscrew it. You may need someone to grab it from below with a pair of pliers to keep it from spinning if it is stuck. Be careful not to grab the threads of the inlets or you will strip them. When using the pliers, grab the "back" of the stem.
    photo.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF the entire faucet turns when he tries to remove the dome, that should mean that it is already "loose" but that the dome is corroded to the valve body. In most cases, that means that the dome will have to be damaged to remove it, since it will require the use of pliers or a wrench. Wrapping it with tape may prevent most of the damage, however.
  9. ckl111

    ckl111 Home Builder

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Ontario
    yep, if it's corroded, it will take brute force to remove it. You can try spraying some penetrating oil around the top of the dome and let is soak for a little bit. You can see from my picture where the dome screws onto the top of the cartridge. Either way, the dome has to be removed to get to the cartridge or to remove the entire faucet to replace it if there is too much damage.

    If you do get it out, you will most likely have to find a plumbing store or a higher end retailer that sells Rubinet for parts. Home Depot, Rona, etc. most likely won't sell the cartridge. It looks like an antique brass Rubinet Flemish. If you can, you should bring the old one because those cartridges have several lengths of stems for the handles. Even the one in my picture looks different than yours. It has a longer tip.
  10. tostaky

    tostaky New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Quebec
    Thanks for the help ! It doesn't show on my last pic but the nut under the counter is already loose. So maybe it's corroded like you suggest it. In fact I can move the dome and the entire unit upside down for something like an inch but it doesn't really help me to get a better grip. I've put some jig-a-loo but it doesn't seem to change anything.
  11. tostaky

    tostaky New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Quebec
    Nothing works. Now my question is how can I remove all that by broking it or anything. This damn thing have to go away !
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Hold the underneath part with a wrench, and then use a second wrench, or large Channelocks, on the top piece.
  13. tostaky

    tostaky New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Quebec
    I'v already try that. The only thing i'm getting is a stripped dome !
  14. ckl111

    ckl111 Home Builder

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Ontario
    Vicegrips may hold the dome tighter as long as stripping the dome is no longer an issue.

    If you are resorting to destroying the valve to get rid of it then heat the dome with a torch at the top so it will expand and then try loosening it. My picture was of a used valve so you can see a bit of corrosion at the top of the stem. That is where the dome threads onto the stem. Concentrate the heat in that area. Much like getting a cap off a jar by running it under hot water but more extreme.

    you can also hack saw or sawzall through the stem to cut it in half. Take your time and try to shield the sink from the saw because a slip can mean changing the sink too.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  15. tostaky

    tostaky New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Quebec
    I don't have a sawzall but i do have an hack saw. When you suggest to cut the stem in half you does it mean that i have to cut all the lenght ? Because my sink is bit higher than the base of the dome so i can't cut all lenght.
  16. ckl111

    ckl111 Home Builder

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Ontario
    I am surprised you still can't loosen the dome with pliers. I've never had to cut one in half before so I don't know how hard it will be. I was thinking of cutting the valve stem in half just underneath the dome since you said you could lift it up an inch and exposed the stem from above. I did not mean cutting it in half top to bottom. I imagine it will take a while with a hack saw. You may want to remove the spout first and give yourself more room.

    Are both shut offs stuck?
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