Leaking Grohe model 34-436.

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by rhoyerjr, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. rhoyerjr

    rhoyerjr New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Leaking Grohe model 34-436.
    I purchased and installed part 47-111, (thermo element cartridge ($165.00)) based on my local plumbing store recommendation that this should fix a very consistent drip from my Grohe shower faucet. My local plumbing store is normally very reliable but I do not think they know Grohe faucets very well so I am turning to this forum for advice.
    While I had the facet disassembled I cleaned and lubricated everything.
    I believe my problem may be one of the stop valves. Both of them had some green corrosion which I cleaned off. I also lubricated the o rings. Before I spend any more money and take the time to tear apart the faucet again does anyone have any experience and advice? Perhaps I am missing an adjustment that would stop the leak?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2011
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I am not familiar with Grohe showers. However, I looked at the diagram for your valve on their website. It appears that the thermoelement part 47-111 is just that...the temperature control. For the faucet to drip, water has to be getting TO the thermoelement when it should not be. It looks like the "drip" would be caused by the stop valves ( hot or cold) , items 9 on the diagram, part number 08-355 ( 2 pcs, hot side and cold side).
    However, don't go out and buy more parts on my say-so. I am just looking at a diagram for a valve I don't have my hands on. Get someone to look at it in person. Or possibly call Grohe customer service. If they are good, they can help you troubleshoot.
  3. rhoyerjr

    rhoyerjr New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Thank you Jimbo. I agree with your assesment.
    It is very difficult not only find but to get someone to visit the house to repair a leaky faucet.
    I'll buy the parts and have another go at it. I can hear the drip at night, it is water torture!
    Thank you for your input.
  4. rhoyerjr

    rhoyerjr New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Leak fixed

    :) Replacing the stop valves stopped the leak.
  5. mike_or

    mike_or New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Leaking Grohe model 34-436 - I've the same problem

    I am a novice when it comes to plumbing. I have the same leaky grohe shower and I wonder if I should attempt the same fix or get a grohe-aware plumber.

    Any advice is appreciated.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    Call Grohe or e-mail them. I had a faucet that leaked only when the handle was left in a particular position (single handle type). They sent me a new cartridge for free...worth asking, anyways.
  7. mike_or

    mike_or New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Thanks! Will contact Grohe as suggested

    mike
  8. mike_or

    mike_or New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    leaking Grohemix 34-434 thermostat valve

    Hi All,
    Grohe's techinical support asked me to replace the stop valves, just as jimbo suggested earlier.

    "The stop valves will need to be replaced, this is part number 08.355.000
    there is a company called Tapco @ 1800 782 0658 they will take orders and
    ship direct.

    My question to jimbo and rhoyerjr and others listening in:

    Can I, as a novice, replace the stop valves myself or do I need a plumber who knows how to fix Grohe fixtures?

    I looked at the fixture and it has only two screws connecting the fixure to the wall. Is it enough to undo these 2 screws, and pull out the fixture in order top replace the stop valves? Do I need any special tools? I think I need to shut off the water main before replacing the stop valves. Anything else I need to worry about?

    thanks
  9. lambtron

    lambtron New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Oregon
    Same problem, less costly solution

    Replacing the stop valves is an expensive way to fix this problem. I am currently working to solve this same problem (a slow leak in my Integrated Grohmix 34-436), but I hope to solve it in a less costly way.

    Before I explain my troubleshooting/repair procedure, here's a tip for mike_or: you don't need to shut off the whole house when servicing this valve; just turn off the service stops that are hidden behind the escutcheon. These are the large screws at the extreme left/right of the overall valve assembly. Just turn them 1/4 turn either way (so the slots are vertical instead of horizontal) and you can then dissect the valve to your heart's content without risking a flood.

    Due to the architecture of this valve, a slow leak is virtually guaranteed to be caused by a leaky stop valve. Knowing this, my first goal was to determine which of the two (hot vs. cold) stop valves was leaking. To do this, I turned off first the cold, and then the hot service stops. The leaking stopped when I turned off the hot service stop, so I knew then the the leak was coming from the hot stop valve.

    Next, I removed and inspected the hot stop valve assembly, Grohe part number 08-355. What I discovered was a worn o-ring on the inner plunger shaft. It is clear that this o-ring, which is the middle of three o-rings on the shaft, is responsible for blocking the water flow when the stop valve is turned off. So, it is likely that the leak can be stopped by simply replacing this o-ring, at a cost of maybe 25 cents, instead of the entire stop valve, at a cost of more than $100! Note: I cleaned the filter screen with a toothbrush under running water while the stop valve assembly was out and totally accessible.

    Unfortunately, the Grohe parts list doesn't break out assembly 08-355 into its component parts. To get around this, I removed the worn o-ring and measured it. It measures approximately 7mm inside diameter, 12mm outside diameter, 2.5mm cross section. The o-ring material is not known, but I think any common o-ring material will work as long as the rings are properly lubricated.

    Another unfortunate problem is parts availability. None of my local plumbing, auto supply or hardware stores stock this o-ring size. I contacted Grohe and appealed to them for a couple of spare o-rings. They have a good reputation for customer support, so I might get lucky and receive a few from them. If not, I suppose I will order a minimum quantity (i.e., $25 worth) of o-rings from an online supplier; if it comes down to this, I will gladly send, upon receipt of a SASE, some of my surplus o-rings to others in this situation.
  10. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Nice job! I can't believe that you can't find the correct size O-ring. I've bought little plumbing repair kits that have a zillion different sizes of O-rings. Maybe the right one is in a kit like that.

    Sometimes worn O-rings have stretched a bit. Thus, a slightly smaller one might work. While you're waiting for Grohe, try using something close and see if it works. It's only a few cents, like you said.
  11. lambtron

    lambtron New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Oregon
    I couldn't believe it either! I went to Home Depot, Napa Auto and a specialty plumbing supply store, and except for one o-ring I found, none of their in-stock o-rings were even close.

    That's good advice and exactly what I did. I purchased and installed the closest o-ring I could find, but the leak persisted and the valve exhibited a behavior that indicated a poor o-ring fit (e.g., when valve is shut off it leaks, but back it off, or play with it a little, and the leak flow rate drops to a tolerable level). At the very least I'm hoping Grohe will respond quickly with the exact specification for the o-ring so I can order a replacement and be confident it will be a good fit.

    It's a mystery to me why the parts list doesn't call out items like this o-ring. O-rings receive the brunt of the wear and tear from valve operation and they typically will need to be replaced at some point in the life of a valve.
  12. Lancaster

    Lancaster New Member

    Messages:
    164
    As mercenary as it sounds,my thinking is that Grohe figures they will never be able to make any money selling a replacement for that o-ring.You see more and more of this with regards to replacement parts.

    I can kind of see their thought process.It costs a lot of money to maintain each part number,and they will never be able to recoup it even if they charge 5 bucks for it.

    Sadly,that goes against the old American way of doing business,where repair parts was not intended to be a profit center but was tolerated as a cost of doing business.Now granted Grohe's parent is a German outfit,but more and more USA companies are doing it this way too.Ah I hate to see it happen,but its been going in that direction for 30 years now,I guess we have to learn to love it,or at least live with it..
  13. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    If you Google {metric o-rings} you'll get a ton of hits for o-ring suppliers. They normally have a minimum order size, but one of those "zillion o-ring" kits might satisfy it. Most of them also have customer service lines where they might offer advice on what material to use, even to a small customer.
  14. lambtron

    lambtron New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Oregon
    O-ring update

    I searched the Internet high and low but couldn't find a kit with o-rings that are even close to the size I need. In fact, I found only one supplier that lists the needed size (and it isn't available in any of their kits), with a minimum order of $25 plus shipping.

    That's the bad news, but I also have good news to report. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had emailed my o-ring query to Grohe customer support. I never received a reply, so I called them and explained my problem. The fellow I talked to never addressed the o-ring issue, but he cheerfully offered to send me two replacement stop valves at no cost to me. As promised, I received them yesterday and plan to install them today. If everything goes well, my shower will be back in business tonight.


    In the end, it appears that Grohe is not witholding the o-ring specification in order to boost profits. Not only that, but I must pass along kudos to Grohe for their top-notch customer support.

    Although the leak problem is now apparently resolved, I am still disturbed by the wastefulness of the solution. There may be some valid technical reason for replacing the entire stop valve instead of just the o-ring, but I sense that "the baby is being thrown out with the bath water."
  15. lambtron

    lambtron New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Oregon
    Problem solved

    Final Report:

    I installed a new hot stop valve yesterday and the leak is fixed.

    Although the cold stop valve wasn't leaking, I did notice some wear on the same o-ring that failed in the hot stop valve. Also, the outsides of both the hot and cold stop valves were discolored and not mirror-smooth like the new stop valves. This deterioration didn't appear to be present on the inner surfaces of the valve cylinders, but these surfaces are difficult to inspect and any degradation of surface smoothness here will lead to rapid o-ring deterioration. For these reasons (and since Grohe sent me a pair of new stop valves) I decided to replace the cold stop valve too.

    Summary:

    Showerhead leaks in Grohe model 34-436 valves will always be caused by a malfunctioning stop valve (Grohe part number 08-355). More specifically, the cause will be a failed middle o-ring on the inner plunger shaft of the stop valve. This critical o-ring can fail due to abrasion as a result of (1) particles in the water supply passing through the stop valve filter, or (2) degradation of surface smoothness inside the stop valve cylinder, or (3) loss of o-ring lubricant.

    The life of the critical o-ring can be extended by periodically cleaning the stop valve filters and lubricating the inner shaft's o-rings.

    When the critical o-ring fails, stop valve replacement is the recommended cure unless (1) a properly fitting o-ring replacement can be found, and (2) it is known that the inner surface of the stop valve cylinder is in excellent, mirror-smooth condition.
  16. noplumbingability

    noplumbingability New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    California
    Same problem - I called Grohe

    Wow.

    I am having this exact same problem. The 34436 was installed in May of 1997. When the lever is turned all the way to the left the tub spout leaks. My assesment was the same, I concluded it was the stop valves. I tried to find the right sized o-rings, but to no avail.

    I ended up calling Grohe parts (630) 582-7711 and asked for technical assistance. They agreed that it was the stop valves (part no. 08.355) and I asked if I could replace just plunger in the stop valves. They said no, but there is a washer set that I can use to replace all of those washers and o-rings. THe part number for that is 47.045, and it lists for $26.00. It has the o-rings for the hot and cold sides and the replacement screens for the stop valves.

    I am curretly looking for local distributors so I can buy one on the way home from work.

    Per the Grohe technician's advice I plan to replace the rings on the plunger and lube them. I may replace all of the o-rings that are available in the set. I have seen no evidence of pitting or corrosion in the valves, so I am thinking it is just the rings.


    So far Grohe's assistance has been very helpful for me.

    I do find it kind of strange that a several people have written here with pretty much the same problem in the past couple of months.

    I will write back with my results.

    Thanks,
    NoPlumbingAbility :confused:
  17. noplumbingability

    noplumbingability New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    California
    Results

    Well, I purchased The Grohe replacement washer set (part number 47.045) from a local Grohe dealer. I replaced all three o-rings on the plunger in the stop valve on both sides. I also replaced an o-ring in the outside of the stop valve (the part that holds the screen) on the hot and cold sides. The leaking stopped.

    The replacement washer set contains far more washers than I needed for this job, but that is OK. I hope I never need the remaining washers to replace o-rings in the thermoelement.

    I was happy to replace the middle washer on the valve stop plunger and the washer by the screen, as both were pretty well flattened, and one fell apart as I tried to remove it.

    The washer replacement kit came with a small amount of Grohe's lubricant, which I applied before re-assembling the stop valve, Things went back together pretty easily.

    SO, overall Grohe support and thier local dealer helped me get a solution to this problem. I think there is another washer set available that replaces just the two washers on the stop valve assembly (near the screen). This washer set may have done the trick as well. I do not have that part number in front of me, but it consists of a total of 4 washers, two for each side.

    This is a great forum, and I will probably return seeking advice on other stuff in the future.



    Thanks,
    NoPlumbingAbility:eek:
  18. bang0r

    bang0r New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Groche 34436 (weak water flow)

    I bump into this thread while researching how to trouble shoot a recently developed weak water flow from a grohe 34436 valve. I have eleminated any blockage in the hand shower head and flex host. One noticable symptom is that adjusting temperature may result in a temporary increase in water flow.

    User "lambtron"'s 10-05-2006 posting referenced a stop valve filter. Where is such filter located?

    Currently, I have disassemble sufficient parts to expose the frontal wax cartridge, and shut off the hot/cold service stops.
    What is a safe way to take out the wax cartridge?

    Below are the URLs to the valve schematics and part list:
    http://db.grohecatalog.com/upload/p_explo/E34436US.jpg
    http://db.grohecatalog.com/upload/p_spare/sp34436.gif

    Thanks in advance.
  19. bang0r

    bang0r New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Groche 34436 (weak water flow) - resolved

    After some tinkering, I was able to access the stop valve, and find that the
    filter is a piece of wire mesh wrapped around the middle of the valve stem.
    The filter is cloaked with debris. After cleaning the filter and flushing the
    valve, the water flow is backed to normal.

    The comments in this forum has been extremely helpful.
    Thanks again.
  20. KT444

    KT444 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Illinois
    Grohe Stop Valve

    Hi, this is my first try at using a forum. I happened to run into this string and was glad to read that you have been able to fix the problem of low water pressure. I am having the same problem. I have taken the front of the valve off but can't figure out how to take the stop valves out to clean the filter. I took out the two slotted screws which exposed the ends of shafts Iin the stop valves) that can be rotated clockwise and counter clockwise as well. these shafts are held in place with flanged hex nuts which I cannot access with a wrench to unscrew and the shafts stick out too far to put a socket on these nuts. i would really appreciate any details that you can provide as to how you took the stop valves out and also if any special tools were needed.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
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