Poor Water Flow After Replacing Stems

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Ridge Runner, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    GA and TN
    I just replaced the 20 year old Price Pfister bathtub/shower stemset including the valve seats. They make a kit that contains hot and cold water stems, a diverter stem, 3 valve seats, new knobs, and some gaskets.

    I re-installed the kit using plumber's grease on the stem "gears'. When I turned the water main back on, there were no more leaks. I seemed to get good flow from the hot water side, but poor flow from the cold water side. The shower diverter (center knob) is not diverting much water like it previously did. I don't see any debris in the supply elbows. The man at the plumbing supply house told me to make sure the stems were in the 'full open" position when installing. I see that the diverter stem is made differently from the other two, but is there a difference between stem used for hot water and the one for cold??

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    GA and TN
    Poor Water Flow

    Here's a follow-up on the low water flow problem I encountered after installing new valve stems in an upstairs bathtub.

    Since I was only having the problem with the cold water side, I had a suspicion that there was some kind of blockage in the line. What I did was to remove the new valve stem and the new valve seat in order to open the supply line as much as possible. I then turned the water back on at the main shutoff and let it shoot into the tub for a few seconds. Sure enough a large chunk of something flew out from the cold water pipe. Don't ask me how it got there, but this was the problem. I reinstalled the seat and valve stem, and it worked perfectly!:)
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Pp

    Now the bad news. If you had had me repair the faucet, I would have converted it to ceramic seals so you would never have to replace washers, the stems would never leak, they would open fully with a 1/4 turn, and would never tighten up. I haven't installed or repaired a Price Pfister stem washer in years.
  4. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    What do the 1/2 turn PP bath faucets use: ceramic or something else? I have these.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    half turn

    No idea because I have never seen any. A ceramic would go from closed to full open to completely closed in a half turn. The only other ones are compression type and they turn as many turns as there is room for them to retract. Some sink faucets have stems that can only go a short distance between open and closed and they might be half turn or so when new.
  6. chigundo

    chigundo New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    North Carolina
    What would this cost? On a 1949 shower with just a hot & cold handles?
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    cost

    Basically, for most unless it is a Crown Jewel model, which yours could be, it is the cost of a complete new valve, only because the trim pieces attach differently. The Crown Jewel uses the same type trims so you would just need new stems, and possibly stem extensions depending on how deep the old one is in the wall.
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