Price Pfister random leak shower head

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jimwtpa, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. jimwtpa

    jimwtpa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    This has been bothering me for days now...and you know if I am posting on Christmas...then I must be annoyed by my leak! We just remodeled our master bath and put in the Price Pfister Treviso 808 Series shower head and controls. The problem is that you have the shower turned off and everything is good (it is off and no drips)....it will be this way for 6-8 hours with no drips. Then water will begin dripping out of the shower head. It will kind of surge out...then stop ...surge out and stop....where it drips for 5-10 seconds and stops for a bit..then drips some more...as if water is surging (the surging is just my own theory). It will do this for about 10-15 minutes....then all the drips stop for 6-8 hours and it is perfect...then it does it all over again in just the same kind of pattern. Price Pfister mailed me a new catridge, stem, and bonnet and I replaced all of them and I have EXACTLY the same thing going on with the new parts... I have looked at the valve body where the catridge seats into and it looks nice and shiny and I see no problems...after all the whole assembly was installed 6 weeks ago. Does anyone have any idea what I can do to fix this? Thanks for any help!!

    - Jim
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drip

    It appears to be the type of shower head you have, especially if it is a rain forest head and it is almost level, rather than tilted.
  3. jimwtpa

    jimwtpa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Took off shower head...still drips

    I do not have one of the "Rainforest" shower heads...but to just make sure it had nothing to do with the head...I took it and the pipe out and just put a 8 inch straight copper pipe and sweated a coupling with threads on it and screwed it in where the head should go...so I have just an 8 inch pipe sticking out of the wall and I sat back and waited....and this evening about an hour ago...it started dripping ...almost as if someone had cracked open the valve a hair and shut it off repeatedly...it did this for about 15 minutes and has now stopped and is all quiet again with no leak. ????
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, this is a good one. I have not previously seen where the type of cartridge in that valve would be seinsitive to overnight fluctuations or surges in your house pressure. That is the only thing I could think of to test. Sounds like a good case for a call to Price Pfister...1-800-PFAUCET. Maybe they have heard of this.
  5. jimwtpa

    jimwtpa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Waiting on another part...

    Jimbo...called them and they are sending me what they call "an upgraded catridge" She said the catridge and stem are integrated into one piece. I noticed when I got the other version it had a thin layer of I guess plumber's grease on it...I did not wipe it off, but I am wondering should I have put a nice film of this in the valve body where these o-rings will seal? Would that grease help or is that just for smooth motion of the parts and nothing to do with their seal?
  6. martydiy

    martydiy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Sounds like my situation. I've got a new Price Pfister Treviso 808 DC faucet installed for a tub/shower combo - still roughing in and am on my third replacement cartridge. It drips, and does seem related to the pressure in the line because when someone uses the other bathroom fixtures when the water from that fixture shuts off I can count on getting a drip.
  7. jimwtpa

    jimwtpa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Price Pfister leak fixed!

    Just to follow up on my problem so incase anyone reading this has the same problem...I finally had someone at Price Pfister say they would send me an "upgraded" replacement cartridge. When I got it ...it is the cartridge, stem, and bonnet all built into one single unit instead of 3 parts that it normally comes as. I swapped it out with the other and as simple as that...I have not had a leak in over a week...which before the most I would go is 6-8 hours with no leak and the shower would always have a wet spot below the shower head.
  8. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    I might have the same problem, not sure.

    I have a Price Pfister 0X8 series valve, with Contempra trim. The trim probably doesn't matter. It is a tub/shower valve with a replaceable cartridge. I get leaks behind the shower wall (in the stud cavity of the wet wall) only during shower function. Tub function works fine and no leaks anywhere. But when I pull the diverter up, and water is coming out of the shower head, I get a leak in the stud cavity where the mud wall meets the tile flange. I have looked up into the stud cavity with a flashlight and see no water leaking down the shower riser.

    It is the darndest thing. It only happens during shower function. I thought it might be a problem with my caulking or tile/vapor barrier installation. But when the shower is running, and I point the water into the rear of the tub, I still get a leak in the stud cavity along the wet wall.

    This is not a DWV problem, as it only leaks when the water is on, and in shower function. It is not a supply line problem, as there are no leaks when the valve is shut off. It has to be either the valve, the shower riser or something else.

    I have even tried taking a spray bottle and spraying the grout and caulk in the suspect area, to see if I can force a leak with the shower turned off. No dice, I can't get a leak with a spray bottle. This is driving me nuts, and this is a newly remodelled bathroom that I am not able to use the shower. Hope anyone has suggestions on how I can try to diagnose this.

    Could it be a leak in the tub spout nipple? Would a marginal teflon tape job on the nipple threads cause a leak during shower function, but not during tub function? I would think this would be visible, but so far I can't see a leak in this area.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    Is the divertor in the tub spout? When running water into the tub, there is no real restrictions, so if the filler was not making a good seal, it wouldn't matter, sort of like a funnel, it goes where it has the least restriction - out the spout. Well, when you turn on the divertor, now the spout is pressurized the same as a supply pipe, so yes, it could spray behind the wall along the spout supply. Take it off, wrap a couple more wraps of new tape on it, then tighten it up. If it doesn't get tight, take it off and put another one one. It is possible you may have to get a different length nipple. It needs to be tight.
  10. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Thanks Jim. I think this is the problem also. However, the perplexing thing is that I can't actually see leaking in this area. In fairness, I can't see that well into this area. I'll wrap the tape on thicker. The threaded male adapters I used to create a custom length nipple had shoddy threads, as did all of the adapters in the box at Home Depot. Poor thread rolling operation at the overseas fitting manufacturer. The shabby threads with a thin application of tape is probably the problem.
  11. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    I removed the spout and installed a threaded brass nipple, with liberal amounts of teflon tape. It seemed to improve things. I might have a cast bronze elbow with iffy female threads.

    What is the trick to making a special tub nipple to get the right length and "clocking" so the spout ends up tight, and in the right orientation?

    Is there anything better (more aggressive) than pipe dope or teflon tape to seal threads?

    Thanks to all.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    You can use both tape and dope...
  13. martydiy

    martydiy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    my problem fixed with replacement cartridge

    I spoke to Price Pfister again and they sent a different type of cartridge - this one was one piece instead of two and my drip has been gone for a few weeks, so now I'm convinced that was the issue.

    But the really big fix I didn't anticipate at all. I had a bad hammering problem which I'd assumed was caused by air pockets. The replacement cartridge seems to have fixed that. In the past I tried to fix the hammering by draining all the pipes, and this seemed to work but just for a day or three. Now it's been weeks and no noise whatever.

    Wondering how that could be. Anyone have ideas on this?
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    Water hammer is the result of loose pipes, high velocity flow, and quick turn off. Inertia causes the water to attempt to continue to flow in the same direction. If the pipe is loose, it'll move - think an emergency stop in the car without a seatbelt on. Some valves close quicker than others. Normally, a manually controlled valve doesn't close quick enough to make a difference - it slowly decreases flow and therefore ramps the energy available to move the pipes. A solonoid, like in a washing machine acts more like a binary thing - full on to off very quickly. Same thing on a dishwasher or icemaker. Some toilet valves do this. In each case, a hammer arrestor can prevent it.

    The old technique was to have a capped air column near a valve. This only works for a short while since the trapped air is in contact with the water...some air is constantly being absorbed by the water until there is very little air left, thus very little arresting action. A proper arrestor has a sealed piston or bladder between the water and air, so it never waterlogs.
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