Leaking shower handle

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Harv, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Harv

    Harv New Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Hi, I'm looking for help fixing a leaky shower handle.
    Small amount of water is leaking out of the handle when the shower is on.
    This is a shower only (no tub). Outside of handles say "SAYCO".
    I've got the outside of the handle off but not sure how to remove the sleeve, wall flange, and internals.
    Then what to do next.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    There is a smaller nut, visible in the photo, which secures a stem packing sleeve. The larger hex you see will unscrew the entire stem for repair or replacement. FIRST, of course, turn off the water, and OPEN the stem. Don't try to unscrew it while it is dogged down in the off position.

    I don't see any setscrews under the flange, so the sleeve is probably screwed onto something. Sayco parts are available, so don't be overly concerned if you have to use some pliers on the parts, which will damage the finish. You can get new ones. Finally, from the hardware store, for about $12, you can get a set of shower sockets, which are just deep sockets in odd sizes used by faucet manufacurers, like 29/32", etc.

    You can get replacements for all the gaskets and seals, inside, but a whole new stem won't cost that much more. Also, behind the stem is a removable brass seat. It is remvable with a square end or for sayco I think the hex end of a Shower Seat Tool, also available for a few bucks at the hardware store.

    Some hardware store will have a "complete kit" for your sayco, which will include stems, seats, and all new chrome and handles. Might be worth it. Take your stem with you to the store, however. There are "new style" and "old style" sayco stems.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Use a socket which just slides inside the sleeve, then grab it AND the sleeve with Channelock pliers and it will usually unscrew. Right now you are deforming it when you grab it and that binds it to the valve. Then tighten the packing nut SLIGHTLY to stop the leak.
  5. Harv

    Harv New Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Thanks for all the excellent advice.

    I needed to do the repairs to correct a problem found during a house sales inspection.

    I got the sleeve off by unscrewing it but could not remove the stem with a regualr wrench. I tightened the packing nut which seemed to stop the leak.

    Even though I was able to get the sleeve off without ruining it I decided to get new sleeves and handles to make it look nicer. They looked really bad before starting. Pricing these items at a local store showed that I could get a complete SAYCO kit which included the sleeves, flanges, handles, stems, and stem removal tool for a few dollars more than just the sleeves and handles. I got the kit in case I needed to replace the stems. It looks good with the new sleeve and handles and no leaks. Only minor problem is that the I got 2 "H" snap-ins for the handles instead of an H and C. Back to the store to replace the snap-in.

    Thanks again.
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