Shower handle leaking water after diverter & seat repair!

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by lynnstargazer, Feb 24, 2021.


Call a Plumber or keep trying to repair it myself?

  1. Plumber for sure

    0 vote(s)
  2. Not sure

    0 vote(s)
  3. DIY repair should be easy

    0 vote(s)
  1. lynnstargazer

    lynnstargazer New Member

    Feb 24, 2021
    southern usa
    I had a dripping shower head for months. After researching I determined it would be best to replace the old handle valve diverters and to go ahead and replaced the seat washers. I purchased identical ones with the help of a licensed plumber at the hardware store. I purchased the seat washer tool. I did the repair after watching some tutorials used the lubricant grease on the threads as instructed by the plumber. It all went fairly smoothly other than some corrosion making some steps difficult.

    ...Now the drip is gone (when the handle is turned completely OFF)...BUT when I turn the handle ON now I have a much larger GUSH/STREAM of water that comes out the handle whereas before the drips only came from the shower head above. I thought perhaps some of my threads may have not caught properly so I uninstalled the whole thing again and tried my best to be sure everything was flush before screwing. There was a weird moment when screwing in the seat washer all 3 times I did it, where it seemed to get tighter then loosened then got tight again and fully tightened. I also was not sure when installing the diverter valve what position to have that in (closed or open) so I opted for closed when putting it in and laso when putting the handle with attaching screw back on.

    I'm afraid I may have damaged the body valve or perhaps it was already damaged behind the seat washer. I did have to tap on the seat washer tool with a hammer gently to get it to grip tightly enough to remove the old corroded seat washer...could that have caused damage to the body valve behind the seat washer or to the threads that the seat washer screws into?!?

    Before doing this repair we had certainly noticed the shower was temperamental getting the water adjusted to the right temperature and that when any other water is used in the house the shower pressure changes. That leads me to believe we might have already had a problem with this shower's body valves. I would imagine the valves are very old since the house was built in 1978 and has had little to no renovations done in that shower. I had already replaced the shower head and used plumbers tape on the threads up there when putting the new one on (is that correct to do or could that tape have been causing the drip?!).

    So it seems like I have to call a plumber? and I should expect them to have to knock out the drywall on the other side of the shower to access and probably replace the whole body valve apparatus attaching to the shower handles. If that's the case could anybody give me a reasonable rate to expect for such a repair. I saw rates between $310 and $600! I live in an expensive city so I assume already I'll pay double what my rural friends would. I have the parts for them to finish the handle repairs so he won't have to supply those. I am fine with them not repairing the drywall since I want to have an access panel there for future repairs anyway.

    Or perhaps is there something I'm missing that I could still try??!!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
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  4. Casey Heeg

    Casey Heeg New Member

    Apr 13, 2021
    La Crescenta, CA
    I have a similar problem; I just replaced my shower stem valve with a new one (very similar to the one posted by @lynnstargazer), and there is a slow leak coming from the packing nut when the valve is closed. I can stop the leak by cranking down on the packing nut, but I was told the packing nut should NOT be leaking if the valve is fully closed. Is that true? I'm wondering if I have a slow leak in the new stem valve, that is being masked by tightening the packing nut. Thanks!
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