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How do you change the seals on your stems in the shower?

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2011-09-13 00:25:44
2011-09-13 00:25:44

I worked in a plumbing parts store for years. There are so many different stems and handles on showers. But basically wd-40 you'll need if they very corroded and metal. On the front of most tub handles there is a index button in the center of the tub handle covering the screw, remove this, it should lift straight out. Some are expensive and hard to find so be gentle with it especially if it's plastic. After screw underneath is exposed spray it with wd-40 and let soak in for a bit, reapply until screw comes out. After screw is out resoak that screw hole area with wd-40 because the handle is usually stuck on the end of the tub stem if it is metal, if you force it off with out soaking it in the wd-40 it often will break off the tip of the stem with the tip still stuck inside the end of the handle. If super stubborn you can purchase a handle puller from a plumbing store that will help. Once handle is off there are chrome escutcheons covering the stem and the hole around it(water should be cut off at this point because if the chrome escutchoens are screwd to the stem sometimes it unscrews the stem with it and the water would shoot out of that hole until you can get it shut off-be safe shut it off first. Some are one peice and some are two separate peices. Lots of them after soaked at the back of then with wd-40 will screw right off. Some are screwed onto the stem and some are screwd onto the valve body. But they simply screw off. These are expensive to pleace so be careful with using any wrench it will scratch or bend these. Try using a rubber gripper to get a grip of these to unscrew them. After this the stem is exposed. The water has to be turned off at this point.After water is off turn the hot and cold handle like you were turning on the water this brings the base of your stem up away from the bottom of the valve body so when you are screwing the stem out it is not pressed against there and will prevent damaging the seat there. You can purchase a set of tub stem wrenchs at a plumbing store that can remove most tub stems. They are silver tube like wrenchs you slide over the stem and if you get a good fit over the stems bonnet you can screw it out with this wrench-wd-40 before and soak if corroded. Then take tub stem to your local plumbing store with hadles and escutchoens and they can identify your brand and sell you the new washers and a new seat if you need one.

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