13 April 2008


Yesterday I got bold and decided to attempt repairing the faucets in the bathroom since replacing the diverter and shower head had gone so well earlier in the week. So I removed the screw that holds the handle in place, removed the valve stem, went to Lowe's, found the appropriate washers, returned, replaced the washers, the stems, and the handles, and the sink faucets magically stopped leaking. Flush with success I thought I'd tackle the tub faucets.

The sink faucets, I should note, have shutoff valves located directly below the sink in the bathroom itself. The tub, on the other hand, has no shutoff valve. Indeed, the nearest I could find was just as the water enters the house. That's right ... to shut off water to the tub, I needed to kill the water to the whole house. And that posed a minor problem.

I attempted to remove the tub handles and was unable to do so, for fear of prying too hard and doing irreparable harm (need to get some penetrating fluid, I think). I returned to the basement and turned on the water, and noticed dripping from the main valve. Uh-oh.

As it turns out, when a valve doesn't get used with any regularity, the packing nut can "set," so that when the valve is next used the nut gets a little loose and looses its seal. A 1/8 or 1/4 turn of the nut fixes that problem.

So yesterday I learned that. And now I know it.

I also know that there is something called a "packing nut."

And, for what it's worth, today I replaced the bathroom mirror. Mr. Home Improvement. That's me.


John David said...

Wow. Handsome and handy. Heh heh, "packing nut."

BMG said...

Yup. There's also something called a "seat washer." Learned that too.