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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Finding washers for old fixtures?

    Folks-

    My house was built in 1927. The fixtures in the shower are original to the house. The shower drips—the valves need to have the washers replaced.

    The plumber takes the valve to the plumbing supply place to get a washer. He is told "They don't make those any more," so he tells me I have to replace the whole fixture (expensive job, holes in walls, etc.)

    Really? I have to replace several hundred dollars worth of plumbing because I can't get a couple of 25¢ rubber donuts?

    Is it that they "don't make 'em anymore" or is it that you have to order them from a specialty place? Is 86 just a good long life for a plumbing fixture, and I should let it go peacefully?

    Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

    --don

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Finding washers for old fixtures?

    Don, welcome to the 21st century.

    If it were a 25 cent solution, you would do it yourself, right? Get on line, go to plumbing outlets, find the matching parts and install it yourself. Can't do that?

    Then call an old time plumber, not a young dude plumber, if you can find one.

    Some words about rubber washers and metal seats:
    1. Washers come in many diameters, thicknesses and shapes. Must be the same as the old one. The washers are secured with a tiny screw - many times rusted, worn out and impossible to remove.
    2. There are seats inside the fixture - they have to be replaced as well with matching sizes. To remove them you need a seat wrench. Sometimes they seat so tight, you strip them by trying to remove them.
    So a 25 cent washer becomes a $200 job - and you still have a 1927 faucet.

    If you ask me, replace the fixture. 86 years is enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Finding washers for old fixtures?

    dj1-
    My initial post came out more-petulant-sounding than I had intended.
    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    If it were a 25 cent solution, you would do it yourself, right?
    if it wasn't that the house is in California, and I (at the moment) am in Washington.
    Then call an old time plumber, not a young dude plumber, if you can find one.
    I think this was my main concern—that it was a young dude plumber who only knows how to rip and replace.

    I was also told that I needed to replace 3 dripping hose bibs—okay, those are cheap, I can live with that; and a 7-year-old Kohler faucet with a lifetime warranty—I called Kohler, and they sent the replacement cartridges for free.

    If you ask me, replace the fixture. 86 years is enough.
    I think that's the reality check I needed. I guess I'll bite the bullet and have them replaced... then turn the old ones into wall art!

    --don

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Finding washers for old fixtures?

    You can also sent the old faucet to Pfrice Pfister museum.

    Replacing the fixture requires cutting the wall (usually behind the bathroom). The replacement plus the drywall repair shouln't be terrible expensive.

    Which faucet to buy? buy Delta, Peerless or Moen (not Kohler). Made in USA with good warranty.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Finding washers for old fixtures?

    If you know the make of the faucet it may help. If not post a picture and I may be able to identify it.
    John

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