american standard 3 handle shower, balancing C/H water

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by pasadena_commut, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Apr 15, 2018 #1

    pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut

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    American Standard 3 handle shower issue. In a previous thread I posted about problems with the diverter:

    https://www.plumbingforums.com/threads/american-standard-3-handle-shower-diverter.9772/

    The last time I replaced the hot and cold cartridges on this system it turned out so that opening the cold handle more than just a little resulted in a cold mix because so little hot water was coming out. Since then the rubber must have mashed down on the cold side (handle needed to rotate up by an extra 30 degrees to shut off) so I changed the seats (Danco 30019E) and the Aqua-seal washers (Danco 80410) on both sides. Result, now the cold must rotate a vast amount, more than a quarter turn, before any water would come out. It was the exact same cartridge on that side, just new rubber. Took it out and compared the old rubber with the new. Other than the usual spreading due to being mashed by use it looked the same. Turned the water back on with the cartridges out and observed approximately equal flow on both sides. Put the cartridges in, same problem with C side, not H side. Loosened the nut which holds the cartridge in place and the cold flow improved quite a bit, still not where I want it.

    So, is there some trick to putting these cartridges back in about how much to tighten them? The method I used was to retract the center of the cartridge as much as possible, put it back in place, put the nut in behind it, tighten by hand, then with a wrench until "reasonably tight". I didn't use all that much force, about like I would have used for installing spark plugs. That worked for Hot (this time, but not last time) but not for cold (this time, but it did last time.)
     
  2. Apr 15, 2018 #2

    TomFOhio

    TomFOhio

    TomFOhio

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    Those hat washers can be tricky sometimes. Make sure that the washer is all the way tight on
    the end of your stem. Push it on hard with your fingers. Try a different washer if still doesn't work.
     
  3. Apr 15, 2018 #3

    pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut

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    It was on solidly. The stem with the washer on looks like this one:

    https://hdsupplysolutions.com/shop/p/replacement-for-american-standard-cold-aqua-seal-stem-p477501

    I'm not entirely clear on how these washers work - never could find a cutaway drawing. Without that it is hard (for me) to explain why loosening the nut makes any difference at all, since my best guess is that the wide part of the washer will be in any case firmly clamped between the brass washer on the stem and the brass fitting in the wall. Why should it matter if that is held with 50 pounds of force or 20? For that matter, what is the point of the brass washer on the stem? If the rubber is clamped, why not just extend the brass barrel of the stem to do that?
     
  4. Apr 16, 2018 at 1:15 AM #4

    Mr_David

    Mr_David

    Mr_David

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    never really had any issues replacing those. Then again I always replace the whole assembly and not just the hat washer
    Like Tom said make sure washer is snapped onto the swivel foot end of the stem.
    Check inside the valve for rubber that might have got left behind from the any previous replacements.
    Retract the stem into the bonnet, full open before you install it into the valve

    IMG_5169.JPG
     
  5. Apr 16, 2018 at 5:09 PM #5

    pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut

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    I did. There were a few bits of teflon tape, which were retrieved with some tweezers, but no rubber.

    It was fully retracted.

    In the picture...

    What is the function of the brass washer? It must do something or they would just have filled the space by making the barrel longer.

    It looks like that stem has been greased. I recall reading somewhere that doing so was not a good idea for aqua-seal because if they are sufficiently lubricated they will open by themselves. Water pressure on the rubber apparently can produce enough force to turn the screw in the stem.

    Thanks.
     

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