Stem rubber washer- how tight?

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mattm

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On a Central/Danco tub stem (assuming this brand because it's an old 1925 house with newer bath, others may have replaced handles, etc., with incorrect ones), should the rubber washer remain as-is when you buy it, or do you need to tighten the screw that holds the washer before installing the stem? The screw never seems tight enough out of the package. Or should you just leave as-is so the rubber washer doesn't get compressed?

Related: When using the new stem and turning the water off, there is always sort of a rubbery/spongy stopping point, since it is closing against the rubber washer. There is also a little "rebound" that occurs- that rubbery stop causes the handle to counter-rotate just a tiny bit when you get to the stop point. It's not enough to allow water to drip. This rubbery/spongy stop has always bugged me. Shouldn't it have just a solid, definite stopping point? Do they make a washers out of harder material? I just don't recall this spongy feel in any tubs/showers I've ever used. Do I need to apply more plumber's grease to the stem threads so I can feel the stopping point better? Wondering if tightening the rubber washer and compressing it would help to stiffen it, and alleviate the soft rubbery stop.

Thanks!
 

Twowaxhack

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The packing in those danco stems is rubber I believe, I don’t like that......And the flat washers on the end of the stems are soft.....don’t like that either.

I replace the washers with wolverine brass washers and also replace the Bibb screws.

I use a lot of silicone grease in the packing area and tighten it until it feels right. Sometimes I replace the packings.
 
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