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#553111 - 06/26/09 07:27 PM What is the best washer material for shower faucet
beezoboar Offline

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 11
I continue to have problems with leaking shower faucets. The soft washers are deformed despite new valve seats last year. The valve seats dig into them and twists them which results in the deformation. The twisting has sometimes loosened the screw that secures the washer.

The plumbing guy at the hardware store says I am supposed to use the soft yellow 3/4" disk washers and they continue to deform and fail. There are harder black washers but he says not to use them.

I can't see anything wrong with the valve stem or the valve seats- I pulled them out for inspection.

Any suggestions on washer materials or washer shape- flat or conical?


#553112 - 06/26/09 08:18 PM Re: What is the best washer material for shower faucet [Re: beezoboar]
Bob_Fleming Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 30073
Loc: Ft Collins, CO USA
I always used the relatively hard black rubber washers, and the same for sink faucets. They never failed me. There are some valves that are designed for the conical washers, but very few.

#553113 - 06/26/09 08:22 PM Re: What is the best washer material for shower faucet [Re: beezoboar]
vid Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 2702
Loc: Mad City
Use the washers that the guy at the hardware store recommended. To keep them from deforming so quickly, quit turning the handles so hard when you shut the faucet off. A common mistake people make is thinking that they really have to crank on a handle to stop the flow of water. All that does is wear out the washers faster.
Leadership......Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way.

#553114 - 06/26/09 10:32 PM Re: What is the best washer material for shower faucet [Re: beezoboar]
dora Offline
Search and Rescue
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 22464
Loc: Somewhere under the sun
A couple more things that may help you out:

Buy some plumbers grease to lube up the stem/washer/o-rings and threads before installing them back into the mixer body

Before inserting the stem, make sure you turn the shaft to the full open position to back the washer away from the seating area. Then screw the shaft into the mixer body and tighten it in place with a wrench. Quite often people forget to unscrew the shaft when installing faucet washers. In that case, the new washer is forced into exactly the same position as the defective washer and it instantly distorts the new washer, which results in a leak.
Life is about using the whole box of crayons!


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