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Old 04-01-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
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Faucet Washer Replacement

Before I do something I'll regret I thought I'd asked the forum if anyone has tackled this before. My wife has decided that I need to make stopping a dripping faucet a priority. I thought it would be a quick job but after not being able to budge a nut that hasn't been touched in 40 years I became worried that I might end up breaking things.

Has anyone taken out the valve stem and replaced the washer on a late 70's trawler? I'm a bit concerned that these valves don't come apart the same way as "modern" valves? Right now I have it soaking with liquid wrench.

Any ideas? Here are some pictures.

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Old 04-01-2019, 01:51 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. SD. From your picture it appears to be a "standard" type faucet. Perhaps application of heat would be of some help. IF you are using an open flame I would strongly suggest you put a wet (NOT damp), wet cloth around the base of the fixture to protect the counter top from any wayward flame. A small pencil type torch would be my go-to.
Heat all around the fixture and not the stem as much as possible. Be VERY cautious in your application of heat. You may have to perform many heat/cool/wrench cycles before you see results.


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Old 04-01-2019, 02:21 PM   #3
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Good idea about heating the nut to loosen it. After spending 15 minutes banging on it with a 10" wrench I started becoming concern that the Taiwanese had built a faucet that looked normal but actually came loose from below which is behind a bulkhead.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:24 PM   #4
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Ours were dripping so I took it apart and tried to find new washers. No success in finding them so I just put in new faucets from Lowes for about $40 each. No more leaks, look great and have levers to turn on and off instead of knobs.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:30 PM   #5
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New faucets, definitely. I did this on my GB (70’s trawler) and on Old Shiny. Easy and cheap (the faucets, not me!).
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:58 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. SD. Heat the housing NOT the nut.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:06 PM   #7
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Firefly,

Got it. Housing NOT nut.

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Old 04-01-2019, 06:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSeadog View Post
Before I do something I'll regret I thought I'd asked the forum if anyone has tackled this before. My wife has decided that I need to make stopping a dripping faucet a priority. I thought it would be a quick job but after not being able to budge a nut that hasn't been touched in 40 years I became worried that I might end up breaking things.

Has anyone taken out the valve stem and replaced the washer on a late 70's trawler? I'm a bit concerned that these valves don't come apart the same way as "modern" valves? Right now I have it soaking with liquid wrench.

Any ideas? Here are some pictures.
Mr. Seadog,

As a retired professional plumber who's done LOTS of faucet service work on all sorts of faucets, from mundane to Delta to junk to antique, my best professional, authoritative and qualified recommendation is simple.



REPLACE IT.


It's a single hole single tap, it should be relatively simple to find a good quality piece of hardware to match up the style, or change it up to something more current. Get a faucet with a ceramic valve assembly, it'll last your lifetime. Even some of the junk you can pick up at the box stores will last probably as long as you own the boat.



I assure you, repair attempts will not end well.



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Old 04-01-2019, 06:44 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. M. Valuable and sound advice. I have replaced rather than repaired in some cases in the past but I have also repaired boat faucets as well. I found both to work well, for me. Repairs have been about 80% successful and in the 20% unsuccessful cases, of course, replacement ensued. As well, IF repair parts costs (IF even available) are close to replacement costs, then it's replacement time.


The bonus, at least I consider it a bonus, is I have gained the experience to do the repair and usually learn stuff, as well. Techniques and approaches that I can use in other circumstances. BUT, that's just me.


I notice Chinese characters and a logo on the spout of Mr. SD's faucet. Again in MY case that would cause ME to make every effort at a repair.



On a previous vessel (1974 Marine Trader 34' DC) I had occasion to remove a drain fitting and the hose bibs from the sink and shower. Both had inscriptions. The drain was translated by a Chinese friend as "Thousands of Mountains" and the hose bib read "Pearl River Electric Company". Go figure...





Unfortunately I've forgotten most of my Mandarin through lack of use/practice.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:01 PM   #10
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I'm with RT, try to fix it first, if that doesn't work then you simply replace it. I have fixed many and seats are available in many sizes. If parts are worn or broken then that's a different story. Most times just a quick seat change. I would try a long socket and cordless impact driver to break it loose.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:27 PM   #11
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I notice Chinese characters and a logo on the spout of Mr. SD's faucet. Again in MY case that would cause ME to make every effort at a repair.

And in MY case, that would cause me to weigh the potential of obtaining metric washers and seats, since in my (former/working) world, a righteous repair would not be possible without at least those new parts on a 40 yr old faucet. In my working world, I was expected to make the repair, offer a one year warranty, and have the faucet look the same or better than it looked when I started. The chinese characters virtually guarantee that parts will be made of unobtainium , if the seats are even replaceable. So with my 30 yrs. experience in those repairs, I'd without a doubt, pass!



Now for your own vessel, perhaps effecting a repair on a basket case piece of hardware is gratifying, and that's admirable. Maybe replacement isn't possible for myriad reasons, but in this case, I'd vote for expending the effort in ending up with a nice shiny new ceramic seat faucet. No drips! And I'd bet Ms. OP will be happier.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:16 PM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. M. I fully appreciate and respect your professionalism with regards to your experience and former career and I DO understand exactly where you're coming from.


I suppose I'm the "fix it until it's broken" type BUT I do succeed on occasion and that is very gratifying, to me, at least. I love a good challenge. Frustrates the h*ll out of the Admiral quite a bit but she should know me by now (we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our first date on March 26th, just past).



Strangely enough, MY 35 year working career was plumbing, of a sort, also. One of the differences being that I ran a scientific R&D facility where a goodly number of instruments I designed and produced were one-off and simply not available off the shelf or from any other source. Complete unobtanium and all hand made as well.


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Old 04-01-2019, 08:33 PM   #13
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Cheaper than saving the old one.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:43 PM   #14
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Well if it was me (Whoops it is me) I'd let it drip. It is no more then maybe a cup per week. Alas, that is not an option for me. I'm just not sure how to get to the back side of the faucet in order to remove it. I'll see if I have access from the salon the next time I'm on the boat. If not, then I'll try the heat and penetrating oil for a while. I also like the idea of a deep socket with an impact wrench.

Plan C will be to cut a hole in the bulkhead to replace the faucet.

With a boat you always need a plan C don't you?

Thanks for the ideas. ---- Adventures in boating
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:58 PM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. SD. Access to the underside of the faucet? Can you not work from under the basin? There IS a tool for working on those far away locking/mounting nuts...
https://www.harborfreight.com/12-inc...nch-91958.html


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Old 04-01-2019, 09:10 PM   #16
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When the basin wrench won't cut it, this...will

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Old 04-01-2019, 09:47 PM   #17
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:43 PM   #18
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I have similar faucets in my boat.



I've had good luck with PB Blaster but I've never had to use it on my faucets.



Make sure you are not trying to take apart something that is cast as one piece. I haven't done one in a while but I remember there is something weird about how these are put together.



The seals can be found at Ace Hardware and the O rings at Lowes. They look a little different than the originals (if there is anything left to compare to) but they work. They just "squish" a little. Probably no more than the originals.



Next time I'm down the boat I'll get the part numbers.



Keep your finger in the hole until I get back to you.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:34 AM   #19
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Firefly,

Unfortunately the sink is molded into the wall of the head that backs up to the engine room. I'm hoping that I don't have to resort to Steve's solution.

Al, Any remembrance on how you disassembled that faucet is greatly appreciated. When I was banging on the faucet it gave me the feel of a single casting. But them there Chinese wouldn't do that, Would they?
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:53 AM   #20
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Is there a locker beneath the sink?

I've replaced a bunch of bathroom-style faucets in boats recently (4 of them). They were always accessed from the locker underneath rather than behind. The only time I've had to go behind is for showers and baths.

I've got one of those faucet wrenches that someone showed. But, I didn't end up using it, at least in the most recent case (I don't remember the earlier ones). I locked a big set of vice grips onto the nut from the bottom and twisted it loose. I locked them on vertically, rather than horizontally. It wasn't elegant, but it worked. In the past, I've sometimes had to be uglier and put something through the vicegrips for leverage or to put a set of channel locks onto it to break things loose.

Initially, I probably only got a quarter turn at a time before needing to reset it, but then it loosed up and I could twist it off faster by hand, only occasionally needing to put the vice grips back on to get past some corrosion.

Kroil oil is my friend. It seems to break anything loose with time. But, in these cases, I was in conquer mode, not disassemble mode, so I just got it done.
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