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If you have replaced the washer in a leaky tap but it continues to drip,look at the valve seat for signs of wear–scratches, pits or an irregular surface. Employ a flashlight to illuminate the interior of the tap and, as a further check, runt the top of a finger around the edge of the seat.
Most faucet seats are remove able, and it is better to replace a damaged seat than to try to smooth a worn one. Employing a seat wrench, turn the seat counterclockwise and lift it out. Take it to your plumbing supply store to get a precise duplicate. Lubricate the exterior of the replacement with a pipe-joint compound, push it firmly into the seat wrench and screw it into the faucet body.
If a worn valve seat can’t be removed–it might be built into the faucet–its surface must be ground smooth with a valve-seat dresser. Use the largest cutter that fits the tap body. Screw on a guide disk that just fits the valve-seat hole. Slide the cone down nicely into the threads of the tap body. Pressing down gently, turn the handle clockwise several times. Take away the filings with a humid cloth.
The most trustworthy method you can use for sealing a faucet stem is replacing the packing washer. A dribble round the stem of a tap when the water is running can frequently be stopped simply by tightening the packing nut–but don’t over tighten it. If the stem leak continues, the packing should be replenished. Packing comes either as graphite washers or as self-forming packing, a graphite impregnated twine. Some modern faucets use O-rings or cork gaskets for packing.
To replace a packing washer, remove the handle and packing nut, clean out the old packing and slip on the new. For an old tap that used self-forming packing, you can find a pre-made packing washer that fits. Push the packing washer onto the stem so far as it’ll go, and screw the nut over it, turning it clockwise.
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