Solera Home Improvement provides services to remodel kitchens in Willow Glen and the entire San Jose metro area
Remodel Kitchens – Palo Alto – Faucets – Compression Valves
In a prior post, you see an overview of the four different types of faucet valves, and their relative pros and cons.
In this post, you have more detail about compression valves, the oldest and probably still the most common type installed in our homes.
Please refer to the digram on the right to help clarify.
When you turn the handle of a compression valve, what you actually turn is the stem, which goes up and down.
At the bottom of the stem is the seat washer, which when the valve is closed, presses firmly on the valve seat.
When the seat washer is firmly pressed against the valve seat, the valve is closed and water does not flow.
When the seat washer is above the valve seat there is a gap through which the water flows.
Compression valves leak when either the seat washer is worn and does not fully seal, or when the mineral content in the water (which are basically very tiny rocks) scratches the valve seat.
The repair of a leaking compression valve is most often either to replace the entire stem (which comes with a new seat washer) or to replace the valve seat (a little piece of brass), both of which are easily replaceable.
However, to replace the valve seat (also called the valve bib) requires the use of a special tool, called a bib wrench, but the tool is pretty cheap.
But my advise is, if you have disassembled your valve to replace one, replace both.