I turned the tap fully clockwise, as usual, to turn of the water.

Still, a significant volume of hot water continued to flow.

I removed the tap handles and used some locking pliers to twist the threaded, brass shanks that remain in the wall, but they were both already stuck tight in the "off" position, as far as they could go.

I don't know much about plumbing. The only way I know how to stop it, short of replacing the shower head with a terminating bolt (like a sump plug), is by using the main valve (outside) at the water meter. But that's getting old real quick.

Where is the problem likely to be located; or which component is causing the issue? And how's it fixed?

Okay, so now I've removed the compression valves from the wall and this is what I've got:

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  • likely the seals/washers have rotted and need replacing.
    – DA01
    Jan 26, 2017 at 8:34
  • Which ones; I mean, where are they located? In the tap handles? In the shower head? Or inside the wall? Because, I actually had the tap handles replaced earlier this week.
    – voices
    Jan 26, 2017 at 9:04
  • In the valves (the things the handles turn)
    – DA01
    Jan 26, 2017 at 9:35
  • 1
    This is an emergency situation and your description of it indicates that perhaps you should call a competent plumber to rectify it. Did the recent job of replacing the tap handles include any internal parts, i.e., the stems or the washers (if any) and seats (if any)? Jan 26, 2017 at 13:20
  • It's running water in a shower; really not an emergency situation. Besides, I enjoy an opportunity to learn something new. But if I can't get some specific instructions, or figure out how to fix it myself, that's probably what I'll end up doing. Until then I'll just have to keep jumping the fence to shut it off at the main valve. And no, I think the new parts are mostly superficial, but I didn't do the job myself.
    – voices
    Jan 26, 2017 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


I bet you it's the rubber washer that is gone, crushed beyond sealing. Easy and cheap repair. Of they have been replaced and it still leaks, then the brass seat is bad and could possibly be polished/filed to a smooth surface again. If that's not possible then a new valve assembly will be needed. The rubber washer is at the end of the shaft, screwed in with a screw in the center. You could also try a thicker one or a fine shaped one of it will fit.

  • The rubber washers in these valves aren't held in with a screw but simply are held with the plastic pin in the centre of the white plastic support. The plastic support apparently just slips into a hole in the stem. Maybe just a new washer is needed. Maybe the washer is no longer held secure by the plastic pin. So like this answer says first change just the washers or the washers and the plastic support if they come as a unit. Jan 27, 2017 at 21:54
  • That's what I thought it was going to be as well. But I just put it all back together and now everything's working perfectly. I think one of the rubber washers was kind of twisted, distorted, and stuck; sort of wedged in from over-tightening. Because it was really difficult to extract from the wall by comparison. Hard to be sure exactly.
    – voices
    Jan 27, 2017 at 22:47
  • Over time, the more you crank to turn off, the more that washer collapses, and then no longer seals completely. New washers are usually all that is needed. Unless it's been tightened many time for a long time.
    – Jeff Cates
    Jan 28, 2017 at 3:02

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