I have an old home (built in 1760). One of the beloved features is the clawfoot tub in one of the bathrooms. The shower assembly leaks from the shower head and my attempt to replace the gasket/washers has given me a new problem. It seems the previous owner has stacked two rubber type washers together to replace the originals that must have gone bad. How can I find out what the original types where so I can fix the dripping correctly?

Note: this is an old set up with individual hot and cold water taps that mix while going to the shower head.

  • Most of the original washers from 1760 are out of stock. I think the last shipment went overboard in Boston Harbor.
    – bib
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 0:49
  • @bib - you would think that someone would be forward thinking enough to stock pile some of these babies 13 years before tea party. I am about 30 mins from the Boston Harbor to boot :)
    – Carl B
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 3:36

1 Answer 1


I would just take one of the old ones with you to a home improvement or plumbing store and find a close match.

If you are trying to order them, you need to measure the outside and inside diameter along with the thickness.

Sometimes it is necessary to stack two of them if one set of threads is not that deep and doesn't make contact with the washer even when it is fully screwed in. In this case, adding a second washer ensures that the shower head makes contact with the washer and creates a proper seal.

  • So two washers on the water taps might be ok? They look fairly new and I suspect that this was done prior to sale to fix a worse leak than we are noticing. Should I go with a thicker set up? after all, it is still dripping with the curent config.
    – Carl B
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 3:32
  • 1
    Start with one - if you don't get a seal, add another. Usually when you screw it in you can feel if it is making contact with the washers
    – Steven
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 11:52
  • I'll try that. i may get an assortment of washers and try some combos.
    – Carl B
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 14:12

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