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I went to replace the seat washer in a dripping frost free faucet. The original washer was 0.49" (12.5mm) in diameter with a shoulder on the top third 0.52" (13.2mm) in diameter and 0.16" (4.1mm) thick. The hardware store sold me an assortment including a "00" 0.49" in diameter and 0.12" (3.1mm) thick. I used the "00", but I have to turn the tap very tightly to shut off the water. The other washers in the assortment are similar thickness.

Are washers of the original dimensions commonly available? The store staff said not.

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The "shoulder" on the old one is probably disfigurement caused by the washer being repeatedly squished against the seat.

The appearance of it being thicker is probably swelling due to age of the old rubber washer.

The need to "turn the tap very tightly to shut off the water" could be due to the material the new washer is made of. Some new bibb washers are of synthetic material that is more durable but less soft, causing a need to tighten up more to stop it from dripping, especially if the seat is worn. However, the more likely reason is that the seat is worn or damaged and needs to be replaced or dressed in-place with a seat grinder.

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  • Thanks. I should have mentioned that the faucet was a cheap one I installed about three years ago, and the new washers are Moen. I found a (decades?) old beveled rubber washer (much softer) in my plumbing box, which works for now. Jun 4, 2021 at 23:58

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