We have an old delex two tap kitchen sink faucet. Two weeks ago it started dripping and I replaced the cold valve stem. Stopped the drip and moved much more freely than before. Decided to go ahead and replace the hot valve stem since it’s likely just as old and felt so stiff compared to the new cold stem. Replaced the hot stem 3 days ago, then last night it was flowing a little when turned off. If turned a few millimeters towards the open position it became a slow drip, but never fully stopped. I took out the hot stem and seat, didn’t see anything obviously wrong, so just reinstalled them and the drip stopped. About 2 uses of the hot tap later the drip came back.
Also, when I first replaced the hot stem, the cold tap became stiffer to turn like it used to be prior to replacement.

Should I just get a new hot stem and hope that one works better? Is there a related reason the cold tap turning resistance would change when the hot tap was replaced?

  • Perhaps too little silicone grease on o-rings or cartridge shaft (not sure how this one works) or an aftermarket part that doesn't quite fit right? For stiffness, maybe how tight you make things when re-assembling?
    – Armand
    Apr 7, 2023 at 19:52
  • 2
    Re-examine the seat. There could be a hairline scratch or nick that you missed before. When I replace stems, I usually replace the seats too.
    – JACK
    Apr 7, 2023 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


Should you get a new hot stem and hope that one works better? NO.

The key word here is "OLD".

When plumbing parts wear out many times it is because of wear, mineral deposits, oxidation and a number of other factors. Sometimes changing one part will correct a problem...or not...or correct it for a short period until the next weakest part fails. Sometimes just disturbing the fixture causes the gaggle of issues that have been happening, but not failing, a chance to fail.

Bottom line...if a fixture is old...say more than 10 years, it is better to replace the fixture than try to replace parts.

  • Decided to go ahead and replace faucet, and to replace the supply valves as well. They are quite old, still attached to galvanized pipe. The pipes are very old and the fixtures are at least 20 years old.
    – Buck
    Apr 9, 2023 at 21:14

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