My faucet was leaking so I replaced the stem valves, but it still leaks. I was wondering if some how the rough-in (right terminology?) valve could have broken inside? I'm really hope not, because there's no way for me to reach it without cutting into my wall.

To make it clear, please see the instructions for the assembly of my faucet. The part I'm wondering about is number 2 in Step 2.


A little background: we found the faucet leaking a considerable amount after returning from a short trip. It had never leaked or dripped before this and the temperatures didn't get anywhere close to freezing over the weekend.

Also, I took one of the old stem valves, put a little purple ink on the surface the washer is supposed to sit on, and hand tightened it. After removing it, the washer was covered in purple ink, so I'm fairly certain the old and new stems were seated properly.

purple ink on washer from seat

enter image description here

  • Please describe the leak better. Is it dripping from the spout? Is it leaking underneath? Where is the water ending up? P.S.- anything can break Feb 20, 2015 at 19:58
  • No leaks from anything behind the tub, just dripping from the spout into the tub. Feb 22, 2015 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


If you mean leaking from the tub spout I don't think that's likely. In those ceramic disc cartridge valves all the turning on and off is contained in the valve. There's no mechanical force applied to the rough-in portion to wear it out.

Are you sure all the o-rings on the cartridge are in place and intact?

I think your best bet would be to call American Standard to help diagnose the issue.

  • I believe the o-rings are sitting properly, is there anything I should be doing in the installation of the stem valves besides just tightening them down? Feb 22, 2015 at 20:03
  • @andymcevoy Just tightening down is all that's required. Make sure the threaded part of the valve body sticks out at least 5/16" above the surface of the tub deck so you can tighten them enough. Is it possible that tile was installed afterwards and it's not high enough? Also is the dripping water hot or cold? Could be that one of the cartridges is bad. Try swapping them and see if the drip temperature changes. Should contact AS and see if they have any input but I think most likely you have a bad cartridge. Feb 22, 2015 at 21:37
  • is the cartridge the same as the stem valve? The hot side is the one leaking. Your other comment worries me since the previous owners installed the tile, but it hasn't leaked in the 3 years we've been here so I think it would've been done properly. Feb 22, 2015 at 23:29
  • @andymcevoy I'm not a plumber so I could be wrong but I've always thought of stem valves as being the old style compression faucet valves that have a rubber washer at the end which seals with a seat in the main valve body. The ceramic disc valves I've always referred to (and seen referred to) as cartridges. They're both valves, they both have stems and they may both even be cartridges for all I know but that's how I learned to refer to them. Feb 23, 2015 at 0:21
  • Replace the o-rings. They're cheap and easy to change, and it sounds like they're the problem. The ink test wouldn't show a bad ring. The rubber shrinks and gets hard over time, and only cracks when is really bad. Old rings can leak even if they're not cracked.
    – jgrant
    Mar 19, 2016 at 6:22

Wow! I've never seen those break nor even split. If anything, if you could torque it enough to do that, the clamping pressure would crack or shatter your tub. It has to be a defect as the threads should've stripped or the nut should've cracked open before the pipe snapped.

The only thing I can think of is that the faucet handle was used as a grab-bar once...short & sweet enough that the other materials couldn't react & stayed static. If known not to be the case, then I'd have to side with getting rid of the old setup entirely.

It's to the store for a new faucet either way. You may be able to repair or replace it, as the handle appears to screw-in to the spout. The benefit would be that you MAY find a super cheap new faucet of plastic that matches right up, instead of buying a whole new double or triple the price faucet. Buy a few different ones or make a few trips & return whatever doesn't work & maybe none will. But, you can't say you didn't try.

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