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fixing a leaky water spout for the first time

So, the water spout in my bathtub started leaking a few weeks ago and progressively got worse. I'll admit that, having never touched a water pipe, I was a bit intimidated by the idea of fixing it, especially since I'd never done it before. All I could tell when I removed the outer shell on the water mixing valve was that there were three pipes joined together by this "thing" that was most definitely causing the leak.

Telling my wife that it's probably better use of our time to call a plumber, I requested a quote from three plumbers and got one back for $275. While I was ready to swallow the price tag, my wife balked at the idea of dropping $275 to fix what she thought was a simple leak. With her reminder of what we could be doing with $275, I couldn't help but agree. Thankfully the plumber who gave me the quote also told me what I was working with: a Symmons Temptrol S-86-2 mixing valve.

Anyway... today I finally found the motivation to go out and look for the replacement parts necessary to complete the repairs. Amazingly enough, the parts came out to a whopping $3.00. Yes, one... two... three whole dollars, compared to $275. Eager to get the ordeal over with, I took the parts home and immediately realized that I did not have the right tools to disassemble the valve for the repair.

Thankfully, one last hardware store was keeping their doors open until 8:00 PM, and I rushed over to nab a $13 channel-lock plier to compliment my 8" adjustable wrench. Armed with the new weapon, I successfully cracked the seal in the assembly and completed the part replacements.

The repair was by no means a total success, as the water spout still leaks a little bit (although nowhere near as much as before). But I feel like if I need to repeat the repairs again I'll be ready. As long as I don't have to knock down any dry wall...

4 blog comments below

First, congratulations on the fix and for $16 yourself!
I hate to say this but you probably need to crack the valve open again. Your leak sounds like one of the 'O' rings is not seated properly.
standready on Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:06 am
Ugh... I'll definitely be doing that. I ordered the next part of the repair kit as well, in case I end up needing it. If I do that'll be an extra $40 down the drain. No pun intended.
mexiwithacan on Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:52 am
I don't think you need a $40 repair kit. However, pending where you get it from, you should be able to return it if you don't open it.
Do you have link to a diagram for your spout on online?
As I said before, check the 'O' rings. If they are not seated properly, you can get a leak.
standready on Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:29 am
I bought the part online from the Home Depot. I'm assuming I can return it if I end up not needing it. I'll try re-seating the O-ring tomorrow.
mexiwithacan on Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:02 am

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