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Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2885
Experience:  20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
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The hot water tap on my bathroom faucet is turning

Customer Question

Hi! The hot water tap on my bathroom faucet is turning without turning on the hot water. My husband broke it so I don't know how it was behaving before it broke. The hot water turns on and off fine from the knob under the sink. I'll attach a picture, if there's an option to do so. I'm unsure of the brand of the faucet. It was installed quite some time ago and not by me. A link to a tutorial to how to diagnose what's wrong would be helpful. If you need additional information just let me know! Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Hi my name is ***** ***** I have been in the plumbing field for 20 years. I will be glad to help you today. Will you remove the handle and bonnet and send a picture without them? It likely comes off by turning the base counter clockwise until it screws off. If you can will you remove both hot and cold and send a picture without them? Also a close picture of the stem of the hot water one?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mike! I've got the base loose on the hot water, but the handle is being stubborn. Is there a secret plumber's trick to getting it off? :-)
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
I am not certainly certain this is how it comes off, but if you keep turning the base does it all come off? It looks like it does.....otherwise there might be a set screw in the stem of the handle.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
If you see a set screw then you have to remove the handle first.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was able to (gently) pry the handle up a little to reveal this. Does this help at all?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
It looks like there is a set screw that holds the handle on. Is there not a hex screw there? Loosen it then the handle will come off. Cover the sink drain too in case the screw gets dropped.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. Got the handle off the hot water. Darn thing flew across the room. The cold water base isn't budging and all I'm doing is gauging the metal despite wrapping a towel around it. :-( I took a pic of the hot water... spindle? (attached) Now I can feel exactly what's going on. I turned the hot water back on from under the sink. The spindle turns but nothing happens. Wish it was as simple as a stripped handle. Is there a "the thing turns but nothing happens fix-it kit"?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
So sorry....got caught on the phone.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Did you not see a hex screw that holds the handle on? No worries if you cannot get the cold one off. If you measure from the sink top to the top of the stem, what is that measurement? It should be 2 1/4" I think.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Let's just talk on the phone. Wouldn't that be easier?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no screw that holds the handle on. It pops off. It was just on there pretty good. (Hence the reason the hot handle flew across the room when I finally got it off.)The problem with the cold is that I can't turn the base at all. If you need to see it that will have to wait for the hubby, but it sounds like we're good with not taking it off.Attached is a measurement of the stem.Don't worry about the call. So much of this is visual. I'd be putting down the phone to send you pictures anyway. Same deal with the timing. It's not leaking like a fountain. He can bend over and turn the hot water on and off from under the sink until it's fixed. :-)
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Very good. Are the little teeth inside the handle stripped out smooth or are there little teeth still? On the stem, smooth or teeth? Did you see the hex screw on the handle? It would tighten to the stem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The handle turns the stem just fine. The handle is not connected to the stem via a screw. The teeth are intact on both the handle and the stem.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Does no hot water come out or just a little? For sure the stem turns when turning the handle? There is a set screw that is to hold the handle in place so it will not pull off. It is at the base of the handle, no?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
If the handle for sure turns the stem then the issue is a blockage. Next would be determining where the blockage is. Since the water is off, remove the stem and then hold a cup over it and turn the water on a bit at the shut off and flush it out and clean any debris out from the base of the stem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Turning the stem does not control the flow of water. The water stays on at a steady flow regardless of turning the stem. Turning the stem either with the handle or with a pair of pliers does nothing to control the flow of water.The only thing right now controlling the flow of water is the knob under the sink. So water does flow, but it is not able to be turned on or off using the handle on top of the sink.The handle is not held on by a screw, nor is there a place for one, neither on the handle or on the stem, so I don't believe it is is missing. It appears to be designed without one.Given this, should I still look for a blockage?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
You will have to remove the stem regardless and inspect it. It may have a crack or cracks in the discs. The stem very well may need to be replaced. It may just need a rubber seat.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. At this point can you give me a schematic or other visual as to what I'm looking at and/or what I should be looking for?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
I wish I could but neither of us know the model or brand name. It is hard to tell from the picture how the stem comes out. Maybe there is a cotter pin then loosen the nut at the bottom of the stem?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is a Philips head screw at the top of the stem. You loosen this to remove the stem. Does that help?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
That will remove the extension piece but removing the extension will surely reveal something.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
I haven't heard from you. Was the information I provided helpful?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
I would hope that during our ongoing conversation that you have been provided the information needed to solve the issue you are having but I will not know that without a response from you. My goal is to get you the answers you seek but I have no way of knowing if you have gotten the information you are looking for without either a positive rating or request for more information from you.