Wouldn’t you just know it. As I was writing yesterday’s post about fixing a leaky Symmons shower valve, the only part I still needed was sitting in our mailbox. I could have replaced everything at the same time. Oh well. I guess I have to stick to my plan for replacing some parts and then replacing the final one this morning. That’s what I just did, so the project is now finished. What we presently have is a smooth new valve that turns off the way it’s supposed to. It’s strange – it actually feels “cushiony” now. No more abrupt stop when I turn off the water. It’s truly magnificent that I don’t see that drip, drip, drip anymore as well. Truly magnificent.
If you haven’t read the first part of this post, please do so. I offer step by step instructions for rebuilding a Symmons shower valve.
The part I was waiting for is called a Stem Cartridge Spindle For Symmons TA-10 Temptrol and it looks like this:
To be honest with you, I think I could have gotten away with replacing just this one part to stop the leak. Since I wasn’t sure about that, I went ahead with everything. If I had done just this, I could have avoided the expense of purchasing the special tool I introduced in my previous post, along with all those other parts. This temptrol spindle comes with all the necessary washers installed on the spindle already, as well as one larger one that slides right into place. They’re all very obviously seated.
If you’re wondering what this spindle does, let me tell you. The two rubber washers that are mounted on this thing stop any leaks that might exist if they weren’t there. Also, it controls the balance between hot and cold water. Finally, if your shower valve feel very tight when you try to turn it, this is probably the culprit. Replace this one part with only a screwdriver and a pair of channellocks and you’re all set. The total price will be just a hair over $23.
Since I loaded my previous post up with 26 pictures, I won’t bore you with them again. What I will do is show you what the old temptrol spindle looked like after I pulled it out of the housing.
Since the kit came with a replacement washer for whatever it is this piece is called, I went ahead and removed the old one and popped on the new one.
After that, I applied some grease to the threads of the new spindle. It ends up that I put on way too much grease. I had to remove some because I made a mess.
And then, I screwed the new spindle into place.
I lightly greased the part of the new spindle that has all those holes in it so it slides through the large valve seat easier. Then, I added some more grease to the fine threads on the old part and I pushed the entire combination back into the valve housing. But not before taking a sweet photo of both the old and new spindles. If you take a look at the new one, you’ll see the chrome looking ring I referred to in yesterday’s post. This is what holds one of the rubber washers into place and this is what’s nearly impossible to remove without damaging the entire spindle. For $23, you can avoid that whole mess and simply replace the entire thing.
Finally, I screwed it back into place and put the cover and handle back into position.
Job well done, I’d say. I can’t wait to share my next project here. I love working on this type of stuff. So far, I’ve got plans to clean our pellet stove fan and replace the check valve on our well pump. Thanks for reading!
PS – If you’re water is coming out only lukewarm when you turn it to hot, there is either one of two things going on. First, you may have a faulty spindle. Even if you hear the “clicking” when you shake it back and forth, there may be something wrong that’s not letting the water get hot enough.
If it’s not that and you’re sure the spindle is working properly, you may have to adjust the temperature by turning what’s called the Temptrol Limit Stop Screw. This set screw controls how hot the water gets. Here’s a photo of it.
If you turn the water valve to the off position and then turn the set screw in (clockwise) a few turns, you’ll make the hottest water temperature cooler. If you loosen the screw somewhat (counter-clockwise), you’ll make the water hotter. Again though, if you loosen the screw as much as it will go, without falling out or leaking, and the water still isn’t hot, you likely need to replace the spindle, even if it’s brand new. Beware of knockoff plumbing brands. You need the real “Symmons” stuff when it comes to this. The word Symmons will be stamped right into the metal.