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Old 10-19-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default Crushed Price Pfister ceramic shower stems

Today I got a call to run out to a shower valve that wouldn't turn off and home owner could not get water off to house. When I arrive, I see the tub has what appears to be a three handle Price Pfister setup with the ceramic stems, because they had lever handles. Only the water is gushing, and the stems are all in the straight up position. I turn off the water, (lefty loosie, I remind the ho) and pull the cartridge. Yup, ceramic, only the rubber at the bottom is coming out of the valve body in pieces. A little investigation reveals someone replaced the older compression type stems with the ceramic stems and trim (probably bought a new 3 handle set but never bothered to replace the valve body). I spent 30 minutes trying to explain why you can't tighten one of these things down against a Price Pfister seat. Anyway, I've never run across this before. I wondered if maybe I could just pull the seats completely out and if the ceramic one would bottom. I called my wholesaler, and they were like huh? Not wanting to spend any more time experimenting, I told them all I could do was put new seats and the old style compression stems and Verve trim on. She said fine, but I don't think she believes me. I also told her those stems should last for life, or, more than the couple months it probably worked. If it is possible to convert, then I guess I goofed, but not as bad as the guy who put these in. Here's a pic of one of the mangled stems. Also, you could barely turn them. I told her you should be able to turn them with 1 finger!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:07 PM   #2
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Should be able to replace seats, washers and new cartridges and be on your way for 25 years
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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I can't swear to it but I thought i heard when they came out, That you could remove the seats and those stems would work.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:48 PM   #4
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I can't swear to it but I thought i heard when they came out, That you could remove the seats and those stems would work.
Thats what I was wondering. I know for a fact the ceramic body has no seat, just a flat spot. Whoever put these in never removed the seats. I was not going to experiment, (I only had 1 ceramic stem on the truck...who replaces just one?) so I went with what I know. If it does work without the seats, I have no problem going back and doing it that way. I've just never heard of it done before.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:50 PM   #5
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I will have to remember to save the next body i pull on a remodel and try it and see if it works.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:11 AM   #6
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well I'll be a monkeys uncle. Found this thread on another forum searching around.
http://www.plbg.com/forum/read.php?1,466333
it appears it can be done, just remove the seats. I left the old parts with the customer. I'll be calling them in the am to see if they want me to attempt a retrofit. I'm not going to guarantee it will work, however. If it does, guess I learned something new.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:29 AM   #7
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It works on certain P/P valve bodies with seat removed.
others , it won't .(without modification)



don't buy the "Danco" brand ceramic stem available at blown repot..
last one I had to obtain for an after hours service call failed in less than 2 mos and was hard to turn out of the package..the cheapo was glad to refund my dough(D'OH)though.
use the OEM P/P ceramic stems ,
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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When you do this make sure the fiber washer is removed from the valve body when you insert the new cartridge. If there are 2 fiber washers it will run or leak.

Quite a few valves offer a cartridge stem to replace the seat and stem. Loved it when Gerber changed. Just did it with a kohler widespread last week.
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:17 AM   #9
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When you do this make sure the fiber washer is removed from the valve body when you insert the new cartridge. If there are 2 fiber washers it will run or leak.

Quite a few valves offer a cartridge stem to replace the seat and stem. Loved it when Gerber changed. Just did it with a kohler widespread last week.
I'd still like to see some literature that says this is a bona fide possible upgrade. I can't find a thing anywhere. Someone else here in town told me they tried this and ended up busting the seat surface right out of the valve. Surprised it didn't happen in this instance.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:05 AM   #10
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I'd still like to see some literature that says this is a bona fide possible upgrade. I can't find a thing anywhere. Someone else here in town told me they tried this and ended up busting the seat surface right out of the valve. Surprised it didn't happen in this instance.
Why would it bust up the surface? The only way I can think of is when removing the old seat the seat thread ring becomes detached. Faucet is shot and needs to be replaced if this is the case and that may happen when it is red brass and old.
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