Reverse-Compression Faucet Repair and Installation

Reverse-Compression Faucets

This two-handle faucet looks like a stem faucet but operates by opening and closing in the opposite direction. The seat is attached to the bottom of the stem body. The washer attaches to the bottom of the spindle facing up. Opening the faucet moves the spindle downward, allowing flow between the seat and the washer.

Getting the parts
Chicago (shown in Steps 1-5) and Crane are among the companies that make this type of faucet. Be sure to get parts made specifically for your model. Washers may be different in shape, so a standard stem washer may appear to fit but will not properly seal. Repair kits typically have O-rings, seats, and washers, so you can replace all the nonmetal parts. Often, however, all you need is the washer.

Prestart Checklist

Time
Less than an hour for most repairs

Tools
Screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, groove-joint pliers, perhaps a handle puller

Skills
Shutting off water, dismantling a faucet, installing small parts

Prep
Shut off the water, close the sink stopper, and place a rag in the sink to catch any parts

Materials
Seat, washer, and O-rings for your faucet

Step 1

Shut off the water and open both handles until water stops flowing. Remove the handle. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the hold-down nut. Unscrew and remove the stem.

Step 2

Grasp the stem with groove-joint pliers, using a cloth in the jaws to prevent scratches. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the nut at the bottom; the seat will not slide out. On models with no bottom nut, twist the seat to remove it.

Step 3

If the seat looks worn, replace it. Depending on the type of faucet, either slip or twist it into position.

Step 4

Replace the washer. Be sure to install one that is made for your faucet.

Step 5

If water wells up below the handle while water is running, or if an O-ring looks worn, replace it with an exact duplicate.


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One Hour or Less

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