Perhaps your kitchen or bathroom faucet isn’t working like it’s supposed to. Before you throw out the whole thing, try to replace the old, faulty part. Identifying the specific faucet stem replacement you need can be complicated, especially if you do not know the brand or size, and type you need.
Lucky for you, we are here to help. Use this quick guide to help determine what you need to get your faucet up and running quickly.
When is it time for a replacement?
It may be time to replace the whole faucet, especially if it is excessively leaking and leans more towards a vintage art piece than a functional faucet. However, faucet replacements can be very expensive, so attempting to fix the faulty parts is a good place to start.
If your faucet is leaky or dripping, you may be able to fix the faucet fairly easily. Squeaking noises, which the valve stems can cause, may need a coat of grease to resolve the issue. Low water pressure and irregular water flow may also indicate you need to do a few fixes within the faucet.
Identify The Manufacturer
Determining the brand of your faucet is a key part of purchasing the correct replacement parts, as many manufacturers sell parts specific to the model. Start by attempting to locate the logo. Sometimes the logo is bold and easy to find, but sometimes, they are small and elusive.
If your faucet is dirty, give it a quick scrub to see if the logo emerges from beneath the dirt. If that didn’t do the trick, look on other parts of the faucet to see if the logo is tucked away.
Determine The Model Number
Again, since manufacturers love to have you purchase replacement parts from them and only them, you’ll need to find the model number. It may be hanging out with the logo, but if not, check the spout, escutcheon, and the like.
Broach And The Stem
Your next stop will be to determine the number of splines in the broach; the part fitted into the bottom of the handle at the top of the stem.
The number of splines, which are the grooves in the broach, may be able to point you in the right direction for identifying your faucet, which will help determine the proper cartridge replacement if needed. Spline and broach combinations that are commonly used together can be found here.
When you remove the broach from the faucet stem cartridge, make sure you have turned off the water to the faucet you are tinkering with, or things will get messy.
Tips for Identifying Parts
Once you have located the broached end, try using a faucet stem identification chart, which outlines cartridges, stems, and kits, and may be able to help you identify your faucet’s stem. Broach charts can help determine the manufacturer, and faucet stem identification apps may quickly determine the faucet stem.
Should I Replace The Entire Faucet Or Just Faulty Parts?
Determining whether you need to replace the entire faucet or simply just the faulty components comes down to whether or not the repairs fix the issue. If you continually are replacing parts, whether it is the stem, broach, or another part, and the issue is not clearing up, it is probably time for a replacement.
If you can properly identify the old part causing the issue and replace it successfully, there is no need to trash the whole faucet. Whether it is in your bathroom, shower, or kitchen, a leaky or poorly functioning faucet is annoying.
Try fixing the damaged part to get your faucet working like a charm. It might be time to talk to a professional or splurge with a new and fully functioning faucet if it doesn’t work.