Delta tub and shower faucet.

Stopping A Dripping Tub Faucet:

Fixing A Delta Rotary Bath Faucet
By Replacing The Seals

In This Article:

A Delta faucet is taken apart and the seals are replaced.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: 1 Hour

By , Editor


This faucet had leaked about two months prior to this repair, letting the water trickle instead of shutting off. Then the problem went away. It returned suddenly and the homeowner wanted it fixed. We noticed that the leak subsided when the handle was pushed inwards. Also, the handle felt a little loose.

As with all faucet repairs, and repairs to pressurized plumbing systems, the water supply was shut off first.

The next step was to remove the handle. There was a plastic cover in the center of the handle (not shown) which was removed by prying with a small screwdriver.

The cover plate was removed by taking out two screws.


The cover plate was removed...

...and the chrome tube cover was pulled off. (It took quite an effort to remove this tube.)


There was a tiny O-ring at the end of the shaft. It was pried away with a small screwdriver.

Removing the O-ring allows the next parts to be removed.


These two parts slid off. They control where the faucet shaft stops.

The next step, which was not at all obvious, was the removal of the brass collar. A large pair of pliers were needed.

There are many common features amongst the numerous single-handle faucets on the market. We had never taken apart this particular Delta faucet before, and we had to study the situation for a few minutes before we realized that the brass collar was actually a separate part from the rest of the brass valve housing.

In general, all single-handle faucets seem to use some method of holding the valve cartridge in place. Some use a threaded ring-nut, which may be knurled (ribbed) for improved grip. Some use a metal clip (such as Moen) to retain the valve guts.

Once the retaining collar was removed, the rest was obvious.

A screwdriver was used to carefully pry the plastic body away from the brass housing.


The valve body was pulled out. The black O-ring made for a tight fit.

Cold water enters one hole, and hot water enters the other. The mixed water flows back across the tan-colored plastic body, and then goes to the tub spout.


The valve body itself is made of two halves. When pried apart, the operation of the faucet becomes clear. A smooth disk inside the left-hand piece rotates until the holes align with one or both of the ports in the tan-colored part.


The seals are spring-loaded and push against the disk mentioned above. A small screwdriver was used to pry them out.

The seals did not appear to be worn, but we bought replacements anyway.


The old seal on the left was shorter than the new seal, which may explain why the valve leaked occasionally.

The new seals were pressed in place. They protruded much more than the old seals, which was a good sign.


The white plastic half of the valve body had notches for the other piece to twist and lock into.

The assembled valve body was inserted into the brass housing and the locking ring was installed.

Note that in the above photo the white tab is on the left, where before it was on the right. A friend of the homeowner had taken apart the faucet and reassembled it backwards. The homeowner noticed that the hot and cold water settings were reversed. It helps to have a digital camera to record the removal steps, in case of later memory failure !!!

This brass piece is used to adjust the high temperature limit. This can prevent a person (especially children) from being scalded. The little dent has to fit on...

...the white plastic tab on the valve body.


The brass piece has gear teeth inside, which connect with...

...the white plastic piece. These two parts act as an adjustable high and low limiting device, to provide stopping points for the rotary valve.

Without these two parts, the valve simply spins around freely. It will shut off, but it is difficult to find the exact shut-off location without the limiting device.

After the small O-ring and the handle were installed, the faucet worked perfectly.

When installing parts that rub against O-rings, such as the chrome tube over the valve body, we found that wetting the O-ring made assembly much easier.


Tools Used:

  • Flat Blade Screwdrivers
  • Philips Screwdriver
  • Large "Channel-Lock" Pliers

Materials Used:

  • Replacement Seals (About $3.00)


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Copyright © 1999, 2005

Written October 6, 1999
Revised January 12, 2005