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bofusmosby 11-15-2008 04:39 PM

Repair/Rebuild antique faucets
2 Attachment(s)
I just installed an old sink, and by the looks of it, it has the original faucets still attached. The sink was a little too short for the sink to line up with the drain pipe going into the wall, so I built a pedistal for the sink to sit on, and now, everything lines up as it should. BUT, I still have a problem. The faucets are leaking around tha handle when the water is on, and by the looks of it under the sink, it has been doing so for quite some time. I really want to keep the original faucets, so I am asking if there are still parts avaliable for these, and if it is a job I can do myself. Also, you will note a photo of the lever which stops the water from draining from the sink bowl, and this too is leaking just a little. This also needs to be rebuilt, so I am hoping that some one here has good news for me. We have a local plumbing supply in town, and I am thinking that maybe I need to remove the faucet, and take it with me.

By looking at it, it looks like the handle can be removed by removing the nut just below the handle, I am assuming then I can remove the white cover, exposing the mechinism, whick hopefull I will be able to remove from the top. Also, I am assuming the the lever piece that is leaking need to be unscrewed, and hopefully then I will be able to remove the complete assembly.

The sink is from the late 20's to the early 30's, and is the "American standard" brand. The photos below will give you an idea as to what type of faucets I have, as well as the drain lever.

Thank you!


DUDE! 11-16-2008 07:33 AM

I think you should be able to get parts, you're talking washers and "o" rings, getting it apart will be the tough part. You're working with some old stuff that's probably been on for a while. Toughest might be taking it apart without nicking up the metal.

bofusmosby 11-17-2008 07:04 AM

Thanks for the input Dude. I spoke to a plumber friend of mine, and sent him these same photos. He also said that I should be able to get parts. He also said that there is a "graphite string" used in these, and once I remove the handle and the estchun (spelling) I might be able to loosen one of the nuts and then tighten it back, maybe reseating it. I will document this job with photos, and post them.

Thanks again!


Marvin Gardens 11-17-2008 09:04 AM

Sometimes you have to make the washers (shave off existing washers) to get them to work. I have fixed these before and had good success.

DUDE! 11-17-2008 04:05 PM

I have no idea if grafite string is still around, an old timer I worked with had some that we used, some will say no way, but sometimes, flipping over the washer will stop the drip. I found that when it leaks around the handle when turned on, its usually an o ring that is bad, not the washer. You already build a pedistal for yours, but they use a bracket in the back mounted on the wall, and some use two pipes that protrude from the wall and slip into the back sides of the sink for support.

bofusmosby 11-17-2008 05:57 PM

Thanks guys. Due to the sink being located right in front of the cast iron vent pipe, as well as the 2 water lines, I wasn't able to use the bracket. I do have one of the brackets though, so I may try to improvise with it later. Right now, I have a couple of screws with very large washers into the wall holding the sink against the wall. I actually found a piece of wood in the wall, so the screws are into this wood. I was afraid to just start drilling, because knowing my luck, I'd hit a pipe.

As far as the "O" ring goes, this plumber friend of mine said that these use the graphite string instead of the "O" ring up top, and also there is a plumbing supply place here in town that still sells the graphite string. He went on to say that there is an old hotel from the 20's that had these in every bathroom, and he did the work on these for many years. I guess I'll find out for sure when I get it apart. I just hope I don't break the handles trying to remove them. I was told that they are easy to break.

The faucets don't actually drip, the water is coming out from the top of the stem, so I am hoping that just by loosening the nut, and snugging it back up a few times may take care of it. If not, it'l come apart (I hope) and then I'll just have to go from there. I'll post my findings on this. I plan on doing this sometime later this week.

Thanks again!


PirateKatz 11-25-2008 01:48 PM

I just completed a very similar repair on a nearly identical faucet over the weekend. As hard as I searched, I could not find a matching washer. I wound up just removing the existing one, cleaning it off and flipping it around. I also used (based on advice from the hardware store) graphite string in lieu of an o ring and took the opportunity to lube some of the contact points with silicon grease.

The hardest part of the repair was getting the faucet apart. Due to hard water deposits, it felt like it was permanently bonded together. I'm not sure what the "correct" method is but I wound up dabbing stuck parts with vinegar on a q-tip.

skyman 11-25-2008 02:30 PM

If all else fails, there is a company called "Sexaur" and they specialize in older fixtures if you need a little part here, stuff like that. They have the rights to many companies to mold whatever it is you need that maybe 100 years old. Website is

bofusmosby 11-25-2008 05:59 PM

Thanks guys for your responses. I haven't tackled mine yet, I figured I'd wait uptil after Thanksgiving. I also am looking to buy an extra set of the porcelin handles. I was told that they can break very easily, so I want to have an extra set just in case. If the originals survive their removal, I'll use the extra handles for the bath/shower. I was wondering how difficult they would be to disassemble, and now, I guess I know. Thank you for the link Skyman, just in case I need to have some of the parts specially made. I bet their expensive though. A plumber friend of mine told me that there is an old plumbing supply company here in town (since the 20's)that carries all the parts, but I guess I'll know for sure when I get it all apart. The drain shut-off valve seems to have re-sealed itself, no more water leaking.

PirateKatz, when you removed the handle, were there 2 nuts to remove on yours? I was told that there would be the top nut, for the string, and then the bottom nut to remove the complete insides of the faucet. If so, were both of the nuts a pain to remove?


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