Ghost faucet
June 25, 2009 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Plumbing filter: When I'm running the shower, the cold water handle creeps up by itself until the water is tepid. How do I fix it?

When they are off, both the hot and cold point down (90°). When I turn the cold on, it creeps up from 45° (just right) to horizontal (chilly). Do I need to replace a washer or something? Is this a landlord job?

Thanks for your help-
posted by cgs to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
It sounds like the running water is able to exert enough force to turn the handle by itself. Depending on the design, there should be a way to tighten the handle. Google up some links on repairing leaks, replacing washers, etc. to see if any of the pictured items resemble yours. That should give you a clue as to how to tighten the thing.
posted by joaquim at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2009

you can tighten it using a screwdriver, but that didn't help... i guess it is something in the guts of the handle.
posted by cgs at 1:29 PM on June 25, 2009

You might be able to replace the cartridge yourself if you're reasonably handy. Essentially you need to turn off water to the faucet (possibly your entire apartment), then open up the device. With a tub, though, it could well be a diverter (most are within the wall itself) that is inaccessible without major deconstruction.
posted by dhartung at 1:42 PM on June 25, 2009

I don't think cartridge faucets 'come loose' like that. I thought they tended to leak first?

What I'd do is unscrew the handle, pull it off, spin off the rosette (the metal surround bit that covers the ugly hole in the wall the faucet comes through. If what's back there looks like this, you want to give the small hexagonal nut a quarter turn clockwise or so, to tighten up the compression fitting, then slip the handle on and see if it turns a little stiffer. That should fix you up.

If it dosen't look like that, it's probably a cartridge-style faucet, and I'd make it my landlord's problem.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:45 PM on June 25, 2009

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