- This post was updated on October 15, 2022
- You can identify a faucet by brand, spline, stem length and/or shape
Table of Contents
- Common Plumbing Terminologies
- Three Types of Faucet Valves
- Identification Methods
- Tips to Keep in Mind
- Still Can’t Figure Out What You Have?
- Where to Buy Your Replacement Faucet Parts
Nothing is worse than finding a leak that causes thousands of dollars in damages.
You want to try to get ahead of the curve by documenting plumbing parts in advance but because your faucet is so old, you don’t know what to do.
Well, I have been in your exact situation so I wrote this post back in 2012 to hopefully help you in identifying mysterious shower and faucet parts.
One thing you do have to keep in mind is that not all attempts to identify your part will be successful.
But by following through steps and using a process of elimination should hopefully get you closer to the brand info.
Common Plumbing Terminologies
It makes your life infinitely easier if you know some common terms when describing faucet parts.
This is especially true if you find yourself at a local plumbing supply store (kind of stores that deal with plumber, not the general public).
Three Types of Faucet Valves
There are four types of faucet valves used in a residential setting:
- Compression Valve
- Ball Valve
- Cartridge Valve
Compression Valve Faucets
Compression method is the oldest form of valve so they are found in old houses.
Compression technique controls the water flow by pressing on or off against a rubber seal (i.e. O-ring). Because rubber deteriorates fast, this design is the primary contributor to leaking faucets
Compression valve faucets usually come with hot and cold handles.
Ball Valve Faucets
Ball valves are used in single handle faucets, combining both hot and cold water.
A steel ball inside a ball valve contains a network of holes to channel water. It is a fairly complex setup requiring the use of springs and multiple washers and O-rings.
Cartridge Valve Faucets
Cartridge Valve is widely for residential faucets due to excellent performance characteristics.
The primary component is a small brass or plastic cylinder with grooves that channel the water flow.
An O-ring is located on the bottom (which will seat against the valve housing) to prevent leaks.
Cartridge valve can be found in single and double handle setups. When a leak develops, it is as simple as replacing the worn-out cartridge.
In ceramic disc cartridge valves, two ceramic discs slide against each other to control the opening hole in the center of two discs. It is said to be the most durable and long lasting but if used in hard water environment, these discs will accumulate minerals over a period of time.
When repairing an old faucet, it is critical to know the brand name and if possible, model number to find a correct replacement part(s).
There is no such thing as a generic replacement when it comes to faucets because many, if not all, manufacturers vary the length of stems, spline counts and cartridge shapes that makes each faucet unique.
Fortunately, there are several ways of identifying the faucet brands. Depending on the condition of your original faucet, you may have to use multiple methods to identify the correct parts:
- Manufacturer logo or Model number
- Spline (teeth) count on broach
- Stem length
- Cartridge length and shape
The quickest solution is to look for the manufacturer’s logo or name.
Name or model of a brand can be found pretty much anywhere so it is helpful to clean your faucet handles, escutcheon, spout, decorative rings, etc.
Information can also be found on the inside of a handle so make sure to thoroughly examine all parts under bright light (or flash light).
Some faucet manufacturers may include a model number but without a logo, this can be bit tricky to decipher, depending on the naming convention.
Teeth (spline) count
In older houses, it is common that you can’t find an identifying brand logo, name or model number on the faucet itself. In this case, you will need to remove the broken part.
You most likely will be able to obtain the correct replacements parts by first removing the faucet stem and count the number of splines on its broach. Also, measure the length of the stem from top to bottom.
The broach is atop the faucet stem, resembling a shape of a small-toothed gear. The purpose of the gear’s splines is to fit inside the female end of a faucet handle to control the opening and closing of faucet valve
Using this method, you can narrow down the choice to a few possibilities.
- 4 point square broach – Milwaukee, Royal Brass, Speakman, Sterling, American standard, Chicago, Concinnity, Gerber, Price Pfister, Symmons, Zurn
- 8 point broach – Briggs
- 12 point .335″ broach – Crane Dialeze, Michigan Brass, Wolverine.
- 12 point .375″ broach – Arrowhead, Artistic Brass, Harcraft, Glauber, Price Pfister, Scoville, Universal Brass.
- 12 point .39″ broach – Bradley, Elkay, Fisher, Sears, Universal Rundle.
- 12 point .415″ broach – Symmons.
- 12 point .485″ broach – Crane, Symmons.
- 15 point broach – Santec, Savoy, Wolverine.
- 16 point .360″ broach – Gerber, Sayco.
- 16 point .370″ broach – Acme, American Standard Cadet & Colony, Barnes, Burlington, Central Brass, Concinnity, Eljer, Glauber, Harden, Kohler Trand, Milwaukee, Newport, Phylrich, Royal Brass, Scoville.
- 16 point .40″ broach – Sterling.
- 17 point broach – American Brass, Mansfield, Midcor, Phoenix, Streamway.
- 18 point broach – Briggs, Indiana Brass, Union Brass.
- 20 point .285″ broach – Broadway, Concinnity, Danfoss, Dornbracht, Eljer, Grohe, Jado, Kohler, Milwaukee, Paul.
- 20 point .415″ broach – Broadway, Speakman, T & S Brass.
- 22 point .375″ broach – American Standard old 3/8″.
- 22 point .438″ broach – American Standard current 7/16″.
- 38 point broach – Import, Pegasus, Glacier Bay.
- D Broach – Delta, Milwaukee, Universal Rundle, Valley.
- Oval Broach – Delta, Moen, Mixet.
- Altmans – http://www.altmansproducts.com/ ; 800-678-6463
- American Brass – http://www.americanbrass.com/ ; 800-431-6440
- American Kitchen
- American Standard – http://www.americanstandard-us.com/ ; 800-442-1902
- Aqua Brass – http://www.aquabrass.com/
- Artistic Brass – Out of production, parts are available; 800-251-2390
- Blanco – http://www.blancoamerica.com/ ; 888-668-6201
- Bradley Cole
- Brasscraft – generic replacement part manufacturer
- Briggs – http://www.briggsplumbing.com/
- Broadway Collection – 800-449-9180
- California Brass
- Central Brass – http://www.centralbrass.com/ –>pioneerind.com
- CHG (Component Hardware Group) – http://www.saniguard-online.com/ ; 800-526-3694
- Chicago – http://www.chicagofaucets.com/ ; 708-803-5000
- Coast – http://www.coastfoundrymfg.com/
- Crane – http://www.craneplumbing.com/
- Danco – generic replacement part manufacturer
- Danze Globe Union American Corp. – Tech Support 1-888-328-2383 ; [email protected]
- Delta/Delex – http://www.deltafaucet.com/ ; 800-345-DELTA (3358)
- Dick Brothers – vintage;
- Dornbrach – http://www.dornbracht.com/
- Eljer – http://www.eljer.com/
- Elkay – http://www.elkayusa.com/
- FEBCO – http://www.febcoonline.com/
- Fisher – http://www.fisher-mfg.com/
- Franke – www.frankeksd.com/
- Gerber – http://www.gerberonline.com/ ; Technical Support: 888-648-6466; Customer Service: 866-538-5536
- Glacier Bay (Home Depot house brand) – customer Support (336) 945-5580
- Glauber – vintage;
- Grohe – http://www.groheamerica.com/ ; 630-582-7711
- Hans Grohe – http://www.hansgrohe-usa.com/
- Huntington Brass – http://huntingtonbrass.com ; 800-888-6604
- Indian Brass
- Jado – http://www.jadousa.com/ ; 800-227-2734
- Kohler – http://www.kohler.com/ ; 800-456-4537 or 920-457-4441
- Lasco – generic replacement part manufacturer
- Lefroy Brooks – http://www.lefroybrooks.com/
- Master Plumber
- Michigan Brass
- Michigan Princess
- Moen – http://www.moen.com/ ; 800-Buy-Moen (1-800-289-6636)
- Newport Brass – http://www.brasstech.com/
- Nibco – http://www.nibco.com/
- Peerless – http://www.peerless-faucet.com/repair.htm ; 317-848-1812
- Pegasus – 888-328-2383
- Perlick Corp.
- Phoenix Faucets – http://phoenixfaucets.com/
- Phylrich – http://www.phylrich.com/
- Powers – http://www.powerscontrols.com/
- Price Pfister – http://www.pricepfister.com/ ; 800-732-8238
- Queen City
- Royal Brass
- Sayco – http://briggsplumbing.com/sayco-faucets
- Sign of the Crab – http://www.signofthecrab.com/
- Sloan – http://www.sloanvalve.com/
- Speakman – http://www.speakmancompany.com/ ; (800) 537-2107
- Sterling – http://www.sterlingplumbing.com/ ; 800- STERLING (783-7546)
- Sterling Brass
- Symmons – http://www.symmons.com/products/products.html
- T & S Brass – http://www.tsbrass.com/
- Union Brass
- Universal Rundle
- Valley – http://www.zurn.com/valley/Valley.htm
- Waterworks – http://www.waterworks.com/
- Watts – http://www.watts.com/
- West Brass
- Wolverine – http://www.wolverinebrass.com/
- Zurn – http://www.zurn.com/
Tips to Keep in Mind
- When you are thinking about replacing a faucet cartridge, I suggest you replacing both at the same time
- Faucet cartridges last a long time; less durable if live in an area with hard water (due to mineral build-up)
- If you are able to locate a similar part but the spline count does not match, you may also want to consider swapping out the handles.
Still Can’t Figure Out What You Have?
- Option # 1 – Visit TerryLove.com (https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?forums/shower-bathtub-forum-blog.5/) and ask with your photo. Terrific community of folks who are really helpful
- Option # 2 – Visit Ferguson Repair Parts (https://allthumbsdiy.com/go/ferguson-repair-parts) Just a warning that it can be overwhelming but has a nifty filtering feature on the left side. You will need few hours set aside to filter and browse for your replacement part
- Option # 3 – Visit your local plumbing supply store (that are frequented by plumbers) with your old part.
- Option # 4 – Visit plumbing supply online stores. Some have a section to submit your parts question and allows you to submit photo for identification
Where to Buy Your Replacement Faucet Parts
- I would search for a plumbing supply store frequented by your local plumbers
- Remember that a some plumbing supply stores may only deal with one or two brands so you may have to visit different stores.
It can be a huge pain in the butt trying to find the right replacement part for your faucet setup.
I hope I provided you with enough information to at least get you started in the right direction.
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Thanks and good luck with your project!