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Old 04-25-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


Hello all. I'm new to this board. Maybe some of you can help me out.

I have a bathtub drip that's getting worse. I researched the internet and read taht it could be the rubber washer behind the valve stem, and to replace that. Should have been an easy fix. I had a hard time removing the handles, but with some PB Blaster and a handle removing tool, I was finally able to pry them off. Now I'm having the hardest time removing the valve stems. I tried the PB Blaster. I even bought the special wrench kit, and it's not budging. Not the hot, cold, or shower diverter. My plan it to replace all 3 because they are calcified over and are "ugly" Any hints on how to remove the valve stem? Please see the attached pictures. Thanks.











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Old 04-25-2011, 04:54 PM   #2
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


In that situation, I use a deep well socket and an 18 inch pipe wrench. With one hand I can push in on the socket so it does not strip while turning the wrench with the other hand. Good Luck!!!

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Old 04-25-2011, 05:07 PM   #3
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


That thing still isn't budging... Man, I would hate to call a plumber just to remove this socket



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Originally Posted by broox View Post
In that situation, I use a deep well socket and an 18 inch pipe wrench. With one hand I can push in on the socket so it does not strip while turning the wrench with the other hand. Good Luck!!!
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


Are you really turning that wrench with all your strength? Whenever I really have to go balls out on something like that, it usually breaks before it screws out. If you can not get it to unscrew, you will have to call a plumber. But do not give up yet. Get a bigger lever on your tool, but be prepared for another plumbing opportunity if something besides the valve stem starts turning.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:29 PM   #5
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


Pb, like similar others, needs time to do its job, you can let it set some, also, you could put a smaller socket on the shaft and tap it with a hammer, vibration is a good thing in this situation. I'd be leary of putting heat to it, being recessed in the wall. Personally, I'd keep spraying it and let it sit, you could still put the cover plate on and handle, continue to use the shower.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:31 PM   #6
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


Well, that deep socket thing doesn't perfectly fit the nut. The size on one end is 29/32, which is too small, and the other side says 31/32, which is just a little too big. I also don't own a pipe wrench. Just used a regular wrench. And I am afraid of snapping that thing.

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Originally Posted by broox View Post
Are you really turning that wrench with all your strength? Whenever I really have to go balls out on something like that, it usually breaks before it screws out. If you can not get it to unscrew, you will have to call a plumber. But do not give up yet. Get a bigger lever on your tool, but be prepared for another plumbing opportunity if something besides the valve stem starts turning.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:44 PM   #7
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


I saturated it yesterday, and still stuck. That nut should screw off, right? And the Righty tighty lefty loosey rule applies too?

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Originally Posted by DUDE! View Post
Pb, like similar others, needs time to do its job, you can let it set some, also, you could put a smaller socket on the shaft and tap it with a hammer, vibration is a good thing in this situation. I'd be leary of putting heat to it, being recessed in the wall. Personally, I'd keep spraying it and let it sit, you could still put the cover plate on and handle, continue to use the shower.

Last edited by kuyaariel; 04-25-2011 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:58 PM   #8
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


keep spraying, and that wrench you are using,, you can't get enough leverage to loosen it. not saying to buy new tools,but you are going to need something to get more leverage, and if its not the right size, you chance stripping the nut. As someone said earlier, be careful or you will be fixing more then a small leak.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:23 AM   #9
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kuyaariel View Post
Well, that deep socket thing doesn't perfectly fit the nut. The size on one end is 29/32, which is too small, and the other side says 31/32, which is just a little too big. I also don't own a pipe wrench. Just used a regular wrench. And I am afraid of snapping that thing.
If your not willing to get the correct tools perhaps you should call a plumber.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


I have the exact same problem

I have stripped the front portion of that nut and now I may have to call the plumber to have the washer on the hot water faucet fixed. The water was also dripping out of the stem through the packing and I bought some graphite packing too. All my effort and the packing is now waste.

I can partly blame the sub standard shower valve wrench they sell at Lowes or for that matter Home Depot.

It is kind of ridiculous that DIY'ers like us will have to shell out quite some money to buy good tools for once in 3-4 year job.

Last edited by fzrider; 05-02-2011 at 06:38 PM. Reason: adding a title
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:35 PM   #11
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


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Originally Posted by fzrider View Post
I have the exact same problem

It is kind of ridiculous that DIY'ers like us will have to shell out quite some money to buy good tools for once in 3-4 year job.
I am a handyman and quite proficient at what I can do..you would be amazed at what my expenses are in tools...still, it is far less expensive than what these skilled trades people invested in their trade to make what seems a difficult job a walk in the park.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:06 PM   #12
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


For some jobs only high quality expensive tool will do the job.

That does make doing certain work mighty pricey--

But still cheaper than hiring the work out---and you have a neat new tool!
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:11 PM   #13
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


Quote:
It is kind of ridiculous that DIY'ers like us will have to shell out quite some money to buy good tools for once in 3-4 year job.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:20 PM   #14
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Can't remove bath tub handle valve stem.


Finally got it solved

Before I posted, I had sprayed Liquid Wrench and left to get my son from the daycare. On my way back I went to local hardware (not Lowes or HD) and picked an expensive set of shower faucet wrench and a pair of deep socket wrenches (13/16); one was for the ratchet and the other was a spark plug socket with nut like head.

I tried the expensive shower faucet wrench size 21/32 - 27/32 but the 27/32 failed again to do the job. The spark plug socket was useless since the stem was blocking the socket from reaching down to the stem head. I knew I need a size smaller than 27/32 but online research confirmed that there was no shower faucet wrench with size 26/32.

Tried the 13/16 deep socket wrench and vol-la it had a good grip on the stem head but the stem blocked the hole to fit in the ratchet. I improvised by taping the the socket with multiple layers of painters tape and used an adjustable wrench to open the step. The combination of a tight socket and the couple of hours of the Liquid wrench soaking did the magic and I was able to screw the stem out.

I had to replace the washer and the packing (used the graphite packing from Lowes) to fix my leaking problem.

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