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Old 09-09-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


Dear Wise Ones,

Total noob question here. I've looked through past topics and I've used WD-40 and a lot of torque but I've not been able to remove two 20 year old ceramic cartridges (Phylrich LC499CNL and HNL) from my lav unit. I'm beginning to think that I'm simply doing something wrong in addition to being ignorant, so I appeal to your knowledge.

I attach a photo of one of the cartridges. I know I need to apply a good deal of force, so I want to make sure I'm applying that force correctly. I am using wrenches on the top nut (which seems the top of the main body of the cartridge) and the bottom nut. With effort, I can rotate the cartridge perhaps 1/8 of a turn, but I can see from under the sink that the entire valve is rotating. So my effort is, I think, being wasted. Where should my lower wrench be placed? (Normally, I wouldn't see why I should need a wrench at all; the cartridge shouldn't be so stuck. But since it is stuck, I need a wrench or some other tool to help.)

I have taken off the tiny locking clip from the spindle. I have used WD-40. I have not soaked the unit in CLR. I figure I'm doing something else wrong and you're shaking your heads and are about to tell me of my shame. I am ready.

Oh, I've got replacement cartridges on the way, so I don't care if I destroy these. I would just prefer not to destroy my valves and sink. Is this a case for a cartridge puller?

Thank you,

Franz
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #2
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


Box end wrench and a few taps with a hammer on the end of the wrench.
A deep well 6 point socket and an impact wrench.
You are turning it counter clockwise looking down on it right?

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


sometimes it helps also to make sure valve is open or it has the same effect as a jam nut
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


Thanks, Joe and Jay. I believe I can rustle up a box wrench (if not a deep enough socket to go over that long spindle). And I certainly can turn on the valve. I absolutely have made sure to keep the valve off at the cut off for, apparently, no good reason. Oh, and, yes, I am turning the nut ccl looking down at it.

The thing is, I think I'm just going to tap the end of the box wrench and turn the whole valve in tiny increments. Hmm, I have a basin wrench I could use to hold onto the valve from underneath the sink. That would give a counterforce to the box wrench. I'll give all this a shot when I get home.

Thanks again,

Franz
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #5
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


looks like a wide spread faucet.....if so you need to hold bottom of unit turn off lock nut on top this will allow you to remove it...ben sr
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:15 PM   #6
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@Ben's Plumbing: yes, it's an old school, two handle, wide spread set. It's good to hear you echoing what I was thinking. I'll lock onto the unit from below and then be able to apply real torque from above. I think that thus far I've just been twisting the valve against the deck adaptor. Oh, the shame. But it's a whole new ballgame now!

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


Put your wrench's where I put the red arrows.

The top wrench should be turned counter clock wise and the bottom one will be used to hold it in place.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:11 PM   #8
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


Hi again,

Well, those cartridges are really stuck.

I've gotten to the point of taking one of the valves so I could work on it more easily. As you can see from the photo, the hex-shaped part of the cartridge is now fairly stripped from my lame efforts. I even went and bought a cartridge wrench (21/32"), but that won't currently work because of the stripping. Yes, I know, I should have done that first. I am suitably regretful.

I've soaked the thing in CLR in the hope of loosening the cartridge. And now I'm considering two options:

1) The judicious use of force. My question is, if I do apply force, where, exactly, to do so. I want to make sure that I'm identifying the exact place where the cartridge meets the valve. Trouble is, my new cartridges are not identical to the old ones (Phylrich has changed the design). I don't want to be banging on the threads of the valve, just the cartridge.

2) Filing down the hex on the cartridge to get a better grip on it. Right now, the cartridge wrench just slide up and off the hex when I apply significant torque to it. I realize that filing the hex might mean the cartridge wrench won't work, but, if I get it small enough, a 5/8" box wrench should work.

Any advice for me?

Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:35 PM   #9
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


A deep 6 point socket for the hex and two jamb nuts jammed on the threaded body as close to the socket as possible. If that fails get a helper to apply a little heat with a propane torch around the location of resistance while you have torque on the wrenches.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:54 PM   #10
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I may be way off here, but isnt this just a valve stem, and not a cartridge? If memory serves, you have to turn the splined stem in (Clockwise looking at it) as you turn the barrel nut out untill the valve body disengages, the turn the stem CCW to back out the valve.
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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Thanks, gang! I finally got the cartridges out.

You can see in that last photo that I took the whole valve out to better apply torque to it. I create a vise using two pieces of wood and four C clamps to hold the valve and then used the 21/32" cartridge socket with a long cross handle attached to it to give it leverage.

Didn't work.

At that point, I decided the brass was just too soft to ever stand up to the torque of any six-pointed wrench. But I thought, hey, the metal is soft, use that for me, rather than against me. I squirted an ample amount of Liquid Wrench, waited a few minutes, broke out the 1.5" channel lock pliers, and twisted the first cartridge off. Man, that felt good! Second one was even harder, but I was empowered by the first and I just kept twisting until it let go. It was like defeating a bitter foe. Lovely wrench marks embedded in the brass prove how hard it was.

The new cartridges are in, the leaking has stopped, and the wife is impressed.

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement!
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Removing Stuck Cartridges


Good sometimes you just got to do what is required. Happy wife is a blessing..

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