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Old 01-19-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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Location: Texas
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removing valley shower stems


I cannot get the valley shower stems removed from my bathtub (separate hot cold). I removed the cover plate, screw, handle, nut holding combined shaft/back plate on, removed plate/shaft combo, and i'm left with this plastic stem and the pipe coming from the wall. the end of the pipe has threading but nothing appears moveable on the pipe. the longer center plastic piece rotates but no matter how many times doesn't unscrew. All this is consistent with the replacement stems I purchased. there are two notches top and bottom in pipe with two protruding spots in the stem so it won't rotate once inserted. I've tried pliers and pulling with all my might (and slamming into the wall when they lost grip). I put wd-40 on it to see if it would loosen the insides. all my attempts to remove the stem has made my every 30 second drip into a continous flow of water. HELP! How do i get these guys out so I can put the new ones in?

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Old 01-19-2010, 04:32 PM   #2
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removing valley shower stems


I hope you have time on your hands and the wife and kids are off visiting relatives cause from what you are saying I gather these
valve inserts have been in use for 5-10 years. I've run into this once or twice and one time I was able to blow them out by turning
the building water main back on for a couple of minutes with all the valves in the house turned off and the two I wanted to remove
taken apart just like these. The other time I put a vice grip on the plastic piece that the stem goes through. I put it on like I was
going to unscrew it and made sure it was VERY VERY tight. Then twisting it cw and ccw till the plastic pins sheared off I finally
loosened it and got it to come out. If these don't work you may have to completely replace the faucet assemblies back in the wall.

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Old 01-20-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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removing valley shower stems


turning on the main water doesn't budge them. I sheered off the notches and can twist the entire plastic piece but it won't move any amount of away from the metal. do you think it would work to take a power drill and swiss cheese the stem until it collapses/can be pried out?
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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removing valley shower stems


Yes you could do that, being carefull to stay at least 1/16 inch away from the valve body wall. If the inside wall of the valve body
gets so much as scratched it will be very difficult to polish it out and still maintain a leak proof seal. If/when you do get the valve insert
out you will probably find miniscule rubber debris wherever the "O" ring seal sat. This needs to be cleaned out with some kind of brass
cleaner. Then get yourself some silicone based Plumbers Grease and lightly lube the new valve insert and the inside of the valve body
before trying to reassemble the parts. It helps the sealing process AND the insert won't become stuck in there again.
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