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Plumbing-how to get valve out of tub handle

763 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  huesmann
I took off the plastic handle and am left with I think only part of the valve or stem? I can’t unscrew the valve with only what is shown. I have a fiberglass surround for my tub and shower. I would like to insert a picture to show what it looks like. But I can’t figure out how to do that.
I don’t know if my attempt to insert a picture as an attachment. I can’t see a pic.


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Usually, the image is called stem wrench. The stem turning nut may be buried in the wall close to the valve body, for 2 or 3 handle valves. Not a plumber and saw just a few brands, but that wrench may be what you need. Or as huesmann says, what you see there. It helps to know the brand. Sometimes brand is on the handle you removed, sometimes not.
To use the wrench, it looks like you may have to cut open more space around that stem. Need the space to see better and to insert the wrench. A grinder (very carefully), oscillating saw (can jump and skip), one of those very small grinder, and the escuchon with foam seal or caulk cover later.
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Thanks for your replies!

It is a Phoenix handle hardware. I can’t get the hex to even budge. I will go to the store to find one of those tools you mentioned.

I am confused as to how to know if it is one you are supposed to turn or pull out? I read someone else’s reply to a lady with a somewhat similar problem and he said to pull it out.

I’ve looked at Home Depot online and couldn’t find Phoenix hardware but I thought if I took it out maybe they can help me match it. But so far I can’t get it out.

Pulling on the stem may be the first video. That is single handle bath valve. Yours look like older 2 or 3 handle valve. The nut you see there is tough to turn. You may need bigger wrench or plumber's wrench that self tightens on the nut. But may damage it. It looks more like a packing nut which you may not have to remove. If must, try backing the stem out a little. Sometimes, tightly closed or tightly open inside part may interfere. The nut that actually removes the whole stem is probably inside the wall. That is why you need a dedicated tool like stem wrench and maybe open the gap somewhat more. Watch some other videos as well to get more ideas. Not all brands are same and some experience may be called for. The stem wrench must fit fairly well (easy enough to strip the brass body or warp the cheap tools) and short rod handle can be leveraged with a pipe or use a wrench instead. If can't get out to get the new stem, washer, washer screw and/or seat and the seat tool:smile:, don't forget to screw the stem back before turning on the water.
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