trying again

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Old 03-24-03, 01:46 PM
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stem

hi
i pulled the faucet handle off in the shower and there was a long? 3" rod that seems to fit into a stem-that stem or body is threaded into a brass fixture BUT this stem is round. i'm used to seeing a faucet on a sink where the stem is only a couple of inces and it has two sides you can put a wrench on to unscrew.
how do you unscrew this apparently round stem from the fixture it is in? do you think if i unscrew it, i will find a regular washer to just replace to stop the drip-all is in the wall. it is a kohler faucet.
thanx for your help
pete
 
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Old 03-25-03, 05:52 PM
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kohler shower faucet

hi
the stem appears to be round and threaded into a fixture inside the wall-how do i unscrew it? will a basin wrench cause damage or is there a better way?
pete
 
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Old 03-25-03, 08:19 PM
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Stem

In short, the basin wrench will cause more problems for your tile around the stems, they take up to much room getting in the wall and even more when you attempt to turn them. They make tools called tub wrenches (some call them stem wrenches) They just look like over sized sockets with a different size on each end. Most home centers ie. Home Depot. Lowes ect. will carry them and there a good thing to have around the house. (The smallest one can remove lawm mower spark plugs.) There not exspensive and will save you time and money. While your shopping, ask them about a seat wrench and how its used.
Good Luck
 
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Old 03-26-03, 08:04 AM
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tub/stem wrench

thanx richard for the tip, you anwered the puzzle for me.
pete
 
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Old 03-29-03, 01:05 PM
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kohler faucet again

hi
as advised i got some cowbells-had to cut tile and dig putty and wallboard to get to the nut-there are three handles =hot cold and diverter. i put the 31/32 socket on and it was a bit loose so i shimmed it with a long thin screw driver when i t tried to turn i had to use one of the other sockets to cheat with as it was tough to turn and the handle just bent-i then used a pipe wrench on the socket and it rounded out inside-that nut is tough!!
i need some direction -one idea i had was to get a deep socket 15/16 automotive so it won't strip and use a pipe wrench with a cheater pipe for leverage but i don't want to damage anything-is it a sound idea? the second thought was to take off the access panel behind it assuming i can get a wrench on the nut if i do-the panel is finished so it will mean some careful work but if that's what it takes i'll go for it. any help as always will be appreciated.
pete
 
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Old 03-30-03, 06:39 PM
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The real socket from the front would be the next thing to try... The panel from the back won't give you the access you are looking for... Of course, you would have to have the right size deep-well socket and it is usually measured in 32nd's but the 15/16 may fit... If so, it would be very difficult to damage the valve, and if it is that tough, it is time for a new valve anyway...
 
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Old 03-31-03, 05:01 AM
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right oid left

it's hard to get a look but i have had two people suggest it may be a left handed thread -do you have an opinion-i've usually thought of gas as left handed.
pete
 
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Old 04-01-03, 11:38 AM
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retry

sorry to ask again but i'm stuck-i want to get a kohler shower stem out and kohler says it is a right hand thread. i tried a tub wrench or cowbell and it rounded out -i put it in a vise and squeezed it so it would fit but it did it again. i've caled plumber supply companies who said to use an automotive deep socket - i've been to pep boys, sears, advance auto and napa and noone knows the equivalent of the 31/32 which by the way was a bit loose when i put it on.
i tried a 15/16 which was too loose and the man let me return it.
does anyone know what size i should go to?
thank you
pete
 
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Old 04-01-03, 01:20 PM
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I believe you are going the wrong way on your math...30/32 = 15/16.
If the 15/16 was to loose the 31/32 is going to be looser.

Try a 7/8 deep socket, if that doesn't work a 23mm will be tighter or a 24mm will be looser.

15/16 = 30/32
24mm = 29/32
14/16 = 7/8
23 mm = 27/32
13/16
22 mm
11/16
 
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Old 04-01-03, 03:02 PM
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faucet

i appreciate your help-the tub wrench was 31/32 and a bit too loose, i then went to 30/32or 15/16, then 14/16 or 7/8 then 22mm also too big!
the puzzle is that if the cowbell at 31/32 is the closest fit and did grab till it rounded out, you would think something a little closer would be ok- but- as you can see this is not the case.the last three sockets i put on were too big.
thanx again for the try.
pete
 
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Old 04-01-03, 03:19 PM
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I hate when that happens!!!

I haven't messed with this stuff for quite some time, but it seems like the nut shouldn't be that big. If I remember correctly it should be around a 5/8 or 11/16. Let me ask a couple of questions and don't get upset......Are you sure you are going onto the first nut of the stem? This one is the stem packing nut, once removed you can unscrew the stem out of the fixture. Some fixtures have another nut right behind the stem nut that is a little bigger, a pain to get out and not usually needed to be removed anyhow. Second question..brace yourself....Are you turning the wrench in a counter-clockwise direction to loosen the nut?

I have had a few of these be a real pain to get off, but with the correct deep socket they usually came off fairly easily. Have had the same problem with the cowbell wrenchs, just to cheap to hold up to a little torque.
 
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Old 04-02-03, 08:11 AM
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faucet

hi try
i have told my friends like you on other forums i'll turn the faucet a little tighter till i need the plumber fo a job like water tank or something. i was turning ccw as it is a right handed thread and the 31/32 cowbell that stripped showed it is a pretty frozen nut. there are no other packing nuts-i know what you mean-i've done alot of faucets but nothing like this-i know my limits
thanx
pete
 
  #13  
Old 04-02-03, 08:40 AM
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Pete,
You are a better man than I am, I would have to keep trying until I broke the darn thing or it came off!!!
Have you thought about trying some liquid wrench to try to loosen up any corrosion on the thing? Sounds like you are trying to replace the seat, so if you get really determined, maybe try applying some heat to it. Of course, you have to be really determined, cause you may distroy what is left of the seat by doing this.
 
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Old 04-02-03, 09:47 AM
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stuff

hi try
alot of stuff has to be consideed i guess when you do anything-when i was young i would have chewed it off but age and illness tone us down to making a little better decisions SOMETIMES. but i know what you mean. btw- it is not the seat but actually just the stem. ive soaked it for days in wd40-one person said to use vinegar first-there have been alot of helpful people but some things are not to be. see ya soon
pete
 
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Old 04-02-03, 03:49 PM
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My 2 cents

One suggestion is to make sure the faucet is open at the time you try to crack the nut loose. Maybe not important, but no harm in trying it. Also, what works for me is impact. Not an air gun but a sharp whack on the handle of the ratchet. What that does is magnify the torque for a split second. The socket may not have time to slip and the impact is transferred to the stuck stem. Don't use a sledge hammer. I usually use a 10" adjustable wrench as a hammer (don't tell my dad). The metal to metal contact transmits all the torque and the wrench is light enough to keep from knocking everything out of whack (like a hammer would). It has worked more than once (and failed a few times too). It only needs to turn ever so slightly because it is not a tapered thread. It bottoms on a large face to seal the water and that friction is the problem. Keep at it.

And don't think because I said 'get a bigger hammer' that I am younger than you.

Every tool has its use.

Ken
 
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Old 04-02-03, 03:55 PM
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impact

that's a good thought ken-i'm going to give it a rest for a while-me too- then rethink the ideas. that impact sounds effective but not destructive.
thanx
pete
 
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Old 04-06-03, 04:12 PM
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socket

hello
do you know if a 31/32 deep socket is made?-my cowbell that size was a tiny bit too loose and too weak to do the job.
thanx pete
 
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Old 04-06-03, 04:50 PM
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you can always smack the cowbell with a hammer, cowbell on solid floor, on one side to make it a little more snug.

When you have a somewhat tight fit, smack the handle, using the hammer again, to impact the socket.

Hope this helps...
 
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Old 04-07-03, 09:35 AM
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31/32

hi
tried it-just rounds out
pete
 
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Old 04-07-03, 12:43 PM
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trying again

hi
when a tub wrench 31/32 slips what do you do to remove a shower stem? i tried tapping the wrench on the vise to snug it up and shimming it with a long thin screwdriver but it still slips. the supply store says theirs are no stronger. auto sockets do not seem to fit.
pete
 
  #21  
Old 04-07-03, 07:12 PM
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Yo Peterr, try to keep all this stuff in the same thread... I can only merge so many threads in 8 hours of surfing the site... Anyway... there is no secret here... 31/32 is the same size whether it is a stem socket, auto socket, or nostril diameter... If 31/32 is too big, then you need a smaller socket... 15/16 would be the next step down generally, and you have said you have tried that and that it was too big also, which doesn't make sense... If that were true, then the next step down would be 29/32, another common stem socket size... Give up doing anything with shimming the wrench... Get the right tool, or call a plumber who has the right tool... In my experience, when you try to flatten the stem socket out to tighten it up a bit, it only tightens two sides and loosens the other four sides... Then when you try to loosen with it, the other sides go right back into shape and the sides you flattened just loosen back up... Get a handful of sockets and try them... As a last resort, you can open the access from the back, and try getting the stems out with channel locks though I suspect you won't have enough room... If all else fails, you can just cut the valve out and get a new one... There really are no more answers to give you on this subject, so please understand that we are not ignoring your multiple threads, we simply just don't have any more info to give you... we are all tapped out... However, I will say that I have never seen a Kohler stem that is that big... They are almost always a smaller size or have only two flat sides to get an adjustable wrench on... Also, I have never seen a stem with left-handed threads for the body of the valve... The stem itself might be left-handed to accomodate different types of handles, but it will still thread into the body as a right-handed thread...


P.S. I went back to the beginning of this problem for you and merged everything into one big thread so that we have all the info we need in one place... Much simpler... ...
 

Last edited by Ragnar; 04-07-03 at 07:42 PM.
  #22  
Old 04-08-03, 06:22 AM
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stem

i understand and thanx for your patience-if i find the answer i'll let other viewers know.
pete
 
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Old 04-08-03, 08:27 AM
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Try metric sizes.
 
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