Faucet stem won't come out


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Old 04-22-06, 12:52 PM
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Faucet stem won't come out

I have a leaky compression faucet in my tub. I took the handle and the stem nut off, but the stem assembly won't come out so I can see if the problem is the threads, the washer, or the valve. I turned it to the right and left. I gave it a good yank (mindful of the stem threads). Nothing worked. Any ideas?
 
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Old 04-22-06, 02:49 PM
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Are you turning the stem or the valve?
 
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Old 04-22-06, 04:26 PM
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Hi Just a guess but did you just remove the packing nut. That is a small nut just below the handle. Look closer to the valve body and see if there is a hex shape that will accept a socket turn that. The stem will come out with the housing.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 04-22-06, 05:38 PM
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Exactly...to what woodbutcher is saying.

You probably just took off a nut that compresses packing around the valve stem. You need to take off the big hex-shape bonnet nut that is more to the rear, and may even be in the wall some. THEN the valve stem will come out. But to remove that nut you need a really deep socket for this. There are cheap wrench sets you can buy at a plumbing shop or at a home center that give you 4 or 5 X2 sizes of these sockets on a wire, as a kit. These are extra deep sockets of the most common sizes for removing tub valve stems. They include a rod that you slip through the holes in the socket for leverage for removal. But I always use a pipe wrench on the outside, instead. (I do an awful lot of this type of repair/relacement work with college rentals reefing on tub handles day in and day out!)

When doing this kind of work yourself, you want to be be observant. Usually behind the bonnet nut is a fiber washer. (If not a fiber washer, there should be a thin brass washer) Carefuly observe to see if it came off and is still attached behind the bonnet nut or is stuck inside the valve still. If it looks okay, no matter which part it is on, you can simply reinstall the valve stem. Or, if it looks bad, yu wil need to take your valve stem to a shop and have them fit you a new thin fiber gasket over the threads behind the bonnet nut.

Also with the valve stem out, you need to use a pen light and see if the brass seat back in there is perfectly smooth as it should be, or if it has a nick-groove in it (bad). If so, you will need to extract the seat and take *IT* with you as well, for a replacement. You need a seat removal tool to get them out. (They come with a square head or hex head, and one or the other will be used depending on what kind of seat you have.)

You also should have silicone grease or plumbers grease so you can grease up the worm gear, any threads you see, and the o-rings inside, and the splines for the handle. If your water did not leak water out the handles, the o-rings and/or packing is still good. To see if your valve stem has o-rings, you literally unscrew the valve stem all the way out of the bonnet nut. Grease lube them if you do.

It's nice to have liquid 'threadlock' on hand also. Home centers sell this stuff also. You put some on the washer bib screw threads to prevent the screw from coming loose. If the screw feels sloppy and does not feel like it ever gets gummy-tight, you either need a new locking screw or to use some threadlock. This threadlock really does work because I have taken back apart things I have used it on. It is like you added acrylicy fingernail polish to the threads. It really works. I have had to unscrew countless handles from a particular brand of faucet and put this on the threads to keep the hnadles from constantly unscrewing themselves, even though they had be tightened extremetly tight, countless times. The ones treated with the threadlock never came loose ever again.
 
 

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