How to Remove a Deep Set Tub and Shower Faucet Valve

What You'll Need
Deep swell socket wrench
Hammer and chisel
Channel lock pliers

A faulty shower faucet valve can lead to a host of leak problems and will need to be repaired as soon as possible. If the leak is not taken care of, it could lead to water damage in the wall that will require a much more expensive repair job. Fortunately, removing and replacing a leaky valve is not that difficult, and this easy to follow how-to guide will show you everything you need to know to remove the faucet valve. Let's get started.

Step 1 - Shut Off the Water

First, you'll need to make sure that you set off the main water supply in your home. To do this, you need to locate the main shutoff valve that is usually connected to the water meter. In most cases, the water meter and main shutoff valve will be located near the road or street that you live on and in front of your house. If you are unable to find the main shutoff valve, you should contact the utility in your area that is responsible for providing water and sewer service.

Step 2 - Remove Valve Handle

Once the water has been shut off, you can begin removing the deep set faucet valve in your tub and shower. First, you need to remove the valve handle. To do this, you will simply need a Phillips head screwdriver in most cases. Take the screwdriver and remove the screw that is used to attach the handle to the valve stem, and then set the handle aside. Make sure not to lose the screw as you'll need it later.

Step 3 - Remove Escutcheon Plate

Next, remove the escutcheon plate. This is the plate that covers the hole in the wall behind the valve handle. Sometimes, the plate may be difficult to remove because of mortar or grout that was used when tiling the shower or tub area. If this is the case, take a flat head screwdriver and a hammer and use it to gently pry off the escutcheon plate.

Step 4 - Chip Away Mortar to Free Up Valve

Once you remove the escutcheon plate, take a look inside the hole where the valve stem is located. If there is any mortar that may obstruct the removal of the valve stem, take a hammer and chisel and gently break it away. The broken mortar will usually fall in between the walls, but there's not a lot you can do about that.

Step 5 - Remove Faucet Valve

Now you're ready to remove the valve stem from the faucet. To do this, take the deep well set socket wrench and place it inside the hole and make sure that it fits securely on the nut used to secure the valve stem. Then, take a pair of channel lock pliers and twist the deep well socket counterclockwise until it breaks the seal on the nut. Once the nut has been loosened, you can use your hands to continue twisting the valve stem until it comes out of the hole. Once you've removed the valve stem, you're now ready to install a new washer or replace the valve stem as needed.