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Jessie01

01:58PM | 01/01/05
Member Since: 12/31/04
1 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
I'm trying to remove old faucet handles from the bathtub. The faucet stem is stripped and will not move. I've used vice-grips, but No luck! It looks like there's a build up of stuff since the old handles were on there for a long time. How can the faucet stem be loosened?

LonnythePlumber

10:56AM | 01/02/05
I'm presuming you have a two or three handle faucet. Removing handles from these faucets often require a handle puller. Sometimes a puller will not get them off and we have to cut the handles off by cutting a slot in the handle and spliting the handle off with a flat bladed screwdriver. If you have cup shaped handles instead of cross handles, then you will need to crush the cups off first to get to the handle stem connection.

Stem stripping to me means that the stem spins and spins without engaging the faucet body threads. No movement may mean a bent stem. If you can determine if the stem is all the way out or all the way in then I would try again harder to get it to move.

Around the stem at the faucet there is a packing nut and then the larger stem body which screws into the faucet back in the wall. A set of tub wrenches are often required to remove the stem body. They are a set of deep set sockets for around $25.00.

Finding new handles can be a challenge. There are many different sizes of stems and slot combinations. If the threads on the stem body are worn to the point the stem is striped you are probably going to have to replace the faucet. The threads in the valve body are probably also worn.
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