Can't remove old faucets - help?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Jazz3, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. Jazz3

    Jazz3 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I am remodeling a bathroom and cannot remove the tub faucet handles.

    Here are links to photos. Looks simple. There is a small cap in the center. Removed cap. Inside there is a small screw. Removed screw. Problem is that the handles won't come off. They are approx 40+/- years old estimating the age of the house (built in the early 60's). I gave them a strong tug, tried a faucet control puller tool, gave a light whack and nothing.

    Is there a plumbing secret I am missing? :confused:

    Photos:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    You need a faucet handle puller, availabe at any plumbing supply outlet or Large Box store.
  3. Jazz3

    Jazz3 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I already tried that. When I said control puller, I meant a handle puller.

    I stopped when the puller tool began to bend. :mad:
  4. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    spray some PB Blaster into the screw hole and let it sit for a bit. Try again. Gentle persuasion with a 22 oz. framing hammer will take em off also but you're gonna need new handles when you're done.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Take a torch and heavy leather glove...SLOWLY keep heating the handle and from time to time keep trying to remove it with the leather glove moving the handle left to right and up and down on the stem.

    Try not to move the whole stem as that won't help with the removal of the handle.

    It will let go at some point but how hot it needs to get B4 it does is the question.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    One thing I know when using pullers is that you tighten it up into a pulling position, you just snug it to a position where it is pulling, then give a sharp rap on the tightening screw of the puller. This shocks the connection and often it just pops loose at this point. Sometimes you have to tighten again and hit it again several times.

    If this fails I would move to more extreme measures...

    One thing to consider too is when using heat to try to loosen a joint, You want to heat the part on the outside of the joint to expand it causing the joint to loosen. If you heat both the part on the outside and the inside part the expansion will be the same on both parts with nothing gained.

    I have worked on mechanical assemblies where one part was put on a freezer and another part was put in an oven prior to assembly. Both parts slid together easily yet when the temperatures equalized there was no way they were ever coming apart.
  7. Jazz3

    Jazz3 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Thank You - will try the PB and then heat if necessary....! :D
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Heat will be a bit stinky after PB Blaster is used...
  9. David_NC

    David_NC New Member

    Messages:
    5
    How about cutting 'em off with a reciprocating saw between the knob and the wall? I would assume you're not planning on reusing them since this is a remodel and they're 40 years old.
  10. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    They look to be "pot metal" which is zinc-magnesium, which tends to weld itself to the brass shaft that they are on due to galvanic corrosion. You could pull forever before you get them off. Just cut them off like David suggests with a hacksaw or saws all. You'll need a blade with teeth spaced for soft metal, because both metal types tend to "gum up" a fine toothed blade.
  11. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    A hack saw is not necessary, I have never had a handle that heat would not remove...hack saws are for hacks...that is why they are called hack saws :D
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  12. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine


    .............................:d
  13. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    gonna remember this next time a hacksaw comes to mind
    :cool:
  14. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    Or smash wall open, cut water lines and valve comes out in one piece.


    Channel Locks on handle. Move channel Locks back and forth till handle breaks off. Replace handles and stems. Job done :D
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    handle

    A hack saw is not necessary, I have never had a handle that heat would not remove...hack saws are for hacks...that is why they are called hack saws

    Exactly, although I have had one or two handles that required breaking the stem off. But to use a hacksaw he would either have to cut through the handle or the flange also because none of the stem is visible to cut it directly.
  16. joeburmeister

    joeburmeister New Member

    Messages:
    1
    My tenant calls me (she in Richmond, VA - I live in a another state) and tells me the bath tub faucet needs to be replaced since water is going behind the faucet wall plate. The faucet looks very much like what is in the pictures posted by the OP. Keep in mind the house over 25 years old. She called the plumber and plumber told her he can't get the faucet handle off and most likely corrosion has set in which can weld the handle to the stem.

    He is quoting $700 (!!!) to do the repair.

    I think that is way 2 much. I think the plumber is taking advantage of a female tenant who is cluless about the plumbing. Can any professional plumbers out there tell me whether $700 is reasonable to replace faucet?

    The plumber was done in a matter of hours with the work.

    Thanks in advance.
  17. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    She got ripped off, no question.
Similar Threads: Can't remove
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Can't Remove Bonnet To Repair Bathtub Faucet Saturday at 6:37 AM
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Can't remove strange closet flange anchoring screws, help! Oct 14, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Can't remove Tub/Shower Drain piece! Tried pliers but looking for tool or ideas... Oct 1, 2012
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Can't remove handle hub on Moen Monticello 2 handle faucet Jul 23, 2005
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice TORN....can't Decide Oct 7, 2014

Share This Page