Sayco Shower Diverter Problem/Question

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by cacophonous, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hi everyone,

    I'm in process of replacing the faucet stems (older Sayco) due to various reasons (mostly worn/loose and/or leaking while water running) and handles (strictly cosmetic reasons) in our tub/shower. The hot/cold stems came out easily using plumbing sockets.

    The center diverter stem however is giving me grief. It's in there pretty good. I have been trying to be careful not to round the hex on the diverter. I used PB spray, let it soak for hours, then days. I even cut the protruding part of the stem off with a recip saw so I could get a good 6 point socket on it and it but the socket slipped due to the incredibly stuck threads.

    Photo of my current condition showing new h/c stems and existing stuck cut-off diverter:

    [​IMG]


    Photo of a new stem (excuse the blurry photo):

    [​IMG]

    I've tried just about everything short of using heat.

    At this point I have an idea but not sure it would work.

    Could I simply leave the diverter open so water flows to the shower head and replace the spout with a diverter type spout like in this diagram?

    [​IMG]

    Of course if that idea would work I would cut the existing diverter flush and cap it off.


    Or any ideas on getting that stuck diverter out short of cutting the shower wall to get a pipe wrench on it?

    Right now I am trying to work through small 1.5" diamenter holes through the shower wall so I am limited to socket type tools. I even tried a socket made to remove worn bolts but it won't budge. I have tapped it with a chisel/hammer.

    I could try heat if I get an asbestos shield but am concerned about warping the valve body.

    Any/all input is greatly appreciated!

    Mike
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  2. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hj

    HJ - I noticed your reply to a similar problem with a Sayco diverter.

    I also removed the packing nut first.

    I haven't broke mine yet but have rounded the hex a bit.

    At this point should I put it back in or is it too late?
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  3. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I don't think using heat will warp the valve body. Wipe off the excess PB and put a torch on that sucker. Use your asbestos shield and keep a fire extinguisher handy.

    Other approaches:

    Use a 36" nut cracker. This is a socket with a 36" extension with a t-handle. You may need to cut off more of the stem to use this. If the hex is stripped you may be able to use an Irwin bolt extractor instead of the socket.

    Worse case is that you need to open up the shower wall and use a large crescent or pipe wrench with a long cheater bar.
  4. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Too late!

    I must have rendered the ID threads out-of-round because I can't get the packing nut back in. :) I at one point could thread it back in because I tried it both ways.
  5. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the reply Eric.

    I tried the Craftsman version of the Erwin bolt extractor. It grips well but I didn't want to use too much force and break the stem off...yet. :)

    I think heat will be my next attempt before cutting the wall open.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,472
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    diverter

    No way to tell if it is too late. Try reinstalling it. If it goes in okay, if not it is too late. The diverter is a two way valve, so if you set it for the shower, no water goes to the spout so the diverter spout would do nothing. If you set the diverter halfway, so some water goes to the spout and there is still a path open the the shower the diverter spout would work, but the diverter could also send water out of the shower head. You have to get it out, but I have never seen one so tight that a proper socket and good leverage would not remove it.
  7. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the input hj.

    You are right I have to get it out. That idea I had about adding a spout diverter was a fleeting thought.

    How do you feel about using heat?

    Also if I can't get the packing nut back in due to the out-of-round condition of the ID threads is my only option to leave it out? I guess what I mean is could I try to force a slightly smaller packing nut in at least to keep that part of the stem from collapsing further while wrencing on it?

    I've seen those wall plates that you can use after cutting the wall out. I would hate to do that but do you think if I had a larger access area a pipe wrench on the circular section of the stem (between the two thin hex areas) could help?
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,472
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    diverter

    You would have to make a larger hole than those plates would cover to use a pipe wrench in that area. And I doubt that heat would help at all, if you could do it without damaging something while trying to work through that small hole.
  9. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    I may be able to cut an access door from behind but it would be big hassle.

    I had another thought.

    Maybe I could cut the stem closer to the hex. Drill a hole just larger than the center stem diameter, then tap it with a left hand thread tap slightly larger than the ID of the stem. Get a corresponding bolt with a left hand thread, etc...
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,472
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    stem

    Just get a proper sized deep socket and use a longer breaker bar.
  11. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Update:

    I had my buddy turn a 6 point 13/16" Deep Well socket down in his lathe to remove the chamfered lead. This way I could grap the thin hex section in the rear of the diverter.

    [​IMG]

    That did the trick, well sort of.

    It broke the diverter free where it completely unthreads but its stuck?

    I tried to pull it out with a vise grip but don't want to damage the ID thread of the valve body.

    Anyone run into this scenerio?

    hj?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007
  12. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    I sprayed PB in the valve body cavity then thought about it for a few. I then rotated the threaded part of the diverter out by rotating the stem in the opposite direction.

    [​IMG]



    This is where I am at with the stem stuck inside the valve body:

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007
  13. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Heating it with a propane torch still may be your best option, after you wipe off the flammable PB Blaster.
  14. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    I imagine its just lime or other buildup in there. I tried soaking it in PB for some time then with a vise grip I tried pulling it out while turning it, etc.

    For now I'm spraying lime remover and letting it sit.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,472
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    diverter

    That outer portion should be a "slide in" sleeve for the diverter to back seat against. If you can get it to rotate even a small amount that should break the corrosion and allow it to come out. I had a similar problem with an American Standard diverter and it took some creativity to get it to move and then pull it out.
  16. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    hj - Thanks so much. I was not sure if that was a sleeve or not and was going to remove the hot or cold diverter to see if it looked different inside the valve housing.

    BTW - The store where I bought the stems only sell that particular Sayco model in hot and cold. They said use a hot (or cold) stem as the diverter depending on preference as to rotation. Does that sound right?

    Is this the sleeve you are refering to?

    [​IMG]

    Any suggestions on how to grab it to rotate it?

    Thanks again!

    Mike
  17. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    hj - What do you think if I took a piece of threaded pipe and screwed it into the sleeve? Not sure if it would fit around the course threads on the stem though.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  18. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    I originally bought the hot/cold stems at a Home Depot. Thats where I was told the Diverter is simply a hot or cold stem. Ok I went to a plumbing supply place today (which I should have gone to in the first place).

    They had the actual diverter which looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    In this photo you can see the 'sleeve' section which is stuck:



    You can see there is a cut-out section on the sleeve. I was able to rotate the sleeve fairly easily today using a flat tool I made with a bend at the end which fits into the cut-out area.

    It still stuck though.

    For now I am spraying more PB and rotating the sleeve and then waiting to try to pull it out with a vise grip on the stem. I have been trying to methods to pull it out.

    1. Simply pull with force.
    2. Push the stem in until it seats then pull quicky so it hammers the back of the sleeve.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2014
  19. handy andy

    handy andy New Member

    Messages:
    3
    What's that thing goin' in the hole?
  20. cacophonous

    cacophonous New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Wrong forum! j/k

    I think you are refering to the stem. It's been cut-off with a saw. See the very first photo middle hole.
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