Stripped American Standard shower stem seat

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Fumisan, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Fumisan

    Fumisan New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    The house was built in 1970. My shower is leaking. I already replaced the cold water stem in March, 2013. It worked for a while, but is leaking again. It might be the hot water stem. So I tried to replace that. When I tried removing the seat, the seat was already stripped. I tried using a screwdriver, mallet and PB Blaster.

    I can't get the seat out. Help!
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,400
    Location:
    IL
    Did you try a big Allen wrench that exactly fit the hex? A screwdriver is not the right tool to unscrew the seat.
  3. Fumisan

    Fumisan New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Yes. I used this tool first. It just kept spinning because it is stripped.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You have to get creative, but that requires trying many different combinations of tools and parts, which we could do if we were there but cannot tell you how to do it. Be careful with the mallet or you may punch a hole in the back of the valve and then a stuck seat will be the least of your problems, but since you would have to change the valve, you wouldn't have to worry about the seat any more.

    [​IMG]

    Sold at hardware stores.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2013
  5. Fumisan

    Fumisan New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks, hj and Reach4,

    I did initially use the hex tool referenced, but the seat was already stripped. I'm guessing someone tried to change it years ago, stripped it and just left it in. :eek:

    I tried notching a flathead screwdriver into the seat using a hammer (as one person recommended on the net somewhere - thanks for the warning hj!). The screwdriver did notch into the seat and grabbed it fairly well, BUT...I had to use so much force to try to unstick the seat that the screwdriver eventually spun out... I tried this method a handful of times.

    I then went to plan C. Went to local big box store, bought some PB Blaster and a screw extractor.
    Ryobi screw extractor kit.jpg
    This kit was from Ryobi and the largest screw extractor looked like it might fit the hole properly. Got home, sprayed liberally with PB Blaster and let it sit for a while. I wiped the PB out with a rag then put the screw extractor in and turned counterclockwise with a crescent wrench. The screw extractor seemed to grab the seat to a certain point, but not enough.

    I think the problem was that, by the time the extractor was biting into the seat, it was also hitting the back of the valve preventing it from biting in more. If I took a hacksaw, I could probably shorten the extractor (cut the narrower part off) so that the fatter part of the tool would grab the seat without hitting the back of the valve. Or, maybe there is another type/size extractor on the market that would work better.

    Any more advice beyond what I have tried?
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,119
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you can cut the extractor with a hacksaw, then it is too soft to use to remove the seat. You would need to grind the end off.
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