Tub faucet stems an odd size - how to remove?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by salitt, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. salitt

    salitt New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    My very old house has decided to spring a leak in one of the shower faucets. Unfortunately, it's the hot one - when you turn on the hot water, more water comes out the faucet handle then out the tub spout! (Probably an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like.) I went to pull the stem valve to replace it or the washer only to discover that the 21/32 tub socket wrench is too small and the 27/32 tub socket wrench is too big. I've not been able to find a tub socket wrench in between. The local plumbing supply store tells me that some manufacturers have their own specific tools, but I can't find a name printed anywhere. From the looks of it, the bathroom was probably renovated last in the 50's (all pinkish). It's up for a gut job hopefully mid-next year, so I don't want to damage too much in the process, but I would like to stop burning my hand on the faucet. Any suggestions on how I can get the faucet stem out?

    thank you!
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,255
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IT would be a lot easier to answer the question if we had a picture of the faucet. What about a deep 3/4" socket and use pliers or a wrench to turn it, because the stem would be poking out of the square drive opening?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  3. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet Member

    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    17 mm, 11/16, 18 mm, 19 mm, 3/4, 20 mm, 13/16, 21 mm deep sockets should be available wherever a good
    selection of tools is sold. Those "tub socket" sets are usually none too accurate in their size markings.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,255
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Actually, sometimes the faucet castings are not "accurate". I have had faucets where the "standard" socket for that model is to loose to turn it. Then, I hit the side of the socket with a hammer to make it smaller, then remove the stem.
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