Unable to remove valve stem

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by volleydog, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. volleydog

    volleydog New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm trying to remove the valve stem (hot water) on a 3 handle faucet that says "Central" on the handle, but can't get it freed up.
    I believe it's the original installation which makes it a 1978 install.

    I was finally able to get the handle and flange removed, but can't get the packing/bonnet nut to budge at all, even with the tool fitting perfectly over the nut. I've applied a pretty good amount of force to it so far, but want to ask for a little advice to make sure I'm attacking it the right way before I cause more damage.

    Looking around the 'net, I've seen a few older models that seem like the advice is to not remove the packing nut, but that seems counter intuitive to the way this hardware looks.

    Should I still be trying to remove this nut?
    If so, are there any tricks to try to get it to move?

    If not, what would be the proper way to go about removing this stem?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

    photo.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2014
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You may need to remove more of the surround to get access to the valve stem. It surround seems pretty tight around the stem.
    And the rest is muscle.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  3. volleydog

    volleydog New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks, Terry.

    I've actually gotten a pretty good grip on the nut with the socket, but concerned about applying too much force and damaging more of the assembly that's in the wall. Guess I'll add a little leverage and give it another go later tonight!
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Replace the packing nut you removed or you will damage the stem and have to replace it. I am going to guess that it is a Price Pfister stem. YOu have to make the opening larger so the bottom end will fit through it. Use a deep socket and "breaker bar" to unscrew it. It is just stuck.
  5. volleydog

    volleydog New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Virginia
    I have not removed the packing nut. I thought that's what this nut is in the picture?

    The only things I have taken off so far are the handle and the flange.

    The manufacturer mark only says Central.
  6. volleydog

    volleydog New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Virginia
    Handle and flange removed.
    Nothing else taken off yet. image.jpg image.jpg
  7. volleydog

    volleydog New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Virginia
    Good news: cracked the nut loose and was able to extract the stem. Thanks for clarifying the process!
    Bad news: wasn't able to find the root cause of my original problem.

    Root issue: hot water only trickles out of the faucet. Cold water works fine.
    Hot water works fine everywhere else in the house.

    I was told it was probably an issue with the hot stem, but I can't see anything wrong with it outside of an aging gasket.

    Any idea what could be causing this issue?
  8. Keiron

    Keiron New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Facing precisely the same issue, where I can't get the nut loose. Was thinking of doing the same with a breaker bar, but found the manifold (unsure of proper terminology, the part where the pipes are soldiered in) is unsupported, so was worried about torquing the pipes. Would I be better off coating this thing with liquid wrench or the equivalent?
    2014-06-26 19.50.05.jpg
    Replacing because the flange on the right is so stripped I can't get a universal kit to hold and all three valves are leaking.
  9. volleydog

    volleydog New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Virginia
    Bought the Danco Tub & Shower socket kit from Lowe's for ~$17, but that alone didn't get it loose.
    Ended up using a pipe wrench on the socket and that's what finally cracked it loose. No damage to the wall or other parts of the plumbing.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The "packing nut" is the brass piece inside the flange. Remove it and put it into the valve before you damage the stem unit and need a new one.
  11. robert13084

    robert13084 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    waco, TX
    Put The Handle On And Open The Stem Up And Then put your socket on the hex behind the packing nut. If a stem is closed off and your trying to loosen it sometimes it gets in a bind and is really hard to loosen.
    Terry and johnjh2o1 like this.
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