Help! how to take off old Gopher tub Faucet handles

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by dy, May 2, 2010.

  1. dy

    dy New Member

    May 2, 2010
    Bradenton, Florida

    I am looking for advice help, steps on how to remove the old faucet from my bathtub. The make is "Gopher" It is a 3 handle Hot - Shower - Cold
    I would like to replace the unit with a new one. I would love to replace it with a single unit, but not sure how complicated that would be. How will I know the sizing for the new faucet? Can anyone point me to videos links online, or any advice on this? I would like to do this project myself. I have had a hard time taking off the handles. I have put WD40 on them. I tried using a handle puller, that doesn't work. The handle thats partially off on the left side was broken in half, and I still can't get the round part off over the end of the stem. See photos. Also for a new faucet any suggestions or links on what would fit in place of the old one or advice would be great. Thanks so much and I look forward to your reply.
    Also theres nowhere I can see where I can take a wrench and take off the whole stem (thinking that would be the easiest, and just replace the stem) Since I cant get the old faucet handles off, and I'm replacing the whole faucet anyway.
    I cannot afford a plumber on this one and would like to Do it Myself.
  2. JOHN_P

    JOHN_P New Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm no expert but just finished two bathrooms, and since you have access to all of the plumbing and want to replace that anyway, why not just cut out the old pipes and replace everything with new?

    Since it looks like you're dealing with galvanized, if you replace with that, for a first time plumbing job it might not be that bad, though if you look around on the forums, you're sure to find advice and tips for soldering copper pipe or other alternatives.

    It feels so good to rip out the old plumbing, and in my case, the 50 year old galvanized was so gunked up inside, switching over to copper and undoing some of the really poor work that the previous homeowner did felt really good.

    I went with Delta shower/tub faucets and found the installation pretty straightforward.

    I wish you the best. Test out all of your work before putting the wall back up for a bit of peace of mind.
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    It seems you have access behind the trim flange to cut straight through the stem with a hacksaw or sawzall. It is all brass, and will cut easily. At this point, it is moot because you just want to cut the whole thing out of there.

    If you were wanting to repair this, a soak with white vinegar would help, and if you get a pipe wrench on that exposed stem with the broken handle hub, you might be able to turn the whole stem out that way.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Yeah, you really want to just cut it out and replace it with a new valve that meets current codes for anti-scald protection. When you do, use brass or copper to connect the tub spout, and you won't get a shot of rust when you first turn things on. If you need some time before you install a new valve, get yourself a couple of Sharkbite end caps to seal the supply lines off. No soldering, and you can pop them off easily. Just be sure to clean any burrs off the end of the cut pipe or you may damage the o-ring seal, and it will leak. Otherwise, those caps are reusable numerous times.
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