help with screwup

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by brnt999, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. brnt999

    brnt999 New Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    I have been remodeling my bathroom.I installed the plumbing for a bathtub/shower and tiled it all in.During construction I periodically turned the water on useing a set of pliers ( I did not have the handle installed) to test for leaks and to clean dust in the bathrub.Yesterday I went to install the handle and discovered I stripped the teeth on the valve stem. There is an adapter with a female end with teeth that slips over the valve stem and a male end with teeth that engages the handle. The adapter just spins.I either have to remove tile and install a new faucet valve, or somehow dismantle the faucet valve and install a new stem, or figure a way to permanently attach the adapter to the stem ( glue? solder?).Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. jastori

    jastori Member

    May 2, 2008
    Most modern valves are designed to be replaced / fixed without opening up the wall. There should be a valve body that is permanently installed in the wall. You should be able to remove / replace the rest of the valve components without opening the wall. If you did not leave a large enough opening, you may have to enlarge it in order to remove what you need to replace. However, you should not need to make a hole larger than what can be covered up by the trim plate when you reassembly the valve.
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  4. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    It's hard to believe operating the valve "a few times" would mess up the splines that badly. Are you sure you don't have a couple of sizes of spline adapters to choose from and have picked the ones for the larger size?

    It would take some effort to destroy the spines even with vice-grips, to the point where they couldn't be touched up with a needle file and put back into service.

    If you have really messed up the splines beyond hope, consider putting some JB-weld on the splines, fitting the adapter and letting that set, then fitting the handle. Keep the epoxy out of the screw-hole.

    Long term solution is to remove and replace the valve stem with a new one that isn't goobered up, just like jastori says.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Just buy a new stem and install it. IF we had to replace a faucet everytime someone damaged the handle splines, we would be replacing many faucets.
  6. brnt999

    brnt999 New Member

    Feb 6, 2008

    Thanks for the info--its a relief to know there is a solution without taking tile down.
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