Symmons Temptrol Seat Replacement

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by bizmark, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. bizmark

    bizmark New Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    I have a 25 year old Symmons Temptrol tub/shower valve. It leaks just a little bit, even after replacing all the washers. I decided it was time to replace the hot and cold seats as I could see they were getting a little worn. So I picked up new seats (TA-4) and the hot and cold wrenches (T-35A & B) I figured it was not going to spin right out. I had thought about using a little heat, but was worried about still not being able to remove it after melting the o-rings. So I rapped on the cold seat wrench a few times as I tried to un-screw it. No dice! In fact, I gouged out the brass notches, so now the tool just spins. Symmons suggested using a #8 Easy-Out screw extractor to remove the cold seat. (#6 for the hot) Has anyone ever used this technique? Any better ideas or tips? As I said before, it only leaks a little. For now, I put it all back together to wait and decide how to proceed. There is no water shutoff for the tub only, only the main water valve for the house, so if mess up, I've got real problems. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated. Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2010
  2. Jes

    Jes New Member

    Nov 9, 2004
    The #6 and #8 screw extractors are the easiest way, by far, to remove those stubborn Symmons shower-valve hot and cold seats! A handy-man is best to complete this job. I'll explain the procedure the best I can just incase you decide the job might be for you. You could probably purchase the screw extractors at a plumbing supply store in your city or town. Call them ahead of time to see if they're in stock and how much they cost.

    The only thing is this: You'll most likely use these screw extractors once in your entire lifetime as they are not common tools of any household handyperson or handyman. At least they are not too expensive to buy and are VERY simple to use, but a little "muscle-power" might come in handy.
    If you can, it might be a good thing to also bring the Symmons valve seat removing tools back to the hardware store to get a refund!! You wouldn't be the first person to tell them that those Symmons tools are worthless except at stripping brass!

    O.K., now for the task at hand. Here's how to complete the work:

    You'll need:

    #6 screw extractor
    #8 screw extractor
    An adjustable wrench (found at any hardware store) that fits the square-end of both screw extractors.
    A large pair of adjustable pliers (just in case) to help hold the shower valve, itself (VERY IMPORTANT) from turning if the seats ARE REALLY TIGHT and you need to apply some pressure.

    Fit the screw extractor (either #6 or #8 depending on which seat you need to remove) directly into the shower valve seat leaving the square end hanging out towards you. Fit an adjustable wrench onto the square end and begin turning the wrench counter-clockwise while pressing your thumb and on the end of the screw extractor (the end that's nearest to you and your adjustable wrench). The extractor will grab the cold seat (or the hot seat) just like using a screwdriver to remove a tightly fit screw. If it doesn't begin to turn or come off, you'll have to press a bit harder with your thumb and might even need to use a small hammer to VERY, VERY GENTLY tap on the end of the adjustable wrench. Make sure you are especially careful not to put stress or begin turning the entire shower valve as this could damage the water pipe soldering and could cause water leaks afterwards!! Be careful, go slow, take your time, don't rush! Check the valve for leaks after the assembly is put back together and the water is turned back on. If all is good all you have left to do is to place the chrome face-plate and handle assembly properly back together onto the valve!

    After all is said and done, you might want to put those large screw extractors on eBay to get part of your money-back.
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  4. symmonsseat

    symmonsseat New Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    file away

    Alternatively before purchasing extractors, you can try filing new notches in the old seats with a small trianular file to engage the symmons extractor tool. This method worked for me, in combination with spraying a bit of muriatic acid within the valve body and waiting a half hour or so. Be careful when using the acid and flush everything well with water afterwards. Good luck!
  5. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Aug 7, 2005

    Are the seats pitted or chipped on the seat surface?
    Can't you shine the seat surface?
    It may not be the seat. If you need to...............
    Get a tappered, square, seat wrench.
    Tap into the seat to grab. Make sure that it doesn't make contact with the valve casting so as not to punch through the casting.
  6. LarryV

    LarryV New Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Great info ...

    I just went through this issue with a Simmons Temptrol and the advice to use a #8 Easy-Out really simplified it for me ;) . I tried the useless tool they give you and it just stripped the front of the cold seat. I had a hard time finding the #8 size, even Home Depot didn't carry it, but finally located one at a True Value store.
  7. joder

    joder New Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    Jes, or anyone - In using a screw extractor to remove the cold water seat, how do yoiu know before it's too late if you are turning to hard and breaking the solder seal on the valve?:confused:
  8. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    I guess, if water comes pouring out when you are done. ;)

    Seriously, I have had good luck spraying PB blaster onto a stubborn seat before trying to remove it. It chemically reacts with any corrosion.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    I find that when there is enough corrosion that the seats don't come out with the removal tool, usually the bore for the TA-25 spindle will have enough pitting that it doesn't seal well either, and it leaks.

    I don't play around with them...

    I replace them!

    It's better than going through all that only to get a call back cause the TA-25 spindle is leaking.

    I would consider the Delta R-10000 universal valve to be a great replacement.
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