View Full Version : Can't reach Valve stem nut

06-21-2007, 11:21 AM
Hi all,

I'm new here and have a dilemma. I am trying to replace the valve stems in my 2 handled tub shower. There is a pipe (or housing) that extends around the valve stem from the wall. I have a socket (21/32 - 27/32). The 21/32 end fits down the pipe but not over the nut and the 27/32 end won't fit down the pipe at all. I was really hoping I would not have to remove the tile but it seems like this pipe is well seated behind it somehow. Any thoughts on the best way to remedy this? There is a pic attatched. Please help!2436



06-21-2007, 11:41 AM
You need to unscrew that metal trim sleeve first. Put one of your sockets inside the sleeve (so it won't deform) then unscrew it with a channel locks. If you have plumber's sockets, one of them should fit the hex part of the stem.

PS: You need to reduce the size of your picture file. You can use this freeware to do it: http://www.photofiltre.com/

06-21-2007, 03:31 PM
Thanks, Eric. There was some rubber-like adhesive behind the sleeve holding it in place. I did get the sleeve off but the stem is still stuck inside it. I'm thinking the best thing is to try and replace all of it and not even bother trying to pull it out. Here's what I have now:

In theory this should have been MUCH easier..but that's how it goes I guess. Any last thoughts? Think I can get the right replacement stems eventhough I can't get it out of the stupid sleeve? I also hope I can find a couple of steel sleeves easily at the store. Any help is still appreciated. THANKS!


06-21-2007, 04:49 PM
That decorative chromed sleeve is part of the faucet and is not generic, I don't think. You may have trouble finding it as a replacement part.

06-21-2007, 07:47 PM
Is the stem stuck to the inside of that sleeve by corrosion or adhesive?

Why are you replacing the stem rather than rebuilding it? If it's just leaking, you can replace the bib washer and screw the whole thing back in again.

06-22-2007, 09:08 AM
Well the splines on the end of the stem are worn down and the adapter with the three Allen type screws that holds the faucet handle just spin freely and don't grip it. I tried replacing just the adapter first, but to no avail.

I don't know if the stem is stuck inside the sleeve due to adhesive or corrosion. I can't get a good hold on it with the pliers. It just slips, so I said heck with it... I'll just replace the whole thing. There's a point where it's just not worth it to keep getting frustrated!

06-22-2007, 09:33 AM
Yep, if the handle spins freely, it's time to change out the stem. Once you match up the stem, you should hopefully find the matching tube to go with it. If not, you'll have to rig something up like the last one to hold it in place.

06-22-2007, 11:14 AM
Well I purchased a kit and replaced the seats, stems, sleeves and handles for about $50. I figure what I learned in the process is worth at least that much to me anyway. Thanks for your help. It looks great! You guys rock.2441

06-22-2007, 05:20 PM
You are fortunate that you have a Price Pfister shower, of which there have only been about 67BILLION made. Parts are readily available, as you found. Do not stuff the inside of the sleeve with caulk! If the stem packing ever leaks, you want to see the drip so you can repair it.

06-23-2007, 06:10 AM
Honestly, I wondered about that exact thing. Glad you mentioned it. Even though I didn't repack it, the caulk from before is still there. I'm going to go ahead and remove it then. Thanks for confirming my suspicion. Just to be sure, we are talking about around the sleeve and coupling where it meets the wall, right?



06-23-2007, 07:12 AM
The "washer" end of the stem and the round stem with a groove for the handle implies that it is/was an American Standard stem, not Price Pfister.

06-23-2007, 09:31 AM
You are supposed to caulk the fixtures where they meet the wall. This keeps water from leaking behind the shower wall.

You should not load up the inside of the tube with caulk or you won't be able to tighten the packing nut when it starts to leak.

06-23-2007, 11:00 AM
can do. thanks again!