View Full Version : help with screwup

11-25-2008, 06:27 AM
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.

11-25-2008, 07:53 AM
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.

11-25-2008, 01:19 PM
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.

11-26-2008, 06:42 AM
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.

11-26-2008, 06:55 AM
Thanks for the info--its a relief to know there is a solution without taking tile down.