View Full Version : Sayco shower leaking - cannot remove handles

07-10-2011, 03:39 PM
Hello all from NY!

I've browsed for a few days and see a ton of knowledge here. I have a problem with my tub / shower. I have identified them as Sayco with a hot water knob, cold water knob, tub faucet and shower head. We just bought the house in April. It may have been casual dripping then but didn't notice. We noticed that we get a drip every 30 to 45 seconds or so from the tub faucet. I am not also noticing that when the shower or tub runs that it drip from behind the hot water handle.

I figured that if I take off the handles that I could replace the "guts" and life would be good. There in lies the problem... I cannot get the handles off. The are a metal handle and am sure they are "frozen" on. I've tried Lime Away to let it set but to no luck. I've tried tapping on the handle not luck. I've pulled on the handle as hard as I dare to no luck. I finally read about a handle puller on here that had a the long skinny end that goes inside the threaded area where the screw hold the handle on. I tried it on the hot water handle and it was turning hard and though that sooner or later it pop... nope. I pulled it back out and noticed that the end of the handle puller it probably just a little large for the hold it barely shined the threads so the screw still worked to hold the handle on.

At that point I quit. I can take some emery cloth and reduce the diameter of the end of the puller. Mu problem is this... I cannot get into the wall if something was to go bad. This bathroom shares the same wall the the master bath sink exactly on the other side so the plumbing is buried in the wall. It sucks. There is also no dedicated shut-off for this bathroom, it will need to be put in.

My questions are this:

What is the best way to get the handles off? If I use the handle puller, can I do any damage in the wall that would cause leaking? If the handle or stem breaks / gets damaged I can just replace those but I cannot get into wall (fiberglass surround).

I would appreciate any help that you all could provide.

Thanks for the time you all put in...


07-10-2011, 04:57 PM
If all else fails then cut the handles off and get a complete rebuild kit.



07-10-2011, 05:15 PM
Worse comes to worse, cut the hole around the valve larger (per the template on the remodel plate), and replace the valve with one that would offer some anti-scald protection all of the new ones do. As long as the handle puller can get to the bottom of the threads (i.e., the bottom of the hole), it should remove the handle. Once you get it apart, you should be able to rebuild it. I'd probably say good riddance, and replace it with a new, modern one that looks good and works.

07-10-2011, 07:09 PM
The rebuild kit is not the same as mine... I have a cold water and hot water knob and a "pin" you pull up on on the tub faucet.... would this kit still work?

You mean just cut through the chrome tube coming from / through the wall, through the stem and then put all new parts back...

Extreme... but it may work. Hacksaw?

Is the handle puller viable or not even work the hassle?


when you say "replace it with a new, modern one that looks good and works." are you saying replace the entire set-up and swap it out or just put in the rebuild kit? I can't get into the wall to replace the entire set-up :(

Thanks for the replies...

07-10-2011, 08:07 PM
That kit will work on yours. You just don't need the transfer stem.


07-11-2011, 09:12 AM
Would a pipe / tubing cutter work to cut off the chrome tubes to get to the stems?

07-11-2011, 12:36 PM
The stem is probably solid, a tubing cutter isn't the right tool.

If you use a remodel/rennovation plate...this would allow you to make the hole big enough to replace the entire valve from the front. Most manufacturers make one. This is the one from Delta http://www.deltafaucet.com/repairparts/details/rp29827ss.html?showPhotoGallery=false they often are available in various finishes. I used one of these at my Mother's house to replace her 40-year old Moen (that could have been rebuilt, but wouldn't have the anti-scald technology).