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Thread: Can't remove old faucets - help?

  1. #1

    Default Can't remove old faucets - help?

    I am remodeling a bathroom and cannot remove the tub faucet handles.

    Here are links to photos. Looks simple. There is a small cap in the center. Removed cap. Inside there is a small screw. Removed screw. Problem is that the handles won't come off. They are approx 40+/- years old estimating the age of the house (built in the early 60's). I gave them a strong tug, tried a faucet control puller tool, gave a light whack and nothing.

    Is there a plumbing secret I am missing?

    Photos:



  2. #2
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    You need a faucet handle puller, availabe at any plumbing supply outlet or Large Box store.

  3. #3

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    I already tried that. When I said control puller, I meant a handle puller.

    I stopped when the puller tool began to bend.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    spray some PB Blaster into the screw hole and let it sit for a bit. Try again. Gentle persuasion with a 22 oz. framing hammer will take em off also but you're gonna need new handles when you're done.

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Take a torch and heavy leather glove...SLOWLY keep heating the handle and from time to time keep trying to remove it with the leather glove moving the handle left to right and up and down on the stem.

    Try not to move the whole stem as that won't help with the removal of the handle.

    It will let go at some point but how hot it needs to get B4 it does is the question.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    One thing I know when using pullers is that you tighten it up into a pulling position, you just snug it to a position where it is pulling, then give a sharp rap on the tightening screw of the puller. This shocks the connection and often it just pops loose at this point. Sometimes you have to tighten again and hit it again several times.

    If this fails I would move to more extreme measures...

    One thing to consider too is when using heat to try to loosen a joint, You want to heat the part on the outside of the joint to expand it causing the joint to loosen. If you heat both the part on the outside and the inside part the expansion will be the same on both parts with nothing gained.

    I have worked on mechanical assemblies where one part was put on a freezer and another part was put in an oven prior to assembly. Both parts slid together easily yet when the temperatures equalized there was no way they were ever coming apart.

  7. #7

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    Thank You - will try the PB and then heat if necessary....!

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Heat will be a bit stinky after PB Blaster is used...

  9. #9

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    How about cutting 'em off with a reciprocating saw between the knob and the wall? I would assume you're not planning on reusing them since this is a remodel and they're 40 years old.

  10. #10
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz3 View Post
    Thank You - will try the PB and then heat if necessary....!
    They look to be "pot metal" which is zinc-magnesium, which tends to weld itself to the brass shaft that they are on due to galvanic corrosion. You could pull forever before you get them off. Just cut them off like David suggests with a hacksaw or saws all. You'll need a blade with teeth spaced for soft metal, because both metal types tend to "gum up" a fine toothed blade.

  11. #11
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    A hack saw is not necessary, I have never had a handle that heat would not remove...hack saws are for hacks...that is why they are called hack saws
    Last edited by Cass; 10-28-2008 at 05:09 AM.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cass View Post
    a hack saw is not necessary, i have never had a handle that heat would not remove...hack saws are for hacks...that is why they are called hack saws :d


    .............................:d

  13. #13
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    A hack saw is not necessary, I have never had a handle that heat would not remove...hack saws are for hacks...that is why they are called hack saws
    gonna remember this next time a hacksaw comes to mind

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    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_NC View Post
    How about cutting 'em off with a reciprocating saw between the knob and the wall? I would assume you're not planning on reusing them since this is a remodel and they're 40 years old.
    Or smash wall open, cut water lines and valve comes out in one piece.


    Channel Locks on handle. Move channel Locks back and forth till handle breaks off. Replace handles and stems. Job done
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default handle

    A hack saw is not necessary, I have never had a handle that heat would not remove...hack saws are for hacks...that is why they are called hack saws

    Exactly, although I have had one or two handles that required breaking the stem off. But to use a hacksaw he would either have to cut through the handle or the flange also because none of the stem is visible to cut it directly.

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