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Thread: Can't remove "bonnet" to replace cartridge!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member wannabe123's Avatar
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    Default Can't remove "bonnet" to replace cartridge!

    I have a 10 yr old delta shower head that leaks (series 1700). Called delta and they sent me a new cartridge with seats, springs and quad rings. But I can't remove the bonnet. I have attached a jpg with my finger on the bonnet. By the schematic I have on the faucet, it looks like it just slides on or off. But I can't get it to move! Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Try to get a wrench on the body of that valve, another on the bonnet nut.


    Hit that bonnet nut with WD-40 or penetrating oil before removing the nut.

    If the body twists, you'll be spending close to $600 to fix it.

    If you have a big enough set of jaws, you can depress that nut where it changes its shape and breaks the calcium bond but it takes a good grip to do it.


    Sometimes turning it slightly forward THEN backwards to remove can help remove it.


    Remember, 2 wrenches to take that bonnet nut off; one on the body to steady it and one on the bonnet nut to remove.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    To bad the original installer didn't use silicone grease on the threads when it was installed.

    If you get it off with out insident...put some on when you reassemble it...

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking be careful....tough nut to crack......

    Be very careful, very very careful....


    Usually I just take a hack saw and saw through
    that outer nut till I get down to the threads underneath...

    then I get a good sized screwdriver and place it in the cut I made and twist it till the nut snaps....

    then the nut will come off......and you can change that
    stem...

    of course you got to have another new nut on hand...

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default nut

    Have them send you a new nut then carefully heat that one until it unscrews.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member wannabe123's Avatar
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    Default called to order new bonnet nut

    Hey, I just got something else to try. I called Delta to order a new bonnet nut and they told me to first try mixing half very hot water and half white vinegar, then dip a cloth into the mixture and wrap it around the bonnet. Let sit for 15 minutes and try to remove bonnet nut. Can repeat up to 4 times.

    Will let you know.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default heat

    That will do the same as heating it, but might not be hot enough. Heat a LITTLE bit, and try to turn it gently. Then heat a bit more and try again. When the heat is at the proper temperature the nut will unscrew as if it were oiled.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Phil Lloyd's Avatar
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    Using a pipe wrench on the bonnet nut while backing up with another on the valve body works well, but often there is not enough room for the thick jaws of a pipe wrench for backup and i use channel-locks. Any squeezing pressure on the bonnet nut seems to hold it tight against turning. I have only had to cut the bonnet nut with mini hacksaw one time (and had extras on hand so no worry). It can be hard to cut through where it wraps around the front but i cut far enough so that just prying through the cut with a screwdriver broke the tiny joining tab that was left.
    I will try the heat method next time - that seems quicker, really.

    Cass - Yeah, once you have found a crusty bonnet nut, you know to grease them babies on installation- hehehe

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Question

    Question to Rugged. Why will it cost $600 to repair if he twist the body? I recently install a brand new Delta valve body and 1700 trim kit for less than $150! Am I missing something?

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Question to Rugged. Why will it cost $600 to repair if he twist the body? I recently install a brand new Delta valve body and 1700 trim kit for less than $150! Am I missing something?


    When customers call me, around 20 customers a year, it's always an emergency meaning in the evening or on weekends, the "gotta have it now" rush to get the water back on.


    I charge accordingly but I picked a higher number not knowing what area they live in...and it could easily hit $600 for the replacement.


    The last one I did on an emergency call was $479 and I was being extremely generous on that price. It was on a sunday and I was scheduled to work in my other two businesses that day.

    Start to finish was 3 hours, the faucet was under $100 which was a 1400 Delta Monitor Series with the R10000 valve.


    That price you gave on the 1700 series is on target with price.


    If the customer OR the plumber isn't capable of replacing the valve through that small hole, like I'm doing all the time, then of course with a remodel plate or access to backside of fixture just adds on the cost tally.
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 11-29-2008 at 10:36 PM.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  11. #11
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Thanks Rugged. After I submitted my question, it occurred to me that of course as a pro you would be quote parts and labor whereas I was only considering parts. I was not implying that you were sticking it to the customer.

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    DIY Junior Member wannabe123's Avatar
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    Talking Successful!

    Thanks so much to all of you for your help and suggestions!

    I did try the white vinegar/hot water mix ... but after two applications, nothing moved.

    I then tried heating it. Needed two pairs of hands. Used propane torch (after wrapping other parts with wet cloths), and as one person heated it, the second person held the body still while periodically trying to turn the bonnet. It unscrewed easily when it got hot! No damage to the bonnet either!

    When replacing the bonnet, I applied lots of silicone grease - for the next time.

    All back together now, and working fine.

    Couldn't have done it without you!

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default bonnet

    The bonnet is usually not damaged, but since it can happen, that is why I suggested having one available before proceeding.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member diz's Avatar
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    Default

    Revisiting an old thread here, but after trying many various tricks, I was finally able to remove a nearly seized bonnet and cartridge from a 2006 shower unit that I inherited in a house I'm now in. When I removed the old bonnet, the cartridge was also pretty much seized and I could turn the water back on to the house without any passage to the downspout, with the bonnet not installed. But with the replacement cartridge in place (which has fixed the drip that led me to tear into this thing to begin with), I must have the replacement bonnet in place or otherwise water passes by to the downspout. I just want to make sure this is normal. I'm guessing yes since the cartridge shouldn't be practically seized in there to begin with, but I'm not quite able to put the new cartridge all the way into the grooves without also installing the bonnet. Any confirmation I can get would be appreciated!

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I am not sure what you are talking about, but I hope you are NOT turning the water on without the bonnet nut in place.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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