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Thread: Cannot Remove Shower Valve Stems

  1. #1

    Default Cannot Remove Shower Valve Stems

    I have a Sterling comrpession-type shower faucet that is leaking from the showerhead. I removed the knobs and bonnets (or, if I have the wrong name, the hex screw that hold the stem in place), but cannot get the stems to come out for the life of me. I have nearly stripped the ends of the valve stems trying to get them to unscrew counter-clockwise.

    What am I doing wrong?

    BTW -- I had to use a lot of Liquid Wrench and a hammer/screwdriver combo just to get the knobs off (fairly corroded). The bonnets came off cleanly, however, and there does not appear to be anycorrosion inside the stems...

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    Always open the faucet at least one turn before trying to unscrew the body. You can be fighting against the compression of the stem washer against the seat. Same for reinstalling.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default stem

    Very few stems are held in place by the packing nut. The majority have a larger hex surface the unscrews and removes the stem with it.


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