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Thread: Cannot remove shower valve stem - no bonnet nut, only threads?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member DoctorK's Avatar
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    Default Cannot remove shower valve stem - no bonnet nut, only threads?

    I'm trying to replace the washers on a leaky bath/shower faucet. I've never done this before, but reading many guides online I understand the basic procedure.

    After removing the handle, the only nut I can see is the packing nut. I was able to remove it, but obviously, that didn't free the valve stem. I have pictures below where you can see - there are only threads beyond the packing nut. There is no other "nut" to grab onto. The threads go about 1/2 inch back or so - they're what the chrome outer tube screws onto.

    Beyond the brass threads, you might be able to see, it sort of steps down directly into the pipes into the wall. There is no "nut" beyond them.

    The brand name on the handle screw cover is Speakman Kent. House is from the 60's, so the fixures are probably that old, although there is evidence on the packing nut, and on the pipes in the wall, of wrench marks, suggesting something (washer maybe) was changed more recently than that.

    What am I missing? How do I get this out?

    Here's what I'm working with:



    Here's the stem. I have reattached the packing nut here. See the threads beyond?



    Here you can see, it's all threads - no hex nut type thing to use a wrench on...



    ...from another angle, you can see that beyond the threads it kind of "steps down" to the pipes in the wall. In otherwords, there isn't anything beyond the threads that I'm not seeing - there just isn't anything there!



    Thank you very much for taking a look - I really appreciate any insight you could give me!

    Doc

  2. #2
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    Default

    Did you try removing the packing nut, putting the handle back on, or a wrench on the smooth part of the exposed stem (not the finished end) and spinning the valve open all the way, and then trying to unscrew the assembly further so that it comes out?
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


    www.blackbirdkitchenandbath.com

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member DoctorK's Avatar
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    I did, but since I didn't want to break anything I didn't use too much torque once I got it to the full "open" position. In terms of unscrewing the assembly further - I have been unable to find any way to unscrew it at all... that's my question.

    What should be happening when I open it all the way? If there's no way of damaging the valve I can give it another go and put a little more body ooomph into it.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    It will come out, its just old and needs more body ooomph as you put it.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If there is no other "separation point", and we have to take you word for it that there is not, then the stem unscrews through the packing nut opening and pushes the packing out as it does so. If you are incorrect in your assessment, then trying to unscrew it will either not work or the end of the stem will break off.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Can't tell for sure in your photo....are you sure that down below those threads is not a larger hex on the body? You might have to tweak the tile opening to see what's what.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member DoctorK's Avatar
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    It's hard to see in the photo, but there's no larger hex. I can clearly see where the thread starts...

    I had never heard or read about a valve stem that comes out through the packing washer. So, that's a real thing? Should I pry out the packing washer first? I kind of poked at it when I had the packing nut off, and that sucker is in there goooooood.

  8. #8
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    It looks like an old Sayco. If it is there is a hex nut beyond the threads for the sleeve. You will need a deep socket to remove it.

    John

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    All the Speakman Kent T/S valves I am aware of just have a packing nut. After it is removed the stem screws out.

  10. #10
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I did notice on the alfanoplumbingparts.com check the stems catalog....a lot of speakmans they show are just stems, not bodies, so that would be consistent with what asktom says. I don't remember working on one myself...guess they didn't use them out here much!

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    There have been literally hundreds of valves that removed through the packing nut. The packing will be pushed out in one piece so it can be reused. In the "old days" it was the only way they were made. If you "pick" it out you will have to get a new packing washer.

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