I am stuck and so are my shower/bathtub stems. Every video I have watched just has them turning right out for people so either I am doing something wrong or I need a trick from someone who does this stuff all the time. So here is the background. The shower faucet (the hot water is the worst) has a slow leak evident by the watermark on the shower floor and on the underside of the shower handle. I also think that the shower head also has a slow leak or drip (because we cannot completely turn off the faucet) but gravity keeps it from being a big problem since it is simply a shower but I don't know just guessing.

Set up is a stand alone shower with a two handle shower faucet (no idea of the brand) constructed in the early 1980's. Everything in this home has been low cost builders grade material. (In working in the other bathroom I encountered a similar problem when trying to upgrade the shower head and found something on the threads that had made it almost impossible to unscrew.)

So being the diy gal I am, I did some research and was able to remove the handle, etc to get to the stem. Then that is where I get stuck. I have to turn off the main water to work on it so this is becoming frustrating since it halts all household activity. I tried tightening the packing nut to see if maybe it was just loose but it is super tight and does not stop the leak. I think the previous owner overtightened it because they couldn't do anything either. So I figured I would take the time to replace the stem, seat, etc. since it looks as if it hasn't been touched since first installed. But the stem isn't moving. I have soaked it in liquid wrench, hair dryer, hammered it, man muscle (had my husband try), and a mini propane torch. And I even let the liquid wrench sit for a few days because I got annoyed with it. I am beyound frustration. So I am hoping that someone out there has a miraculous tip that will save me because I need to fix the diverter on the tub/shower in the other bathroom and it too has the same problem (after I chip away at the tile to even get access to it.)

Oh and I have tried turning in both directions (just in case it went the other way) and the nut is actually starting to strip from the socket wrench (too much man muscle and not a perfect fit). Someone suggested getting a mechanics socket to get better grip and prevent stripping so I tried that and found that it is a 1 inch socket but now I have no good way to get a grip to turn the socket. I thought maybe trying and extra deep socket so I can get some leverage but I need to find the tools. After four stores still no luck so maybe it doesn't exist (6pt 1 inch extra deep socket).

The cold water stem is set even further in the wall and I haven't even tried to tackle that one (it has a slower leak). And it looks like a second bathroom with three more stems that will be just as difficult.

I tried to focus the pic on the shoulder of the stem so the stem itself is a bit blurry. If a different picture would be better just let me know.



Thanks for any wisdom/tricks you may have. I will try anything and I really don't want to have to do a rebuild this isn't our forever home.

Thanks again