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Thread: v/v seat removal when square hole eroded to round?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Default v/v seat removal when square hole eroded to round?

    1966 Elger bathtub. The valve seat is very long, at least an inch; brass cylinder. Not only is the face cracked & deeply pitted due to acid water, but I can't get it out because the square hole in the back has crumbled into a round hole.

    I hesitate to take my hexagonal removal tool and pound on it.

    Any trick to gently remove it?

    I wish I had a tool which would go into the cylinder and expand.

    No room to grab the outside diameter. Might be able to grasp the cylinder wall with long needle nose, but that doesn't give much leverage to get it turning.

    Worst case, need to remove 1/4" from the face of the seat and use a much longer stem. Hoping the crack does not go longer than that. Already using a #5 length valve stem (Danco measure).

    Anyone know the thread size for this seat?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Easy Out...usually #6

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valve

    Square broachs do NOT crumble or wear to round. Either it is a hexagon, or someone has tried to remove it using the wrong tool and scraped into the round shape. Once that happens, you are reduced to trying anything that might work, but needle nose pliers is NOT one of them, nor is something on the outside of the seat. An E_Z Out might catch the inside and remove it. The hard water did not cause the seat to go bad. It went bad because the faucet has been leaking for a long time and THAT eroded the seat causing the "groove".
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Just tried needle nose... chunks of metal came off.
    Tried pounding the hex shape... now I have a very large round hole in the back.

    Even if I face-ground between 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" inches all the way back to the threads, I don't know if I could clean the threads ???

    I really don't want to have to go thru the wall in the closet behind the bathtub and replace the whole valve assembly.

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    EZ out... good idea. Didn't think of using a carpentry tool... think I have some, hope large enough...

    We have very acidic water; it erodes copper & brass. Had a pinhole leak that went in a pipe, and it ruined the whole rec room (leaked for 2 weeks when nobody went there; soaked paneling from behind, carpet... the room had been very humid for a couple years & I thought it was the foundation, but the pinhole had been putting a few gallons a day behind the paneling in a dark corner...

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Well I have a #6 Screw Extractor. It bottoms out before it can grab the inside diameter, and the tip it too wide & blunt to go thru thru the hole. Have another that would go thru the hole, but the shaft is too short... looks broken at the rear...

    Is there a specific plumbing "ez out" tool, or should I just get a screw extractor? And they make them with either very wide flutes, or very fine threaded flutes. What type for brass?

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Oh, I could try to drill out the hole so it becomes big enough to use the #6... but I hesitate for fear of damaging the threads in the valve body.

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Got a #5 remover... it bites but in the very back of the seat where it is threaded into the valve body. I fear that I am just expanding the seat itself tighter & tighter into the threads of the valve body. I turn the remover but the seat is not rotating.

    And the length of the seat is totally ruined; wide strips of metal cracked off all the way back to where it seats.

    Still cannot get the #6 to bite into the inside of the seat cylinder. The small end of the #6 is about the same diameter as the maximum threaded diameter of the #5.

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Thinking of twisting the #5 hard to see if it will at least break the seat up... then maybe I can dress the threads in the valve body (except I don't know the diameter & thread pitch or if I even have that tap size...).

    Worst case would be I crack the valve body itself or otherwise get the EZ out permanently stuck or broken off (at least that would reduce the water leaking so I can turn it back on to the house...)

    Why always on a Sunday afternoon ???

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Well I got the sucker out... by grabbing it with long needle nose & tearing it to pieces. Threads seem reasonably clean after picking at them with a dental tool & a plastic brush on the Dremel; I was able to install a "short" length seat which I had for repairing the sink faucets. So I've cut a piece of dowel rod as a spacer, waiting for glue to dry on a piece of hobby foam sheet as a soft gasket. Then I will install the valve and hopefully it won't drip too badly until I can obtain a long seat.

    Any ideas where to get the seat online?

    I need a 1/2" x 27NF with overall length of 1 1/4 or a bit more.

    Gotta buy a 1/2" x 27NF tap as well to chase the threads, all my set has is a 20NF.

  11. #11
    Janitorial Technician nestork's Avatar
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    The first place I'd try to get a replacement seat is Kissler.
    1-800-KISSLER
    http://www.kissler.com

    Kissler has a $250 minimum order, but their accounting department can tell you who they regularily ship to in your area, and you'd order it through them.

    On Kissler's web site you can download their plumbing repair parts catalogue and see if they carry the seat you need.

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    wow... $20 to $60 for a valve assembly...

    Is Eljer itself out of business?

    Eljer was purchased by Bain Capital
    Some of the manufacturing was shut down and American Standard products rebadged as Eljer. Some production moved out of the country
    Also still looking for a tub overflow plate with the "lift up" drain plug -- the portion on the back where the drain valve lever pivots is worn away. It has funky threads & center to center distance on the mounting screws.

    For when I remodel... what brand is good quality but has easy to obtain spare parts?
    Last edited by Terry; 10-24-2012 at 12:45 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Found a store with the Kissler bibb seats. Still had to get a piece of 1/4" bar stock and grind off the corners to make a wrench for them.

    They had BrassCraft complete faucet bibb assemblies part number 1491 hot and 1490 cold which is supposed to replace Eljer.

    They do not fit.

    The threads start too far up the body. The body bottoms out after no more than 1/4 turn, even when I remove the stem (ie the stem is not bottoming out against the bibb seat).

    Holding it against my original part, I think that it has the same number of thread rotations, but they have not ground down the bottom face far enough. In other words, the distance from the bottom face to the start of the threads is too long.

    Fortunately the stem fits into the original, and it is the bibb washer area that has corroded away.

    But I don't like having to pay for a whole part and then have to take time to cannibalize it for parts, and re-pack the old body.

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Remove the other seat and use it as a pattern for the shape and length. The company should have a "gauge" that will give you the diameter and thread pitch for it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    No, I bought the correct seat. The problem is that the seat removal tool you can buy (a round bar bent 90 degrees with a taper or square step or hex step) is too big in diameter to fit into the 1 1/4" deep seat to engage the square hole.

    Also having trouble finding a 1/2 x 27 tap so I can chase the thread inside the valve body.

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