(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: stuck set screw

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member leeelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    23

    Default stuck set screw

    Couldn't find my problem with a search....

    I have a Kohler K-T14420 Shower control whose stem extension is very loose. I think a retaining screw may have broken off (I have a parts diagram). My problem is that I can't remove the set screw from the handle stem despite repeated applications of WD-40. I apply a fair amount of force, enough to deflect the 2" hex tool a half inch at the end but I'm afraid of breaking it off inside the screw. Part of the problem is that when the shower is off, the screw points down, so WD-40 doesn't really soak in. (When the shower is on full, the screw is horizontal, and I'm quite wet since there's no shower shut off)

    I considered heat, but since the exterior is chrome, I couldn't see applying my torch to the handle. If heat is the answer, how do I apply it without ruining the finish?

    If heat is not the answer, what is? As a last resort, I think I can drill out the set screw. I'm not too worried about having to replace the handle stem and stem extension. Is this the best way to go? What a pain.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,602

    Default

    The set screw should be hardened so forget about drilling it out. Heat will not usually damage the chrome finish if applied moderately.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member leeelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    The set screw should be hardened so forget about drilling it out. Heat will not usually damage the chrome finish if applied moderately.
    Did apply moderate heat, however the set screw was rounded and is no longer possible to remove with a hex key. What is option #2?

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,374

    Default

    Too late for now, but WD40 wasn't the best solution to trying to loosen up the screw! A penetrating oil something like PBlaster, which is designed especially for this, would likely have worked better, if it would at all.

    You may be stuck with trying to get a new trim piece after cutting the old one off, that's if you can still get one. You could have shut the main water off to the house, oiled it up, and left it say overnight to soak in.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member leeelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Name:  post.jpg
Views: 100
Size:  54.4 KBName:  post-1.jpg
Views: 108
Size:  78.5 KB
    Quote Originally Posted by leeelson View Post
    Couldn't find my problem with a search....

    I have a Kohler K-T14420 Shower control whose stem extension is very loose. I think a retaining screw may have broken off (I have a parts diagram). My problem is that I can't remove the set screw from the handle stem despite repeated applications of WD-40. I apply a fair amount of force, enough to deflect the 2" hex tool a half inch at the end but I'm afraid of breaking it off inside the screw. Part of the problem is that when the shower is off, the screw points down, so WD-40 doesn't really soak in. (When the shower is on full, the screw is horizontal, and I'm quite wet since there's no shower shut off)
    Progress. I was able to drill out the set screw without too much trouble. Now I need to know what to replace. Some things are obvious:broken screws, drilled out base, etc. But I'm not sure where the original problem lies.

    The symptoms are that the whole stem assembly moves in and out, which it shouldn't. Also, I can rotate the stem counterclockwise from the off position, which I couldn't before. I suspect that the pressure balancing valve itself (Kohler K-304) is at fault but I don't know whether to replace the mixer cap, valve or both. I've attached a couple of drawings that could help and could attach a detailed parts list.

    Also, there are 2 screw heads on valves adjacent to the pressure valve, i.e. on the supply lines. Are these likely to shut off the water supply? If so, that would be very useful.

    Thanks for any input

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bothell, Washington
    Posts
    14,191
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Also, there are 2 screw heads on valves adjacent to the pressure valve, i.e. on the supply lines. Are these likely to shut off the water supply? If so, that would be very useful.
    Those should shut off the water to the valve.

    Sometimes it's less expensive to pick up a new rough valve and rob the parts off of it.
    However, are you sure it's not a matter of snugging up the bolts and screws here?

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member leeelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Those should shut off the water to the valve.

    Sometimes it's less expensive to pick up a new rough valve and rob the parts off of it.
    However, are you sure it's not a matter of snugging up the bolts and screws here?
    All accessible screws have been removed. The pressure balancing unit and valve cap are still attached (not sure whether to pry them off). There are no bolts.Name:  valve_parts.jpg
Views: 111
Size:  49.3 KB

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,374

    Default

    FWIW, on some designs, the stop is in the trim, not the cartridge, so it might just rotate until the trim is back on.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member leeelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    FWIW, on some designs, the stop is in the trim, not the cartridge, so it might just rotate until the trim is back on.
    Good thought, but push the stem in and it stops properly. Called Kohler and they confirm a problem with the valve cap. Free replacement is in the mail.

Similar Threads

  1. stuck tub stem seat- what size screw extractor to buy
    By carolitis in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-22-2013, 10:11 PM
  2. Stuck set screw in Moen shower faucet
    By Mikey47 in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-15-2010, 08:19 AM
  3. Dripping Faucet / Stuck Screw
    By ElCid2000 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-01-2009, 05:43 AM
  4. Sillcock screw is stuck
    By GreenTeam in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-09-2008, 12:14 PM
  5. Stuck set screw on a Peerless One Handle Faucet
    By obrien234 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-26-2007, 05:32 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •