|Posted by Thomas Althoff on December 21, 2003 at 16:26:24:|
I got one of those "I can't turn the cartridge with the plastic removal tool that came with the replacement cartridge" complaints.
First I removed the retainer clip to allow the cartridge to slide out.
Then I made my own tool and bought an internal pipe wrench. It took all of 4 minutes to get the old cartridge out and the new one in!
Material's for Althoff's LB/WG tool (Looks bad/works good).
10-24 threaded rod...any length longer than the 2 sockets you will use.
10-24 nut (wing nut might work too)
A deep drive socket that is just wide enough to press against the outer rim of the valve assembly.
A small 1/4" drive socket that is larger than the square drive (1/2" or 3/8") opening of the larger socket
Assemble them as per the photo.
Thread the rod from the larger socket into the screw hole in the cardridge assembly that takes the retaining screw for the shower control knob.
Tighten the nut as you keep the larger socket centered around the outside edge of the valve shell.
As you tighten the nut against the smaller socket one of 2 things will happen.
Either the entire cartridge assembly will come out and you can install the new cardridge
At my local hardware store I paid $7 for a "inside grabbing pipe wrench". You insert this into the opening of the old cartridge and turn it...it expands and grabs the inside of the cartridge. I had to use all my strength to get it to turn but you can pull outward as you turn and the old cartridge will come completely out. No banging on the pipes and risking breaking something in the wall.
Be sure you put some kind of anti-sieze compound on the first 1" of the new cartridge where is comes in contact directly with the outer pipe.
I felt pure dispair when I first started this project. At first it looked like I'd have to open the wall up and replace all the pipes with a new fixture.
Now I can face a stuck cartridge with no fear ever again!
I hope this saves the average Joe hours of time. Heck...I hope this saves the pro hours of time too! I mean...no one wants to charge 4+ hours of labor for a valve do they?
If you find this solution helped you in some way please let me know at email@example.com.
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