How to Remove Bathtub Hot & Cold Valve Stems


If you find that the water requires more and more pressure to turn off, then you might need to replace a washer at the end of the valve stems. The washer plugs the hole that allows the water to flow. As it wears, you need to tighten it down further. Eventually, the washer wears and you have a constant drip. Change the washers when you first notice difficulty turning off the faucet. This allows you to remove the bathtub hot and cold valve stems to get to the washer and pick up the proper washer when you have time.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat head screwdriver Phillips head screwdriver or Allen wrench Utility knife to remove caulk Appropriate size plumbing socket Commercial product to remove lime and rust build-up
  • Turn off the water. This is one plumbing job that requires the water be shut off. Use the shut offs by the tub if you have them. If not, shut off the water supply at the source.

  • Remove the handles. There are two different styles of handles. One is an aftermarket handle that has an Allen bolt holding it onto the stem. The other fits a specific stem size. This type normally has the screw holding it onto the stem, hidden under a cap in the center.

  • Pry off the cap and loosen the screw with a Phillips screwdriver or take an Allen wrench to the Allen bolt at the side. Jiggle the handle a bit and pull back to remove it. If there's a build-up that won't allow you to loosen the handle, tap it with a hammer or use a commercial product that removes calcium and rust build-up.

  • Take off the escutcheons or sleeves that cover the stems. Normally you simply turn them to remove the sleeves. You may need to remove caulk around the edges of the covers.

  • Insert a plumbing socket over the stem. This fits down on the base and allows you to turn it and remove the stem. The plumbing socket looks like a tube with a handle through the top section. You need to make sure that it fits over the base of the stem. You'll feel the difference when you attempt to turn it if you have it properly in place.

  • Spray the base of the stem with a commercial product to loosen any build up that stops the stem from turning. Often years of corrosion causes a build up. Spray the area and allow it to soak in for about an hour if you have problems turning the stem.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!