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Can't remove hot water handle from stem!!!

Does anyone have any tips/tricks on how to remove the hot water handle from it's stem?

I've tried liquid wrench penetrating oil (I applied many applications) and a handle puller (it just kept sliding off as I tightened it).

The company is Harvey Machine, Co. I'm pretty certain it's the original faucet & handles. The house was built in 1952.

Is it time to call it quits and bring a professional in?

Re: Can't remove hot water handle from stem!!!

Is this on a sink faucet or a tub/shower valve?

Assuming that you've already removed whatever type of mechanical fasteners/retainers that secured the handle to the stem and are simply dealing with a handle that's refusing to come off that valve stem ....

If a sink faucet ........you could try applying a bit of muriatic acid around the stem. MA is available at your local big-box or hardware store. Do not breathe the vapors of this stuff...and use some fresh air ventilation. Don't get it in your eyes or on your skin for very long. If that should happens, flush immediately with copious amounts of water to dilute it.

I'd apply with either an eye dropper or perhaps a Q-tip. On a sink faucet, gravity is in your favor. What we're hoping for is that the MA seeps into the cracks and eats out any mineral/lime deposits that have things "fused" right now. It may take numerous applications. Handle the MA with care (needless to say) and flush with water if it gets on things you don't want it on.

I've also used this approach with rusted nuts to great success over the years. A little MA and some patience can go a long way.

If it's a tub/shower handle, then gravity won't be in your favor and you'll need more patience and more applications.. most likely. Flush off the tub surface where it drips or protect it in some manner or the MA could eat thru the glazing if left long enough.

Good luck.

Re: Can't remove hot water handle from stem!!!

It took 2 days, but I finally got the handles off! It took wrapping the handles with rags and soaking them with vinegar, along with pouring boiling water over them, but they finally let go!

Thanks for you tips and advice.


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