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removing old recessed bathtub valve

Hello, I recently purchased a set of valve sockets and the 27/32 socket is slightly to big for the valve and the smallest one 21/32 is to small. I figured that most valves are pretty universal and that one of the sockets would fit. I was wrong. I'm trying to replace them as they both are leaking. Could I just use a vice grip and turn the who valve by clamping to the exterior stem or is there another alternative? What would a professional do? thanks, Owen

A. Spruce
Re: removing old recessed bathtub valve
A. Spruce

A professional will use anything at his disposal to remove the valve and repair/replace it. Mind you, a professional plumber will likely have any socket necessary to remove just about any valve nut he may encounter. He does this everyday, he's going to have the right tools. For a general contractor who replaces/repairs valves less frequently, he's more inclined to make other tools on his truck suffice, which could be anything from a standard set of sockets to channel lock pliers and a wrench, or whatever else is available.

If you've had problems with this valve before and replacing seals is a regular thing, then investing in a socket that fits the nuts would be a good thing. However, if this is something that happens infrequently at best, use any combination of things at your disposal that will do the job without damage to the fixture. :)

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