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Old 04-02-12, 03:11 PM   #1
kiwigem
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Sorry this isn't bike related, but you are the only group of handy people I know.

Ugh- the last thing on my list to do today and it's thwarting me completely. Leaky shower. Going to replace seats and springs- but the retaining ring/bonnet thingy is corroded into place. BLAST! I have a rag soaked in vinegar wrapped around it and will ask hubby to pick up a strap wrench on the way home. Any ideas?

ps- if we aren't allowed to post non-bike issues here, please someone delete my thread. Thanks!
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Old 04-02-12, 03:33 PM   #2
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Those plastic valves can be a pain. I've had to replace the valves on my Pfister bathroom faucet twice and my Pfister shower once. (Won't buy any cheap Pfister products again.) In my case, the shower problem required the changing of the valve at the hot-cold water knob, not the shower head itself. Is it the shower head connection that is corroded? There's usually not a valve in the shower head, so the leak is probably located at/behind the water turn-on knobs. Locate the valve, carefully take apart and clean it. (You'll want to turn off the main water line before you pull out the valve.) There are usually small rubber rings that pass over the valve opening, and leaks are usually a result of these rubber rings getting old/dirty/cracked. If cleaning doesn't work, most decent hardware stores will have replacement innards--and sometimes they even have the right one for your shower/faucet. Good luck.
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Old 04-02-12, 03:37 PM   #3
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Owned rental property for 25 years, so me and plumbing are old friends. can you post a pic of the faucet & problem area?
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Old 04-02-12, 03:52 PM   #4
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Yeah, some pictures would be very helpful here. I can also chime in- can't say I have 25 years of property maintenance, but I was a journeyman plumber in another life and have spent far too long looking into the business end of residential plumbing.
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Old 04-02-12, 04:01 PM   #5
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Thank you. Bleeding brass bonnet won't budge.

Tried PB blaster, hair dryer, vinegar. If this is going to involve a torch...oy. It's a Delta 1700 series if that matters.

Last edited by kiwigem; 04-02-12 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 04-02-12, 04:16 PM   #6
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You trying to keep it or is it sacrificial? That looks like a job for a 24" pipe wrench or a big ass pair of channel locks if you're willing to let it go.
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Old 04-02-12, 04:18 PM   #7
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I don't mind replacing the bonnet, but I'm afraid of twisting the pipes and ending up with a problem behind the wall.
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Old 04-02-12, 04:30 PM   #8
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EDIT: I guess the brass bonnet does unscrew (contrary to what I just deleted). A quick google search led to other reports of very tight bonnets. I'd use something stronger than vinegar, such as PB blaster.

A replacement cartridge is available, but it's little pricey:
http://www.amazon.com/Faucet-RP46463.../dp/B001DU58JE

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Old 04-02-12, 04:47 PM   #9
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Yes, if the seats and springs don't do the trick a new cartridge is Plan B. I don't mind that as it is cheaper than a plumber for sure, but first I need to get the blasted bonnet off!!!!!! Calm down, kiwi.
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Old 04-02-12, 05:40 PM   #10
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Isn't the point of a cartridge that you CAN'T change things like the seats and springs? It's all one... cartridge? And don't be afraid to lean into that bonnet (check your angle and all that first), it'll give up long before the sweated pipe assembly does anything.
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Old 04-02-12, 05:55 PM   #11
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I think it depends on the model. I have seen the kind you are talking about where there are what looks like round rubber feet attached to the cartridge instead of separate seats and springs, but I think that is an upgrade to the regular assembly. Either way, I'm sure it's nothing that can't be solved with a spud bar and fury.
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Old 04-02-12, 06:05 PM   #12
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...Either way, I'm sure it's nothing that can't be solved with a spud bar and fury.
Atta girl!
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Old 04-02-12, 06:20 PM   #13
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UGH. I hate plumbing, and I should stay out of this but... ..does that whole assembly unscrew from a manifold soldered in to the risers behind the tile? I'd be tempted to try a little heat applied to that brass bonnet, judiciously applied of course. With a little plastic mallet tapping to help free things up. And/or, something stronger than vinegar. Got any Muriatic acid by chance? Then the strap wrench. Good luck.

Edit: forget the Muriatic acid. Dangerous stuff. How about some of that CLR liquid?

Last edited by rootboy; 04-02-12 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 04-02-12, 06:56 PM   #14
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I have a trick for getting lockrings (think headset locknut) nice and tight, but also getting them loose. Similar technique actually.

The trick is to squeeze the ring or flats from different directions, forcing the ring to flex (ovalize) very slightly in different directions.

With this flatless threaded ring, I'd grip it with plumber's pliers and apply good torque, but allowing the teeth to slip slightly as you maintain torque while rotating the pliers as close to 360 degrees as possible.
The flexing might break it loose. Actually I expect that it will, assuming that is a threaded ring!

As I said, referring to headset locknuts, I tighten them several times putting the wrench on different flats each time. This gets a little more rotation into the nut because the flexing allows the threads to creep. And of course this also works for removing a stubborn locknut.
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Old 04-02-12, 06:57 PM   #15
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I have a trick for getting lockrings (think headset locknut) nice and tight, but also getting them loose. Similar technique actually.

The trick is to squeeze the ring or flats from different directions, forcing the ring to flex (ovalize) very slightly in different directions.

With this flatless threaded ring, I'd grip it with plumber's pliers and apply good torque, but allowing the teeth to slip slightly as you maintain torque while rotating the pliers as close to 360 degrees as possible.
The flexing might break it loose. Actually I expect that it will, assuming that is a threaded ring!

As I said, referring to headset locknuts, I tighten them several times putting the wrench on different flats each time. This gets a little more rotation into the nut because the flexing allows the threads to creep. And of course this also works for removing a stubborn locknut.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:00 PM   #16
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I have a trick for getting lockrings (think headset locknut) nice and tight, but also getting them loose. Similar technique actually.

The trick is to squeeze the ring or flats from different directions, forcing the ring to flex (ovalize) very slightly in different directions.

With this flatless threaded ring, I'd grip it with plumber's pliers and apply good torque, but allowing the teeth to slip slightly as you maintain torque while rotating the pliers as close to 360 degrees as possible.
The flexing might break it loose. Actually I expect that it will, assuming that is a threaded ring!

As I said, referring to headset locknuts, I tighten them several times putting the wrench on different flats each time. This gets a little more rotation into the nut because the flexing allows the threads to creep. And of course this also works for removing a stubborn locknut.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:05 PM   #17
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I have a trick for getting lockrings (think headset locknut) nice and tight, but also getting them loose. Similar technique actually.

The trick is to squeeze the ring or flats from different directions, forcing the ring to flex (ovalize) very slightly in different directions.

With this flatless threaded ring, I'd grip it with plumber's pliers and apply good torque, but allowing the teeth to slip slightly as you maintain torque while rotating the pliers as close to 360 degrees as possible.
The flexing might break it loose. Actually I expect that it will, assuming that is a threaded ring!

As I said, referring to headset locknuts, I tighten them several times putting the wrench on different flats each time. This gets a little more rotation into the nut because the flexing allows the threads to creep. And of course this also works for removing a stubborn locknut.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:21 PM   #18
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whoa. One post for each "d" of "dddd" I guess.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:49 PM   #19
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whoa. One post for each "d" of "dddd" I guess.
Yeah, what the heck. I didn't drink THAT much coffee.

I did get a message saying I couldn't re-post within 15 seconds or something to that effect. Must have been a stuck key on my keyboard?

I guess at least my message got through!
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Old 04-02-12, 08:41 PM   #20
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^lol- I thought I was supposed to try it four times. ; )
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Old 04-03-12, 12:19 AM   #21
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^lol- I thought I was supposed to try it four times. ; )
Yeah, keep trying!
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Old 04-03-12, 12:47 AM   #22
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Those aren't French pipes, are they?
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Old 04-03-12, 07:22 AM   #23
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Those aren't French pipes, are they?
Victoire!

Randy, you're a genius. I promised it a Jerry Lewis screening if it cooperated, and voila!
Okay, really I let it sit in WD-40 overnight and prayed aloud for the intercession of St. Joseph, but a good story is a good story, mais non?
Thank you all for your input!

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Old 04-03-12, 11:24 AM   #24
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Your patience payed off, congrat's to you.
Penetrants are very useful knuckle-savers, but take time to get into joints that are packed tight with corrosion.
How much is that modular "cartridge" valve going to cost?
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Old 04-03-12, 11:58 AM   #25
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Your patience payed off, congrat's to you.
Penetrants are very useful knuckle-savers, but take time to get into joints that are packed tight with corrosion.
How much is that modular "cartridge" valve going to cost?
How did you know I'd need it?
Seats and springs took care of the drippy shower head, but not the water coming out of the handle The new cartridge is on its way, to the tune of $45. Still cheaper than a plumber, so I can't complain.
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