Removing Handle From Bathroom Faucet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by EricK, Jun 22, 2019.

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  1. Jun 22, 2019 #1

    EricK

    EricK

    EricK

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    I'm looking for some good advice on removing a handle from a bathroom faucet. Typically, you just need to remove the set screw with an allen wrench and the handle pops off the valve. I've run into a few faucets that have dripped and the water evaporating on the set screw has cause the screw to soften so when I insert the Allen wrench it just strips out the head of the set screw. Does anybody have any good tips on removing a set screw that is damaged from a bathroom faucet handle?
     
  2. Jun 22, 2019 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Spray the screw with some PB Blaster. If you don't know what that is, it's like liquid wrench. Let it soak overnight and gently try turning the screw tomorrow.
     
  3. Jun 22, 2019 #3

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    I've used left hand drill bits.
     
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  4. Jun 22, 2019 #4

    EricK

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    Yes I thought of that. I had a screw extractor set on me but they didn't fit inside that tiny little hole to access the set screw. I will invest in a set of left hand bits. I bet that will do the trick. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  5. Jun 22, 2019 #5

    EricK

    EricK

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    Thanks. That's good advice for a stuck screw. I love PB Blaster, always have it on me. In this case, and whenever I come across a faucet handle that has leaked, the set screw has actually gotten a little soft/corroded. So when I place the Allen wrench into the set screw and turn, the head of the screw rounds off and there's nothing for the wrench to grab onto. It's very frustrating and I'm looking for a good solution so I don't have to replace the entire faucet just because I can't get to the leaky valve. In the past I've actually taken a drill bit and drilled through the set screw but then I find I can't put a new set screw in place and the handle won't stay on the valve.
     
  6. Jun 22, 2019 #6

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    They act like an easy-out, just don't use with a drill motor.
     
  7. Jun 22, 2019 #7

    Johnboy555

    Johnboy555

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    I've been in the same day position before, and have used a Torx bit. Use the PB blaster first, as Eric said. Find the closest size and gently tap it into the setscrew. The "fins" of the torx bit will cut into the setscrew and usually provide enough grip to back it out. This has saved me many times.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2019 #8

    EricK

    EricK

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    I like this! Thanks for the advice. I'll be back at my customer's house in a couple of weeks. I'll try this idea first and then if it doesn't work I'll do a left hand drill bit
     
  9. Jun 27, 2019 #9

    billshack

    billshack

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    when i had this problem, i would cut off the handle with a hack saw . then replace the handle and cartridge . a picture of the faucet would give me a better idea .
     
  10. Jun 27, 2019 #10

    EricK

    EricK

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    It would give me great pleasure to cut off that handle! However, I would not be able to easily find a matching handle. Plus, there's a second matching faucet in the same bathroom. So everything should look the same when I'm done. I'll be back at my customer's house in a week or so to do a few other things. I'm going to try the torx bit and the left-handed drill bits. This is got to be a common problem with an easy solution. I'm confident one of those two will work
     

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