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It's still in the casing, as I didn't want to remove the whole faucet. I tried lots of WD-40 and trying to tighten a little and then loosen. Someone told me to use a hair-dryer on it to heat it up a little. The thing just won't budge. I think I may have ruined the "nut." I'm obviously an amateur, but I don't want to be a failure.

stuck valve

Click for full size image

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you may need to remove the clip first and lift (what looks like) the locking ring – ratchet freak Dec 3 '13 at 15:45
the clip just spins around, so I couldn't see how that was affecting it. In watching YouTube videos, it seems it is all one big piece that unscrews from beneath. – Shari T. Dec 3 '13 at 15:56
and if you apply force from both sides of those prongs that stick out – ratchet freak Dec 3 '13 at 16:12
I've heard (twice) that sometimes they have a "reverse thread". This is a Kohler. Does anyone have experience with that? – Shari T. Dec 3 '13 at 16:41
It looks like you used an open-end wrench and it rounded off some of the head of the nut. I don't think you should keep trying that approach. You really should have started with a deep socket that fits snug. But now its kind of iffy whether a deep socket will slip. The next tool to use if it doesn't come off with a deep socket is a pipe wrench, one with a handle about 12" to 14" long. You need the long handle for leverage. You will also need to protect the sink trim from damage. I'd put several layers of duct tape over the trim. – getterdun Dec 4 '13 at 2:30

It is not reverse thread, and if it hasn't budged you just need to crank on it more -- don't worry about the retaining clip, it doesn't need to come off. I would use a channel-lock wrench for this but a small pipe wrench will make the job a bit easier only because you won't have to squeeze the wrench while turning. You can try rapping on it with a hammer (not too hard) to break it loose also. It is possible that you have to remove the entire valve assembly from the faucet first, because even when you crack it loose that cartridge might not come out of the top like you are planning; it might make your job easier as well. You could also opt to get a new valve assembly if you really can't budge that cartridge.

Edit: Here's a vid to give you an idea of what you are going for: youtube video

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You should stop using your pliers to try and remove it as it looks like you've made things worse with that approach.

Get a deep socket in precisely the correct size for this nut. If that doesn't fit anymore you may want to try some seriously tight vise-grips.

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I have replaced a few of these but run into the same issue. Each time I had to dismantle the whole thing, drench the assembly in liquid wrench, put it in a vice grip, use a closed box wrench with leverage and they come out.

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