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Hello: I have a leaky tub spigot and I think the issue is the valve behind the handle. I just can't get an traction with any allen wrenches in the hole shown -- I think this is because of grime/mineral deposits/whatever that are caked over what I believe is a hex screw. I've tried digging through it with a random objects, have sprayed some chemical cleaner down it, and have had my friend and dad take a look too. We just can't get the handle off. Any ideas?

I've considered just paying a plumber, but everyone I call either wants to charge an outlandish amount upfront, won't come because it's in a condo so I can't guarantee a great spot to park their truck, or they just seem completely insane and scare me when they start asking personal questions and talking about Jesus. I'm a first time home owner, this can't be how life really is. Driving me insane! Any help is much appreciated.

  • Have you tried metric hex keys as well as those in fractions of inches? Something looks strange about this lever. Allen screws like this are supposed to be on the underside of the lever, both for appearance and so water does not stand in the screw. Jun 6 '17 at 11:35
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    When working on this, put a stopper in the drain hole and/or cover the bottom of the tub with a towel. If you drop something small you don't want to lose it in the drain, and if you drop something heavier you don't want it to chip the tub. Jun 6 '17 at 11:42
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    Thank you. I'm not sure about those differences, but I'll look into it tonight and try to go by the hardware store. BTW, the hole is on the underside of the lever when the lever is in the off position. I just positioned it so you can view it easily.
    – Rhino
    Jun 6 '17 at 11:56
  • You can get captive sets of hex-keys in metric and "English". I like the captive sets because individual allen wrenches (aka hex keys) can and will get lost. Jun 6 '17 at 13:22
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    I'm a first time home owner, this can't be how life really is. Oh, this is just the beginning... ;)
    – CactusCake
    Jul 10 '17 at 12:45

Rinse it with vinegar (let it stay overnight to dissolve the mineral deposits), then use a good light to examine the head (perhaps a slot head?)


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