I'm trying to replace the valve stem of a 2-handle bathroom sink faucet. All the instructions I've found online say to unscrew the nut atop the valve stem.

But my nut, when it turns, also turns the entire assembly. I assume the stem has gotten stuck to its housing.

UPDATE: I ended up removing the entire valve assembly. Then I wire-brushed off lots of gunk to get a closer look at the parts. But I still can't remove the valve stem from the rest of the assembly. I'm starting to wonder whether it's supposed to be removable.

I don’t know the model number because the faucets were installed long before we moved into the house, but the markings on the outside of the valve assembly say this: "GROHE A 98 01 R 90". A Google search yielded nothing useful about replacement parts or service info, nor did Grohe's website.

Question for anyone with experience with Grohe faucets-- are the valve stems removable? Know any tricks for unsticking a stuck stem?

I attached a new picture.

enter image description here

Here's the old picture from before I removed the valve assembly from the sink:

enter image description here

  • Take a pair of vice-grips and grab the bottom threads (not too tightly so that you damage them, just enough to hold them) and with another wrench, try to remove the valve. – Steven Jun 9 '12 at 23:01
  • I'd worry about damaging the threads. Perhaps you can clamp on to something below? You may need to remove the entire thing or this may be a 2 person job. – BMitch Jun 10 '12 at 0:01
  • What is the make and model? could you link to some of the instructions you've already found? – Tester101 Jun 11 '12 at 11:28
  • @Tester101 - Make is Grohe (assuming based on markings on the valve assembly) but don't know model number. Haven't been able to find any instructions online. I updated my question with more info and a new picture. – Justin Grant Jun 11 '12 at 16:27
  • 2
    I did remove the clip but that didn't do anything helpful. I ended taking it to a plumbing supply shop and they clamped it and were able to finally loosen it with a monster-size crescent wrench with massive torque. – Justin Grant Jun 12 '12 at 19:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

As Steven says, hit it with some penetrating oil first (WD-40 should work for this). Give it some gentle whacks against a piece of scrap wood in all directions to help break any bonds. Then clamp on to the bottom square part and try to torque the nut on top with a socket. If you still can't get it, you may find it easier to replace the entire thing.

  • 2
    Yep, clamping it was the key-- otherwise I couldn't get enough torque to get the nut to budge. – Justin Grant Jun 12 '12 at 19:15

Screw on a pipe coupling and a 2 foot pipe nipple to the side outlet. Put the top hex nut in a vise. Use the pipe nipple and unscrew the valve body and valve stem.

I just encountered exactly this problem myself! I tried using PB (rather than WD-40), but that didn't help. What I ended up doing was inserting a thick allen wrench (any sturdy metal bar will do) into the hole on the side and using that as leverage against the wrench. With the additional force that I was able to apply, I was able to get that cartridge/stem part unscrewed.

i have this exact same cartridge style. it is called a quarter turn ceramic after some surfing on the net. this is the first time i've ever messed around with faucets but since the water wouldn't shut i did some research. the cartridge looked different from ones i saw in people's jobs and like OP i didn't know how to unscrew the cartridge (and didn't want to break anything). from OP's notes i decided to turn the nut harder and it did come free. it comes apart (the threads) right underneath where the part # is located.

i kid you not, i was going to hope to find a replacement cartridge (i know grohe's are a PITA) and reassembled everything in the meantime. the handle was loose (turned too generously) and i spent another 15 min trying to figure out why to no avail). decided to turn the water back on to check for leaks and see if anything changed, and presto! the handle was tight again (i'm guessing due to water pressure) and the water stopped leaking/running! at first it was leaking/sputtering/acting crazy but then the water would just come to a crisp halt when i turned the handle all the way shut. perhaps something was clogged or blocking the valve but that doesn't seem likely. i must have magic hands.

I had both cold/hot valves frozen with minerals. 1 day of white vinegar soaking did not help. I then did 2 days of spraying WD40 on the top of valve where it screwed in. after 2 days and then using a vice to hold the base, I used a 12" long adjustable wrench to get both unlocked and out. Without the vice and the 12" wrench for leverage, I would not have been able to get either out (it may have taken a few more days of WD40 spraying)

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